POINT OF DISPENSING (POD)
A POD, or Point Of Dispensing, is a temporary location where people can go to get emergency medications or a vaccination during a health emergency. PODs are organized and operated by local health departments and emergency preparedness professionals. The help of many volunteers will be necessary to operate a POD during an emergency.
You do not need to have medical experience to volunteer at a POD. All types of people are needed to help! The Training Modules below will help prepare you to work in a POD.
WHAT KINDS OF TRAINING DO I NEED?
There are four basic training modules to prepare you to work in a POD. You do not need to complete all four modules to volunteer, but the more trained and prepared you are, the more helpful and effective you will be in a POD. Management and leadership level positions, however, will require more training. For instance, POD Leaders and Managers need to be pre-trained before being able to oversee POD operations.
Point of Dispensing (POD) Training Modules- Learn how a Point of Dispensing, or POD, is managed, staffed and organized in the Bay Area with the four training modules below.
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- MODULE 1 – INTRODUCTION
What is the purpose of a POD? Why would one be opened in the Bay Area? Who works at a POD? How does POD staff communicate with each other, and how are they managed? Module 1 will teach you the basics of POD operations and help you understand their purpose, how they are set up, organized and managed.
- MODULE 2 – LEADERSHIP STAFF
In a public health emergency, medications will have to be dispensed as quickly and safely as possible. Many people will need to work together in order to accomplish this task. Key management staff is necessary to direct staff and operate a POD. Module 2 focuses on skills needed to manage staff working in the POD.
- MODULE 3 – POD MANAGERS
A POD must function efficiently. This means that different functional areas of the POD must work together. The POD Manager is responsible for coordinating all of these areas and their staff. Module 3 provides guidance and describes the skills that are necessary to be a POD Manager, and successfully operate and manage any Bay Area POD.
- MODULE 4 – Bay Area Screening Algorithm
As a potential POD volunteer, do you know what kind of medicine is necessary to prevent infection if there is an anthrax attack? Do children get the same dose as an adult? Is it safe for a pregnant woman to take medication to prevent anthrax? How do you know if someone may have an allergic reaction to a type of medication? Module 4 reviews what common information is needed before working in a POD and providing emergency medication and how that information is gathered at a Bay Area POD so that the correct medication can be dispensed quickly and safely.
POD Training Videos – Learn about POD staff positions in more detail in these videos developed by the Alameda County Public Health Emergency Preparedness Unit.
WHO CAN BE TRAINED?
Anyone 18 years and older can volunteer and be trained! Thousands of medical and non-medical volunteers from all types of backgrounds will be needed to help during a disaster and are encouraged to use the training modules.
WHY SHOULD I USE THESE TRAINING MODULES?
These modules provide an introduction to PODs. In a public health disaster such as an anthrax attack, PODs will be needed at once in man Bay Area cities and counties. Reviewing the basic information contained in these training modules can prepare you to work in any POD throughout the Bay Area.
WHEN SHOULD I GET TRAINED?
Now - Emergencies and disasters can happen anytime! The more volunteers that can be prepared and trained ahead of time, the quicker and safer our response can be.
ARE THERE ANY ADDITIONAL TRAINING OPPORTUNITIES?
Yes there are! Below are more training opportunities to help prepare you for an emergency.
- FEMA ICS 100 Training- This is the introductory course to learn about the basic features and principles of the Incident Command System (ICS), a management system designed to enable effective domestic emergency management. This will help you better understand how all Bay Area POD sites are organized and managed.
- FEMA ICS 200 Training- Learn how to operate efficiently during an emergency using the Incident Command System (ICS). Provides beneficial training for those who may want to assume a supervisory position in a Bay Area POD..
CAN I BECOME AN OFFICIAL VOLUNTEER IN MY COUNTY?
Yes! Register as an official medical or non-medical volunteer for your county on the Disaster Healthcare Volunteers of California website. You may be asked to help respond to an emergency in your county, the Bay Area, or anywhere in the State!