We all face increasing demands on our time these days, but to provide the best patient care, it’s critical to keep current with the latest travel health guidelines. While nurses have to do a certain amount of continuing education to maintain various licensures and certifications, many work in settings that offer little or no financial support for ongoing training.
The Centers for Disease Control can help on all counts. They offer a plethora of courses on a wide variety of topics and they are all free. Many are relevant to the practice of travel health, and you’ll likely find additional course germane to other aspects of your work. The CDC Learning Connection is the main source for public health training, developed by CDC and other agencies. Many of these are accredited for CE for nurses and other health care professionals. Here’s where you’ll find most of them.
Many of the courses useful to travel health nurses are on the CDC Training and Continuing Education Online site (TCEO). You may already be familiar with the popular You Call the Shots Series. This is updated regularly and currently has a whopping 16 modules. It focuses on current routine vaccine guidelines and recommendations.
Another great series is the EpiVac Pink Book Netconference. There’s a module for each of the 16 Chapters of “Epidemiology and Prevention of Vaccine-Preventable Diseases,” also known as “The Pink Book.”
In addition, there’s a number of specific disease related courses to enhance your knowledge base. These include:
- Malaria 101 for the Health Care Provider (Web Based) (WB2626)
- Yellow Fever Vaccine: Information for Health Care Professional Advising Travelers (Web-based) (WB2367)
- Dengue Clinical Case Management Course (Web-based)(WB1957) This is an excellent 5 module course covering all aspects of dengue fever.
- Chagas Disease: What U.S. Clinicians Need To Know (Web-based)(WB2469)
- Biomedical HIV Prevention Toolkit (Print-based)(SS2512) Describes best practices regarding HIV pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) and post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP).
- Ebola PPE Coach (App) (WD2691) This as a review of the procedures described in CDC guidance for donning and doffing personal protective equipment (PPE)
- Clinician Outreach and Communication Activity (COCA) Calls/Webinars – Little Bite, Big Disease: Recognizing and Managing Tickborne Illnesses – (Web on Demand)(WD2286-052416)
- Neurocysticercosis: Diagnosis and Management of Patients Living in the United States(WB2528)
The TB resources are especially rich, there’s practically an entire curriculum:
- TB 101 for Health Care Workers (Web Based)(WB2725) )
- Interactive Core Curriculum on Tuberculosis: What the Clinician Should Know(WB2216)
- Self-Study Modules on Tuberculosis, 1-5 (Web-Based)(WB2556)
- Self-Study Modules on Tuberculosis, 6-9 (Print-based)(SS1808)
- Pharmacology of Anti-TB Medications (Web-based)(WD2570)
- The Impact of Substance Abuse & Mental Illness in Developing HIV and TB ( Web-based)(WB2265)
Finally, there are currently eight courses related to Zika. Make sure you take advantage of these to ensure you’re providing patients with the most up to date information:
- Gearing up for the Travel Season: How Clinicians Can Ensure Their Patients are Packed with Knowledge on Zika Prevention – December 8, 2016 (Web on Demand)(WD2286-120816)
- Updated CDC Zika Laboratory Testing Guidance – December 1, 2016 (Web on Demand)(WD2286-120116)
- Updated Interim Zika Clinical Guidance for Pregnant Women and Data on Contraceptive Use to Decrease Zika-affected Pregnancies – August 9, 2016 (Web on Demand)(WD2286-080916)
- Zika in the ED: How Emergency Care Staff can Take Action – November 1, 2016 (Web on Demand)(WD2286-110116)
- Clinician Outreach and Communication Activity (COCA) Calls/Webinars – Zika Update: Clinical Laboratory Testing and Care of Infants with Congenital Zika Virus Infection – August 23, 2016 (Web on Demand)(WD2286-082316)
- Zika Virus — What Clinicians Need to Know – January 26, 2016 (Web on Demand)(WD2286-012616 )
- Updated Interim Zika Clinical Guidance for Reproductive Age Women and Men, Sexual Transmission, and the U.S. Zika Pregnancy Registry – April 12, 2016 (Web on Demand)(WD2286-041216)
- Zika Virus: Implications for Pregnant Women (Web on Demand)(WD2783)
Be sure and check out the Courses and Conferences section of the ATHNA website for regular updates.
Nurses add enormous value to society every day. Aren’t we fortunate to have such a wonderful library to further enhance the quality of our work?
Julie Richards, President
American Travel Health Nurses Association