Disaster Training Day, held on the University of South Dakota (USD) campus, is designed to prepare future health care professionals to assist their communities should a disaster strike. In the past three years, 1,037 students have participated with 267 becoming certified in Core Disaster Life Support (CDLS) from the National Disaster Life Support Foundation (NDLSF). South Dakota is no stranger to disasters. Since the beginning of 2010, there have been 12 federally declared disasters in the state.

Along with CDLS certification, students will be given the opportunity to register with the Statewide Emergency Registry of Volunteers in South Dakota (SERV SD). This registry coordinates the pre-registration of medical and healthcare professionals who are willing to volunteer during disaster situations.

CDLS training will be provided by six NDLSF certified instructors from South Dakota who will cover the essentials of disaster preparedness and how to perform effectively and safely in a disaster. Additional breakout sessions are focused on triage, anaphylaxis, psych first aid, immunizations and points of dispensing (POD). Sessions will be led by University faculty, Department of Health employees, Physician Leaders, and First Responders.

There are 325 health care students registered for Disaster Training Day on Jan. 31. Disciplines participating include pharmacy and doctor of nursing practice from South Dakota State University along with the following students from USD: dental hygiene, masters in social work, clinical lab science, nursing, physical therapy, occupational therapy, physician assistant, physician and clinical psychology.

The South Dakota Department of Health (DOH), the USD Sanford School of Medicine, USD School of Health Sciences, SDSU, the Regional Training Center for Upper Midwest and the Yankton Rural Area Health Education Center (YRAHEC) coordinated the event. The day is funded by the South Dakota DOH through a federal Health and Human Services grant.

For more information about South Dakota disaster preparedness training, contact Cheri Buffington in Yankton, S.D., at 605-655-1400.

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