Background: Natural and manmade disasters affect public health directly and indirectly. As statistics show, 31 of the 42 types of natural disasters in the world occur in Iran; therefore, preparation is necessary to effectively manage them. To this end, it is essential to train experienced and professional personnel to work in disaster fields.
Objectives: This study aimed to evaluate the gaps in pre-hospital knowledge and skills among the rescuers of the Red Crescent Society of the Islamic Republic of Iran to increase the effectiveness of pre-hospital training courses for rescuers across the country.
Methods: This study was conducted with a descriptive qualitative method in two months through targeted in-depth interviews with the personnel of aid and relief centers, staff, volunteers, and pre-hospital skills training instructors of the Red Crescent Society. The inclusion criteria were having a bachelor’s degree or above and at least seven years of work experience (including teaching and responding to operations), as well as willingness to participate in the study. To determine the gaps in pre-hospital knowledge and skills in the Red Crescent society, the interviews were conducted in a semi-structured manner. A total of 31 interviews were conducted, which were written verbatim, and the codes were extracted manually. Finally, thematic analysis was used to analyze the data.
Results: After analyzing the text of the interviews, 98 codes were extracted, which after removing duplicate codes and reanalyzing, were divided into two categories of knowledge and skills, each of which had 10 subcategories.
Conclusion: It seems that the pre-hospital theoretical and skill training courses of the Red Crescent Society failed to fill the knowledge and skill gaps identified in this research in terms of content and skills. Therefore, these courses can be revised based on the findings of this study. It is also necessary to identify the weight of each of the themes and investigate their impact on the efficiency of rescuers’ performance through a supplementary quantitative study, which we suggest as a topic for future research.
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