Disaster Response Preparedness Community Nursing

They can be predicted, or unforeseen, large-scale or local, extreme or limited. In the following paper, I will be discussing the importance bioterrorism and the importance of incorporating bioterrorism knowledge among nurses and nursing students. Many of us think that this is not going to happen to us, or it is not going to happen yet. Therefore, many people are not properly prepared for a disaster. We, as nurses, play an important role, not only in educating and preparing people, but also in responding when a disaster strikes.

A nurses experience and skills are useful and definitely very needed in times of emergencies “Since September 11, 2001, the United States has recognized that the threat of terrorism is real and that the possibility of bioterrorism is a real treat. Nurses are recognized by the American Association of Colleges of Nursing as key players in disaster response efforts”. (Carter, Gaskins) In the article Incorporating Bioterrorism in nursing Curriculum: A creative Approach areas of appropriate areas of needed education for nurses are identified.

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These areas of education that address the nurses role and preparedness in the event of bioterrorism include stockpiles, which is a place where a very large amounts of antibiotics, antitoxins, life support medications, and other medical supplies are stock piled in an area and biological categories A, B, C. A agents are considered to be of the highest concern B second and C including pandemic influenza. A patient simulation is used to asses and develops critical technical skills as well as critical thinking skills that might be needed in the event that such a disaster took place.

The simulation focused on first being able to identify the signs and symptoms, doing a baseline assessment patient history and implementing proper safety and isolation precautions. In the second stage of the simulation possible respiratory changes are addressed including assessment and treatment with oxygen. Stage three focused on participants being able to identify improvement in the patient followed by the disaster debriefing period. Nurses are recognized by the American Association of Colleges of Nursing as key players in disaster response efforts.

However, bioterrorism knowledge among nurses and nursing students has been reported to be low, and textbooks do not include comprehensive information about bioterrorism preparedness. Our college of nursing has collaborated with the U. S. Public Health Department to design a creative educational experience for community health students on bioterrorism and disaster preparedness. Content areas include the National Stockpile, the Planned Response to Pandemic Influenza provided by the U. S.

Public Health Department, recognition and treatment of biological threats, and the care of patients with smallpox Registered nurses are considered essential responders, and will be there when called upon. It is undeniable that being properly prepared and ready for any type of emergencies, could make a big and importance difference not only individually but also in our communities. In order to address the effectiveness and preparedness of nurses it is essential to devises education processes. However, this simulation experience provided students with an opportunity to recognize signs and symptoms of exposure, practice skills, increase confidence, improve communication, develop critical thinking skills in a safe environment, and potentially enhance personal and public health”. (Carter, Gaskins) Referances: Carter, MR, and SW Gaskins. 2010. “Incorporating bioterrorism content in the nursing curriculum: a creative approach. ” Journal Of Nursing Education 49, no. 7: 406-409. CINAHL Plus with Full Text, EBSCOhost (accessed February 3, 2013).

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