Influential Agencies and Stakeholders in the Plan
The key players in the disaster plan would be nurses, public health professionals, emergency managers, medical personnel volunteers, firefighters personnel, the police, ambulatory agencies, emergency responders such as the Federal Emergency Management Association, American Red Cross, critical care specialists, emergency physicians, World Food Programme, Office of Homeland Security, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Nuclear Regulatory Commission, and Environmental Protection agencies.
Roles of Nurses
Nurses have unique roles during a disaster cycle. They take part in evacuation efforts, carry out screening activities, conduct rapid assessments to identify priority needs, disease surveillance, vaccinations, epidemiological investigations, and perform triage (Rivera-Rodriguez, 2017). Although during disasters, nurses often lack clearly identified roles, they assist where they are needed. Their primary function is to meet the patients’s immediate needs. During disaster planning, nurses can take up parts such as threat detection, triage, direct patient care, responding to emergencies, and elimination of injuries (Rivera-Rodriguez, 2017). During actual disasters, they basically take up roles where the need is, such as rapid assessment to identify needs, emergency response, providing vaccinations, screening activities, and evacuating patients, among others.
How to ensure Nurses understand their Roles in a Disaster Plan
Since disasters may be unpredictable, nurses have to understand their roles in disaster preparedness during their training and education, especially their roles in responding to emergencies and disasters (Rivera-Rodriguez, 2017). This means that nurses have to be very adaptable, given that disasters and emergencies may not be happening every day. To achieve this, nurses need to be given new responsibilities, new roles, and cross-trainings that are not of their ordinary activities (Wisniewski, Dennik-Chapman & Peltier, 2004). The training may include triage, decontamination procedures, doffing and donning PPE, as well as educating personnel to comprehend their roles in the phase of an emergency (Wagner, 2018). Understanding roles and responsibilities takes consistency. Therefore, the nurse leader has to ensure regular training in different contexts and circumstances to encourage adaptability to situations and knowledge of functions in various phases of a disaster cycle.
Rivera-Rodriguez, E. (2017). Role of the nurse during disaster preparedness: A systematic literature review and application to public health nurses (Doctoral dissertation, Walden University).
Wagner, J. (2018). Leadership and influencing change in nursing. University of Regina Press.
Wisniewski, R., Dennik-Chapman, G., & Peltier, J. W. (2004). Emergency preparedness competencies, assessing nurses” educational needs. JONA, 34(10), 475-480, .doi.org/10.1097/00005110-200410000-00009
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You are a nurse manager in charge of developing a disaster plan for your unit. As the manager, you will need to include the influential agencies, stakeholders, and the roles of the nurses in disasters.
Identify the influential agencies and stakeholders you would include in your plan. Describe the roles of the nurses in disaster planning and actual disasters. How would you ensure the nurses on the unit understand their roles in the disaster plan?
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