Essay Sample with a Response to Teaching on Bioterrorism and Disaster

Published: 2022-02-28
Essay Sample with a Response to Teaching on Bioterrorism and Disaster
Type of paper:  Essay
Categories:  Teaching Terrorism Disaster Community health
Pages: 4
Wordcount: 985 words
9 min read

This paper describes the teacher's experience and observations on community-based teaching on Bioterrorism and Disaster. The teaching was delivered at Winsor Nursing Home Cypress in a 30 minutes lesson that targeted young adults between the age of 30 and 40. The planning and delivery of the teaching were determined by two nursing diagnosis issues - lack of awareness, and ages of participants. To increase learning outcomes in the target population, the teacher sought to enhance student engagement in learning. Therefore, the teaching followed the constructivist learning model proposed by Vygotsky (1934). Moreover, teaching derived its goal from the Objective EH-24 of the Healthy People 2020 (HP2020). Thus, the purpose of the teaching was to make the community aware of the environmental health impacts of bioterrorism and disaster, and how they can be managed.

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It is important to increase community awareness of bioterrorism and disaster because, as statistics suggest, they are serious hazards to environmental health. Although there have been few significant incidences of bioterrorism in the recent past, they were common in the last century when nations used anthrax, cholera, and biological agents like plague-infested fleas and glanders to attack their enemies during war. In total, there were about 180 cases of bio-agent attacks from the year 1900 to 1999. Out of these, seven cases were confirmed to be related to bioterrorism and 56 were categorized as biocriminal (Jansen, Breeveld, Stijnis, & Grobusch, 2014).

Anthrax has been the most popular weapon with bioterrorists. In 1979, about 66 people died of anthrax released accidentally from a USSR biological weapons facility. In the same incident, the disease also affected livestock over a radius of 100 kilometers (Madad, 2015). More recently, anthrax spores packaged in letters were used in America to attack media practitioners, journalists and politicians in 2001. Five of the victims died and 22 others were seriously affected. Many others had to use antibiotics for a long period to treat contamination (Jansen, et al., 2014). A recent study proved that 300 pounds of anthrax spores released into the air in a busy city can kill more people than 1-megaton hydrogen bomb. The study also suggested that for every a million anthrax infections, the economic impact can range from $5 billion to $250 billion (Grundmann, 2014). Racin is the second most commonly used bioterrorism agent after anthrax. Racin was used in more than 25 bioterrorist attacks between 1990 and 2011 (Jansen, et al., 2014). Racin is very poisonous and there is no known antidote that can effectively control its effects on human body.

Overall, the teacher had a great teaching experience. The cognitive outcome, behavior and attitude of the learners showed that the teacher successfully engaged them in the learning process as recommended in Vygotsky's constructivism theory. The students demonstrated readiness to learn through positive behavior such as arriving for the teaching session in time and staying attentive to the end. Besides, they carried and used their writing materials during the teaching. They also asked questions and responded to their peers' concerns. Moreover, most of the students captured the essence of the lesson in their reflection assignment, signifying positive cognitive outcome. Also, the learners' positive attitude could be seen in their willingness to take part in learning demonstrations. At the end of the class, the teacher asked questions to measure each of the four objectives of the lesson. The participants gave relevant responses to the questions, showing that the teaching met its goal.

Subsequently, the community responded positively to the teaching by making resolutions regarding bioterrorism and disaster management. In their reflection journals, the participants included interventions that they had resolved to take towards meeting the objective EH-24 of HP2020. The suggestions included overcoming contamination and recontamination of water by solar disinfection, filtration, flocculation, chlorination, and boiling at home to prevent diarrhea. The participants also said they would be washing their hands with soap to prevent infection. Besides, the community members resolved to get vaccinations for airborne diseases.

Nonetheless, there were two major barriers that threatened to undermine the delivery and outcome of the community-based teaching. The first barrier that the teacher noticed in the target aggregate was a negative attitude towards the subject. The barrier was demonstrated by physical disengagement of three of the participants at the start of the lesson. The teacher overcame this barrier by providing the epidemiological rationale of the teaching using pictures and simplified statistics. The second barrier was social and age differences among the participants. To overcome this barrier, the teacher developed creative learning approaches that made sense and appealed to adults of all classes and ages.

Lastly, the evaluation of the teaching experience revealed the teacher's areas of strength and areas that need improvement. The teacher's strength was in student involvement in learning as well as his creativity in illustrating learning concepts. The area that needed improvement is the teacher's method of evaluating the objectives of the teaching. The teacher needs to develop other strategies apart from asking questions.

In conclusion, the teacher's experience and the student's reaction in this teaching show that the learning was successful. The topic was important for the community because bioterrorism involves the use of agents like anthrax and racin, which have been proven to be dangerous to environmental health. Following the teaching, the community resolved to take interventions that would help improve environmental health. In future, the teacher should come up with other strategies for evaluating learning outcome besides questions.


Grundmann, O. (2014). The current state of bioterrorist attack surveillance and preparedness in the US. Risk Management and Healthcare Policy, 177. Retrieved from

Jansen, H., Breeveld, F., Stijnis, C., & Grobusch, M. (2014). Biological warfare, bioterrorism, and biocrime. Clinical Microbiology and Infection, 20(6), 488-496. Retrieved from

Madad, S. S. (2015). Bioterrorism: An Emerging Global Health Threat. Journal of Bioterrorism & Biodefense, 05(01). Retrieved from

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