recommended reading

CDC Wants Trainees to 'Temporarily Forget' Exercises Aren't Real

Denis Poroy/AP file photo

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention deploys staff members to some of the most stressful and dangerous environments on earth and the agency wants to make sure they have the emotional wherewithal to handle that pressure.

In 2009, the CDC began using virtual reality environments that mimicked the sights, sounds and, yes, smells of a real disease outbreak to train members of its “deployment safety and resiliency teams” -- non-clinicians who manage CDC field teams’ safety, stress management, and “psychological first aid.”

In an early simulation, team members visited a disease-stricken African village where “family members of dying patients wailed in the background and body bags were stacked outside the field medical center,” according to a CDC blog post.

Now the agency is in the market for up to four new virtual reality simulations for trainees, according to contracting documents posted Tuesday.

The new virtual reality training modules must integrate seamlessly with the existing ones and accommodate up to 27 trainees at a time, the solicitation said. Each 45-minute training module must incorporate two- to three-dozen different specific sights, sounds and smells that correspond to the specific environment CDC wants to simulate, the solicitation said.

More than 150 trainees have gone through the existing virtual reality modules so far, which CDC described as “the equivalent of an emotional vaccination to help participants build up mental and emotional resistance against stressors they may eventually experience for real during a deployment.”

During the simulation, trainees are periodically asked questions via iPod Touches.

“The quality must be good enough that trainees may temporarily forget it’s simulated,” CDC said.

Threatwatch Alert

Thousands of cyber attacks occur each day

See the latest threats

JOIN THE DISCUSSION

Close [ x ] More from Nextgov
 
 

Thank you for subscribing to newsletters from Nextgov.com.
We think these reports might interest you:

  • Modernizing IT for Mission Success

    Surveying Federal and Defense Leaders on Priorities and Challenges at the Tactical Edge

    Download
  • Communicating Innovation in Federal Government

    Federal Government spending on ‘obsolete technology’ continues to increase. Supporting the twin pillars of improved digital service delivery for citizens on the one hand, and the increasingly optimized and flexible working practices for federal employees on the other, are neither easy nor inexpensive tasks. This whitepaper explores how federal agencies can leverage the value of existing agency technology assets while offering IT leaders the ability to implement the kind of employee productivity, citizen service improvements and security demanded by federal oversight.

    Download
  • Effective Ransomware Response

    This whitepaper provides an overview and understanding of ransomware and how to successfully combat it.

    Download
  • Forecasting Cloud's Future

    Conversations with Federal, State, and Local Technology Leaders on Cloud-Driven Digital Transformation

    Download
  • IT Transformation Trends: Flash Storage as a Strategic IT Asset

    MIT Technology Review: Flash Storage As a Strategic IT Asset For the first time in decades, IT leaders now consider all-flash storage as a strategic IT asset. IT has become a new operating model that enables self-service with high performance, density and resiliency. It also offers the self-service agility of the public cloud combined with the security, performance, and cost-effectiveness of a private cloud. Download this MIT Technology Review paper to learn more about how all-flash storage is transforming the data center.

    Download

When you download a report, your information may be shared with the underwriters of that document.