Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Disaster Medical Assistance Teams (DMATs): A Case Study of Disaster Response
by Volpi, Nicole M., Ph.D., Capella University, 2019, 162; 27666191
Abstract (Summary)

Disaster Medical Assistance Teams (DMATs) are an integral part of providing immediate medical aid to communities impacted by major disasters such as hurricanes, floods, and tornados. This study sought to understand U.S. DMAT team members’ experiences in providing primary and acute patient care when responding to a catastrophic disaster when the local healthcare infrastructure was interrupted by a natural or manmade disaster. Providing disaster medical response to a community impacted by a major natural disaster is challenging. A gap exists in the current literature regarding team members’ experiences in responding to catastrophic disasters where medical aid is provided to the community. The qualitative research questions asked how team members operate during a response in a disaster location, as well as what the team members’ experiences are in responding to disasters. The framework of emergency management (EM) network theory and the observe, orient, decide, act (OODA) loop theory were applied to understand the network of professionals and the decisions made in response to a catastrophic event. Participants included 11 experienced team members from various U.S. DMATs who have responded to a catastrophic disaster to provide medical aid. Participant transcripts were open-coded both manually and using Atlas.ti for accurate interpretation of the data collected. Content analysis of after-action reports was also included in the data analysis. It depends, accountability, and flexibility were consistent major themes during data analysis. Additional themes included leadership, education and training, teamwork, communications, logistics, equipment/supplies (cache), bureaucracy, funding, safety, and mental health. Research findings indicated that DMAT team members are very knowledgeable in clinical, administrative, supportive, and emergency management responsibilities when responding to disasters, resulting in efficient and expeditious medical treatment.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Cohen, Harold
Commitee: Conis, Pete, Larson, Dean
School: Capella University
Department: School of Public Service Leadership
School Location: United States -- Minnesota
Source: DAI-A 81/7(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Health care management, Medical personnel, Medicine
Keywords: Disaster medical assistance teams or DMATs, Disaster medical response, Disaster(s), Emergency management network, Emergency management system
Publication Number: 27666191
ISBN: 9781392514665
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