The Importance Of A Nurse 's Role On Disaster Preparedness And Response

1572 Words Jun 26th, 2015 7 Pages
Nurses are the largest group of healthcare professionals making up to 80% of the health care workforce (Wilson, Whitaker, & Whitford, 2012). Because of their unique position and sheer numbers, they are often on the front lines of disaster response and are well placed to aid in disaster planning. According to Merriam-Webster.com, a disaster is defined as unexpected event (such as a flood, tornado, fire, disease outbreak, plane crash, etc.) that happens abruptly and causes much suffering or loss to many people (2015). It is in this type situation, where the needs of the group being cared for are greater than their resources, when the skills, creativity and critical thinking of nurses are of extreme value. In this paper we will explore the different aspects and importance of a nurse’s role in disaster preparedness and response.
Nurses work in a variety of different setting (acute care, school nurse, public health nurse, home health nurse, etc.). Whatever setting they come from they should know their institution’s disaster plan. During a mass causality incident (MCI) a nurse might be caring for a large number of patients arriving at a rapid pace and without being prepared, patient care will suffer. Part of the disaster plan should be clear chain of command where there is usually a single predesignated person who takes charge to organize the department. One system by which to do this is the Hospital Incident Command System (HICS) (Cherry, 2014). HICS facilitates the response to…

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