Core Competencies Required by Health Care Workers in Armed Conflicts

by Clairalyn Baucom

Institution: University of Washington
Year: 2018
Keywords: health care; health care personnel; health educatin; humanitarian disaster; war and conflict; Public health education; Medical Personnel; Health education; Global Health
Posted: 02/01/2018
Record ID: 2212808
Full text PDF: http://hdl.handle.net/1773/40806


Background: Armed conflict is increasingly becoming a cause of humanitarian emergencies. As a result, it is increasingly likely that healthcare workers involved in humanitarian emergencies will need to develop the skills needed to function in this type of environment. Thus far, there are no guidelines to provide guidance for training healthcare workers. Our objective was to determine what skills would be useful for healthcare workers who may need to provide medical care in an armed conflict environment. Methods: We used a modified Delphi technique to identify core competencies for health care workers who anticipate working in combat zones. We assembled (virtually) a 10 member panel with experience in providing medical care in armed conflicts. The panel undertook an iterative process, followed by peer review from May to September 2017. Findings: The panel identified 22 competencies in six categories: media skills, medical skills, mental health, political skills, security, and warfare tactics. Objections to certain skills were uniform within categories and included: beyond the scope of a clinicians practice (some media skills, political skills, and security skills), skills were too context dependent (some warfare tactics), or covered in training elsewhere (mental health). Conclusions: These competencies are intended to provide the basis for training healthcare workers who are interested in disaster assistance and complex humanitarian emergencies. Because providing care in armed conflict environments is becoming increasingly common global health programs may benefit by providing proper training for these unique environments.Advisors/Committee Members: Hagopian, Amy (advisor).