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Emergency Preparedness and Health Policy

Emergency Preparedness and Health Policy

How your work environment prepares and responds to emergency preparedness

Both natural and man-made disasters result in chaotic, scary, and tragic events. Natural disasters are the worst because nothing can be done to prevent or control them on most occasions. The country has more than four million people who either reside or are admitted to nursing facilities and nursing homes (Blake et al., 2018). When natural disasters such as hurricanes occur, patients must be evacuated to safer grounds. The disruptions brought along by the disasters can cause more harm, making the situation critical. Nonetheless, with a robust disaster preparedness and response plan, healthcare facilities and nurses, in general, will be prepared for the disasters individually and professionally.

At my workplace, one of the major developments that the facility’s management has been focusing on is increasing awareness and education among the nursing staff. The management has been offering educational opportunities for the nursing staff and encouraging us to go for further studies in disaster management to become prepared to cope and support communities to recover from disasters of any kind better, faster, and stronger. Increasing disaster preparedness education at the facility has been quite helpful because a majority of the nursing staff have become aware and informed about common natural disasters, mainly hurricanes, including the first steps to take when one of the disasters hits. Other than increasing our preparedness and response to disasters professionally, the educational programs offered by the facility also focus on training nurses on how to remain mentally stable when disasters become overwhelming. Through education, I have learned the need to stay strong because it reassures patients and the affected individuals that everything will be okay.

How do you see health policy impacting nursing practice in preparing for emergencies?

Health policy and reforms can play a critical role in improving the preparedness and response to disasters in nursing practice. The development of health policy on disaster preparedness and management in various states has seen the establishment of guidelines, or a vision for the future, on combatting various disasters. A health policy is integral because it establishes roles and expectations for different stakeholders, from administrators to nurses, ensuring that each stakeholder understands their role when disasters emerge. Policies such as the American Nurses Association disaster preparedness highlight the key roles of healthcare facilities management and nurses in preparing for key disasters such as pandemics, epidemics, and other man-made and natural disasters (American Nurses Association, 2021). Public health systems in the country not only focus on facilities and nurses but also on the communities. Public health agencies have been keen on preparing communities to respond and recover from emergencies and disasters through active training and information awareness. Nationally, the public health emergency preparedness cooperative agreement program has been useful in providing key information about the significance of communities coming together to fight disasters. Thus, I believe that health policy has a great influence on shaping nursing practice when it comes to preparing for emergencies and disasters.

References

American Nurses Association. (2021). Disaster Preparedness. Retrieved from www.nursingworld.org: https://www.nursingworld.org/practice-policy/work- environment/health-safety/disaster-preparedness/

Blake, S. C., Hawley, J. N., Henkel, A. G., & Howard, D. H. (2018). Implementation of Florida Long Term Care Emergency Preparedness Portal Web Site, 2015–2017.

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Question 


How does your work environment prepare and respond to emergency preparedness (you may choose natural or man-made emergencies)?

Emergency Preparedness and Health Policy

Emergency Preparedness and Health Policy

How do you see health policy impacting nursing practice in preparing for emergencies?

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