New Interactive Training Modules Created for Emergency Department Personnel

February 18, 2015 Education Infectious Diseases

Interactive learning modules prepare healthcare workers to quickly evaluate, triage, and care for patients during disease outbreaks and epidemics

DES PLAINES, Ill. – The Emergency Nurses Association (ENA) assisted in creating four infectious disease training modules for emergency department personnel, which are available now on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's (CDC) YouTube channel.

The Johns Hopkins Armstrong Institute for Patient Safety and Quality led the development of the new modules using federal funds awarded by the CDC. The multidisciplinary team included experts from organizations that include Johns Hopkins Medicine, the Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America, ENA, the American College of Emergency Physicians and others.

“Emergency nurses are at the front line when emerging infectious diseases present, so it’s critical that we continue to engage in preparedness planning and continuing education,” said ENA president Matthew F. Powers, MS, BSN, RN, MICP, CEN. “These new video modules complement the CDC’s comprehensive offering of infectious disease preparedness planning materials in a visual format that appeals to many nurses.”

“The unique design of these modules allows nurses to think critically about the challenges potential Ebola virus disease patients present to the emergency department,” said ENA Deputy Executive Director, Nursing, Kathy Szumanski, MSN, RN, NE-BC. “They illustrate critical concepts that Emergency Departments need to plan and prepare for — not just for Ebola, but for other highly infectious diseases as well.”

Titled Ebola Preparedness: Emergency Department Guidelines, the four modules cover:

  1. Major considerations in preparedness planning for acute care facilities that provide emergency services
  2. How to screen and identify patients with possible risk factors or symptoms of Ebola
  3. How to safely implement isolation precautions for someone under investigation
  4. Considerations for how to evaluate and briefly manage potential patients

The training package consists of modules featuring a series of vignettes showcasing CDC’s recommended three-step strategy — identify, isolate and inform — for managing possible Ebola cases. These step-by-step video clips supplement CDC’s written guidance on how to identify, triage and briefly care for a patient who might have Ebola.

“We were happy to be part of the multidisciplinary team that contributed to these modules, as we recognize the importance of using consistent training materials from credible sources such as the CDC and Johns Hopkins,” Powers said. “While emerging infectious diseases come and go, properly caring for patients with infectious diseases is not new to emergency nurses who are specially trained to recognize diseases and safely care for patients, the public and themselves.”

Johns Hopkins Medicine previously collaborated with the CDC on the Ebola Preparedness: PPE Guidelines course released in October 2014. That course reviewed the proper donning of personal protective equipment, the safe removal of gear and active monitoring skills. The full series is also available on iTunes U.



About the Emergency Nurses Association

The Emergency Nurses Association (ENA) is the premier professional nursing association dedicated to defining the future of emergency nursing through advocacy, education, research, innovation, and leadership. Founded in 1970, ENA has proven to be an indispensable resource to the global emergency nursing community. With more than 43,000 members worldwide, ENA advocates for patient safety, develops industry-leading practice standards and guidelines, and guides emergency healthcare public policy. ENA members have expertise in triage, patient care, disaster preparedness, and all aspects of emergency care. Additional information is available at

ENA Media Contact:

Dan Campana
Senior Manager, PR and Communications