There is a significant lack of education and training in the medical field when it comes to education and training about child abuse or neglect (CA/N). There is no specific percentage requirement for continuing education units (CEUs) in the area of CA/N.1
After officials in Oregon spoke with local chapters of medical associations and other local sources, they found that medical professionals are generally trained in CA/N via the following methods2:
- Conferences held a few times a year that may or may not offer training in CA/N, and
- Organizations that medical professionals belong to do not actively promote training/continuing education in CA/N but are willing to post information/links about it on their websites.
Barriers to training and how to make it more effective are:
- Training may be unwanted by medical professionals who see CA/N as a topic they do not want to have a specialty in may be uncomfortable in interacting with children and families about the topic.
- Training may be more effective if presented in concert with, or solely by, a member of the community to whom the presentation is being made.
Markenson et.al (2007) surveyed emergency medical services personnel in the United States as to their knowledge and reporting of child abuse. Results showed that most respondents receive less than or equal to one hour of continuing education in the area of CA/N. Seventy-eight percent of respondents asked for more educational opportunities in the area, and 3% stated that they required no additional training.3
Specific areas of deficiency in CA/N knowledge were reported by respondents to be: identification of child maltreatment, interviewing techniques, and appropriate education.
3 Markenson, D., Tunik, M., Cooper, A.Olson, L., Cook, L., Mtza-Haughton, H., Treiber, M., Brown, W., Dickenson, P., & Foltin, G. (2007). A national assessment of knowledge, attitudes, and confidence of pre-hospital providers in the assessment and management of child maltreatment. Pediatrics, 117, 2215-2221.