Epidemiology for Non-Epidemiologists

Epidemiology Books
Course No.
No Charge

3.75 Nursing Contact Hours; 4.0 CHES Category I CECH; Certificate of Completion

JoLynn P. Montgomery

JoLynn P. Montgomery, PhD, MPH

Dr. Montgomery is an assistant research scientist in the department of epidemiology.  She previously served as Director for the Michigan Center for Public Health Preparedness, where she trained state and local health department staff in epidemiology and disease surveillance. Dr. Montgomery is also the founder of the Public Health Action Support Team (PHAST). Formerly, she was with the Michigan Department of Community Health where she worked with HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis, rabies, West Nile virus, anthrax, and many other communicable diseases.

More about JoLynn P. Montgomery...

Course Details

Who Would Benefit From This Course

Public health professionals, registered nurses, and others who would like to gain a greater understanding of epidemiology.


At the end of this course you will be able to:

  • Establish data collection protocols that systematically monitor community health indicators
  • Demonstrate readiness to apply epidemiological skills to a range of emergency situations
  • Disseminate notifiable disease information, reporting requirements and procedures to healthcare provider
  • Apply and define algorithms that trigger further epidemiological investigation
  • Activate enhanced surveillance protocols to track the scope of an exposure or outbreak
  • Collect timely patient and health care utilization data on critical biological agents

Modules (Total Learning Time: Approx. 3.75 Hours)

Each module has instructional video and relevant activity. Modules are self-paced and it is not necessary to complete all of them during one session. You may stop and start again at any time. The quiz and evaluation are available to be completed when you have finished reviewing all course material.

  1. Defining Epidemiology and Interpreting Charts & Graphs
  2. Defining Disease: Measures of Disease Frequency: Calculating prevalence and incidence
  3. Measures of Risk: Attributable risk, relative risk and odds ratios; contingency tables using disease/exposure data
  4. Surveillance: Steps to conducting surveillance, surveillance systems, and case definitions
  5. Outbreak Investigations: Outbreak identification techniques and components of an investigation
  6. Study Design: Introduction to various study designs with an emphasis on case-control studies
  7. Standardization: Adjusting and interpreting data using standardization techniques

Notice Of Requirements For Successful Completion

Requirements include viewing all seven modules, successfully passing the post-quiz, and completing an online course evaluation.

Continuing Education Credit

Continuing education credit or a Certificate of Completion is available for those registered participants who successfully complete this course.

Nurses: 3.75 nursing contact hours.

The Office of Public Health Practice, University of Michigan School of Public Health is accredited as a provider of continuing nursing education by the American Nurses Credentialing Center’s Commission on Accreditation.
Nursing contact hours for this activity will expire on December, 31 2017.

Certified Health Education Specialists (CHES):

4.0 continuing health education contact hours (CECH) are provided by the Office of Public Health Practice at the University of Michigan School of Public Health, an approved provider of continuing education contact hours (CECH) in health education by the National Commission for Health Education Credentialing (NCHEC). CECH credit requires CHES number (4-5 digit number).

Disclosure Statements

Conflict of interest: The presenters and planning committee members have identified no relevant financial relationship with an entity with a commercial interest in the subject matter being presented.
Off-label use: This activity does not relate to any product use for a purpose other than that for which it was approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
Planning Committee: Angela Beck, MPH, CHES; Julie McCallum, MPH, RN; JoLynn P. Montgomery, PHD, MPH; Rosemarie Rowney, RN, MPH; Amy Sarigiannis, MPH.

Technical Notes

This course is can be viewed on the Kaltura tool.  For technical specifications of this tool, visit the following link, http://knowledge.kaltura.com/browsers-and-mobile-devices-tested-kaltura-players


This project was developed by the Michigan Center for Public Health Preparedness and supported by a Cooperative Agreement from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, number U90/CCU524243-03. The Michigan Public Health Training Center co-sponsored the course. 

A basic understanding of epidemiology is critical for public health emergency preparedness, outbreak investigations, and prompt decision-making in emergency situations. This online course is competency based and self-paced with instructional modules that explain key epidemiological methods. Activities are included that increase skills. No pre-requisites.