Nursing Education For Disaster Management Preparation

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Role Nursing Faculty For Disaster Management Training

Nursing Education For Disaster Management Preparation

Whats Is Disaster preparation,Responsibility of Nursing Faculty for Disaster Preparation,How Nursing Faculty Useful For Disaster Management Training,Impact of Disaster Management Training.

Whats Is Disaster preparation

    Disaster preparation is a process that involves developing plans to protect one self and family before, during, and after a natural or man made disaster. A disaster is defined as any situation that overwhelms the resources available to protect those affected. Examples of natural disasters include floods, fires, hurricanes, winter storms, tsunamis, mudslides, and volcanoes. Examples of man made disasters include chemical spills from overturned vehicles or trains, plane crashes, or terrorist attacks.

Responsibility of Nursing Faculty for Disaster Preparation

    Nursing faculty prepare students to practice in a wide variety of settings, including health care facilities and in the community. Preparation includes theoretical and clinical content, designed to create competent, confident nurses prepared to function in diverse situations. It is imperative that nurse educators prepare students at all levels to prepare for and respond to disasters. Education should focus on the five phases of the disaster preparation cycle: preparedness, mitigation, response, recovery, and evaluation (Goodwin Veenema , 2013). 

    Disaster preparedness begins prior to a disaster. Plans should include steps to take before, during, and after a disaster, and include protecting people and property.Prior to a disaster, the plan should include creating a plan specific to the individual and family circumstances. plus creating a disaster go-bag of irreplaceable, daily use items.Preparation should consider two different circumstances: evacuating the location or sheltering in place. 

    If a disaster such as an approaching hurricane makes it unsafe to stay in the current location, such as home, work, or school, plans should include identifying alternative evacuation routes in case the main route is impassable, keeping at least a half tank of fuel in the vehicle at all times, and having emergency supplies in the vehicle in case shelter is not accessible during the evacuation. Some disasters require sheltering in place, meaning that the area outside is too hazardous to allow immediate evacuation and should include water and other emergency supplies for survival until evacuation becomes safe.

     Nurses may be working or called in to work as a result of the disaster, so having a plan and supplies in place will provide more peace of mind about family and pets, allowing the nurse to concentrate more on patient care. It is also important to know the disaster plans at work, including evacuation and sheltering in place. Agencies, including health care facilities, which receive federal funding for disaster preparedness, are required by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA, 2008) to be compliant with the National Incident Management System (NIMS). 

    Any employee who plays an active role in disaster response should complete several of the NIMS courses in order to understand the role of all agencies involved in disaster response. Minimum courses include IS-100, 15-200, IS-700, and IS-800.The next step in disaster preparedness is mitigation, defined by the FEMA as an effort to reduce the loss of life and property from natural and/or man made disasters by avoiding or lessening the impact of a disaster and providing value to the public by creating safer communities. 

    Examples of community mitigation include building levees in flood-prone areas, building tornado shelters, or establishing stricter codes to reinforce buildings in earthquake or hurricane prone regions. Health care facilities can practice mitigation by securing shelves to prevent loss of supplies during earthquakes, identifying vendors for critical supplies from more than one area in case supply routes are disrupted, and backing up all critical files every day in an offsite location in case records are lost.

    The next stage of disaster preparedness is response. This stage involves notification and communication to those actually or potentially affected by a disaster, including sirens or emergency broadcasts. Smartphone applications allow individuals to receive emergency notifications and instructions. Agencies such as the American Red Cross (ARC) or FEMA may establish shelters or service centers, or temporary health care facilities if a hospital has been destroyed in the disaster zone. 

    If the disaster involves a chemical attack or hazardous material spill, decontamination stations may be established. Individuals with functional or access needs, including serious health conditions, will need additional response efforts targeted to their needs, such as oxygen, and replacement of medications or durable medical equipment. Individuals with developmental or mental health needs will need ongoing support, as well as additional services to help them cope with the effects of the disaster.

    The recovery stage of disaster preparedness may take weeks to years, but is one of the most important stages in reestablishing communities after a disaster. It involves actions to help restore a community to a pre disaster level. The community may never return to an identical pre-disaster state, but sufficient outreach by the government, charitable organizations, and volunteers from other communities will help the affected community to become resilient and at least meet the basic needs of its members.

    The final stage is evaluation, which involves a detailed, multi agency review of all the stages of disaster preparedness to determine their effectiveness. Ideally, evaluation should be accomplished during periodic drills of disaster plans involving all community organizations described in the plan. Waiting until an actual disaster may be too late to determine major flaws in the steps of disaster preparedness

How Nursing Faculty Useful For Disaster Management Training

    Nursing faculty has free, immediate access to educational materials that can be used for in class lectures or self-study by students. FEMA and the ARC provide several resources to guide professionals in the phases of disaster education. FEMA provides free online training about the NIMS, described previously The ARC provides printed and online materials designed for individuals, families, and organizations to assist them in preparing for disasters. 

    For nurses who volunteer with the ARC, free educational modules (Ready RN) were donated by Goodwin Veenema (2013), an international nurse expert in disaster preparedness. The US Government provides similar resources for individual, family, and community preparedness. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention provide information about potential biological, chemical, and nuclear/radiological hazards.A task force of ARC volunteer nurses created a free course for pre-licensure nursing students to prepare to serve as Red Cross volunteers under registered nurse (RN) supervision in Red Cross disaster shelters. 

    Educators may consider adding this course to their Community Health Nursing or Leadership and Management course. Sigma Theta Tau International offers an inexpensive online continuing nursing education (CNE) course to prepare staff nurses and others for disasters.

Impact of Disaster Management Training 

    As citizens and health care professionals, nurses should set an example for their communities by demonstrating personal, family, and professional preparedness. This includes the steps described in the preparedness stages related to the self and family. Once those resources are in place, nurses need to collaborate with their colleagues in their health care agencies to create and implement disaster preparedness plans. Nurse educators serve as a pivotal force in preparing current and future nurses to participate fully in the disaster preparedness cycle.

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