Primary Presenter: Diane Rohlman, PhD, University of Iowa.
Additional Authors: Frederic Gerr, MD, Matthew Nonnenmann, PhD, Josie Rudolphi , MA, Kay Mohling, MA, University of Iowa.
Abstract: Agricultural medicine is a subspecialty of the broader field of occupational safety and health. Agricultural medicine services are typically delivered to members of the agricultural community by rural safety and health professionals, who often do not receive adequate training. To address this gap, the Great Plains Center developed a nationally disseminated core Agricultural Medicine curriculum. Since 2007 the course has been offered 26 times in 8 states. Over 750 students have completed the course. The objective of this paper is to provide an update on the current status of the course and a description of methods to address sustainability.
The original course curriculum was developed in 2006 through a consensus process, bringing experts together to identify key topics. The course was then offered nationally at multiple sites and, in 2012, a second consensus process was implemented to evaluate and update the curriculum and to address regional variations. Most recently, a third consensus process was conducted among partners offering the course to guide revisions to the course content and enhance its sustainability.
Partners and stakeholders from sites currently offering the Agricultural Medicine course participated in a workshop in January 2015 at the University of Iowa. Based on the results of the 2012 consensus process, additional topics were added to the curriculum and the learning objectives for each topic were standardized to include (i) the scope of the problem, (ii) the hazards and health effects associated with specific agricultural tasks and settings, and (iii) the methods used to mitigate the hazard or evaluate the health effect. Expanding the course format beyond the traditional week-long course to include shorter sections, distance learning modules and webinars were proposed as approaches to enable more trainees to participate.
The Agricultural Medicine Course has served as a resource for training agricultural safety and health professionals for nearly a decade. Ongoing evaluation and refinement of the program has led to progressive modification to more fully meet the needs of agricultural communities. In collaboration with course partners, local and regional stakeholders, and academics, we anticipate creating multiple course platforms available to multiple stakeholders (both nationally and internationally) using both live and online formats.