Educational preparedness

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Educational preparedness

CPR, cardiopulmonary resuscitation; SD, standard deviation 4. Discussion During an emergency planning educational presentation, participants were familiarized with details about how an emergency plan is prepared by management and implemented by management—employee crisis management teams.

They then assessed their organization's emergency preparedness level. No significant difference was found in emergency planning knowledge between presentation participants and nonparticipants; however, participants experimental group had higher perceptions of their organization's level of emergency preparedness.

Both presentation participants and nonparticipants seemed to know the basics of emergency planning, but when participants applied that knowledge and had to specifically assess their own organizations' preparedness, a difference was found.

It is recommended that an assessment of organizational preparedness level supplements emergency planning educational presentations to immediately apply the material covered and encourage employees to become more involved in their organization's emergency planning and response.

Quality emergency planning includes employee training as well as employee ownership of and involvement with the plan [2] to better prepare workplaces for emergency situations. Because successful planning needs the involvement of both employees and management [4]it was thought that an educational presentation that focused on how management prepared the organizational plan in addition to how both employees and management implemented the plan would improve participants' emergency planning knowledge.

Taking part in this hour-long workplace emergency planning presentation, however, appeared not to influence participants' overall emergency planning knowledge. Considering that the presentation was conducted for a variety of workplace sectors, it is likely that each workplace implements differing processes and protocols regarding educating their employees on emergency policies and procedures.

Therefore, it is possible that some participants entered the presentation having more robust emergency planning knowledge as compared with others employed at workplaces that may not stress this topic area.

Providing information to increase employees' knowledge about their workplaces' emergency action plan and their personal role in the plan is a management responsibility. In order for successful emergency response, it is necessary to have the involvement of all employees [4].

A coordination of these efforts and employee ownership of the plan is recommended as the best practice [2]. Therefore, other educational methods or strategies that involve management—employee collaboration in educational activities tailored to each workplace's operations and risk level for emergencies should be implemented.

Future research efforts should study innovative methods in aiding workplaces in the creation of comprehensive training on emergency planning that are accessible and useful for every employee. Employees who participated in the presentation, though, had a higher perception of their organization's level of emergency preparedness than those who did not participate in the presentation.

Planning seems to reduce employee stress about emergencies [4]. Not only management but also employees need to be aware of what and who needs to be included in an emergency and evacuation plan. When employees perceive their organizations are prepared for an emergency, anxiety and fear about a potential crisis or stress during a disaster may decrease.

Successful emergency response requires not only comprehensive planning beforehand but also calm reactions during a crisis to keep situations from escalating. Although it seems managers may not make emergency planning employee training a priority [6]the managers in this study were very willing to make their employees available for the presentation.

Possibly, these workplaces may have had emergency plans and protocols already in place, and management would be more at ease about participation in the presentation compared to those with poor emergency plans or none whatsoever.

In addition, some workplaces in the study may have experienced previous emergencies, so they may have been more likely to have plans and trainings in place [3]. The presentation followed best practices [2] as it specifically covered aspects of not only emergency plan design and employee implementation of the plan but also included in-depth coverage of the importance of emergency response and evacuation procedures.

Educational preparedness

This emphasis may have contributed to the higher level of perceived workplace preparedness by participants. However, it is not surprising to find that many of the participants reported, in general, a disagreement with the latter statement.

For example, equipping every employee with a flashlight or a smoke mask would be more necessary in industrial and maintenance workplaces. The majority of participants also reported general agreement to three statements on the Crisis Disaster Preparedness Scale: Emergency response and evacuation were covered in the presentation; however, it may need to be emphasized even more in any future presentations or employee trainings.

Limitations While this emergency planning educational presentation produced interesting results, the limitations of this study should be taken into consideration. Type or sector of workplace was an influencing factor that was unable to be controlled for in this design.

Specific Types of Emergencies

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