Mass Dispensing Sites: A Primer for Volunteers


Course Overview


Course Quality Rating



Course Description

This course is provided by University of Minnesota - Centers for Public Heath Education & Outreach and will require a secondary login and/or registration.


This training is designed to provide an overview of the general operations of mass dispensing sites and serves as an orientation for individuals who may be asked to work in those sites during an emergency. It is intended to complement just in time training provided on site at the time of deployment. Volunteers including MRC and CERT members and others including public health staff may find this training beneficial. Your volunteer coordinator may request that you provide her/him with your completed volunteer assessment form and course certificate to be maintained as part of your training record. NOTE: This module originally launched in 2006.


Click the LAUNCH button below to start or be taken to the course.


Target Audience

None listed


Learning Objectives

Having completed this course, the learner will be able to:

  1. The important role that volunteers will play in a large public health emergency.

  2. Key issues that volunteers should understand in advance of an emergency and where additional information on these issues can be found.

  3. Why mass dispensing is a national priority for planning, training, and exercises.

  4. How the federal Strategic National Stockpile, or SNS, fits into overall public health emergency response.

  5. Challenges to operating mass dispensing sites.

  6. Basic site design and patient flow in a mass dispensing site.

  7. The types of positions that must be staffed for effective operation.

The command structure used to manage sites.


Council of Linkages Core Competencies for Public Health Professionals (COL)/COL Tier(s)

  1. 3.0 Plan for and Improve Practice

  2. 3.3 Participate in improving the organization's capacities (including, but not limited to programs, plans, policies, laws, and workforce training).


Professional/Disciplinary Competencies

ASPH Competencies

Health Policy and Management

  • Explain methods of ensuring community health safety and preparedness.


BT Cross-Cutting Competencies


  • Describe the chain of command in emergency response.

  • Identify limits to own knowledge, skill, and authority, and identify key system resources for referring matters that exceed these limits.


Council on Linkages Core Competencies

Domain #8: Leadership and System Thinking Skills

  • Identifies internal and external issues that may impact delivery of essential public health services (i.e., strategic planning).

  • Applies theory of organizational structures to professional practice.


Interdisciplinary/Cross-Cutting Competencies


  • Describe alternative strategies for collaboration and partnership among organizations focused on public health goals.

Program Planning

  • Describe the tasks necessary to assure that program implementation occurs as intended.



Online/ Self-study


Credit /CEU

None available



None listed



None listed


Course Publication Date

None listed