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Allied Health Disaster Volunteering

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Allied health practitioners will play an important role in providing medical care following a disaster. The clinical and laboratory skills possessed by allied health practitioners will be of extreme importance in the processing of disaster victims. The degree that allied health practitioners can help process disaster victims will play a large role in helping stabilize survivors of man-made or natural disasters. Those allied health practitioners skilled in triage, patient assessment, and emergency treatment of those injured can make a large difference in improving the utilization of human resources at an emergency site and thereby potentially improve treatment outcomes. Failure of a health professional to preregister as a health volunteer can affect the quality and responsiveness of a community's surge capacity. The rationale for advance registration ensures that the time-intensive effort of identifying professional credentials and licenses does not consume or divert resources that are necessary for mitigation of the immediate emergency. Of equal importance for allied health practitioners are the liability issues that exist in providing health care services outside of a formal employment agreement.

Document Type: Commentary

Publication date: December 1, 2008

More about this publication?
  • The Journal of Allied Health is the official publication of the Association of Schools of Allied Health Professions (ASAHP). The Journal is the only interdisciplinary allied health periodical, publishing scholarly works related to research and development, feature articles, research abstracts and book reviews. Readers of the Journal comprise allied health leaders, educators, faculty and students.
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