Disaster preparedness for nurses: a teaching guide
Mother nature can strike at any time and cause a disaster which calls for the assistance of nurses to help patients cope thereafter. The worst thing about such occurrences is that they hardly can be foretold hence catching everyone by surprise. This means that people are unable to protect themselves from them which may at times be fatal. For instance, tsunamis are known to not only be disastrous but fatal as well. The evaluation of damage caused after such natural disasters is saddening.
In instances whereby people are injured and lives lost, people need all the support they could get. This is sought from in hospitals which calls for nurses to step in and help alleviate this anguish from their patients and their families.
How Can Nurses Help After Natural Disasters?
Perform Community Education
In instances such as tsunamis, landslides, hail storms, earthquakes, nurses take it upon themselves to educate the public on how to protect themselves. This starts from their patients and their families to beyond. This is done so as to prevent fatality and injuries to the locals. In this case, people are advised on the does and don’ts of the calamity in question. For instance, climbing to the top floors on buildings in case of floods, staying off the streets in case of a tsunami, staying indoors when there’s hail or snowstorm.
Serve as Disaster Responders
When natural disasters occur, not all victims are able to get to health centers. This is because in most cases, roads are closed and people even lose their means of transportation. Therefore, nurses take it upon themselves to drive out and help people wherever they are. In some instances, victims find themselves trapped in buildings hence unable to get to health centers. This way, nurses get to them in time to offer first aid before taking them to the hospital for more treatment.
Mental Health of Victims
Natural disasters are highly traumatizing regardless of how often they occur. The danger and stress that come with such are immeasurable. This is brought about by the loss of lives of loved ones as well as the loss of property. Nurses experience firsthand how devastated their patients are and grab any given opportunity to offer to counsel and condole with them hence making them feel better. These traumatic experiences if not handled well can cause depression and even more severe mental issues.
In some cases, the mental damage not only occurs to victims but to responders as well. This is because not everyone is equipped or trained to be one. When disasters occur, community members join hands to aid in rescues and offer any type of help required. In this case, they encounter different situations and injured persons which may traumatize them. Nurses step in to offer guidance in order to ensure that they are of sound mind after the experience.
Offer First Aid and Medication
When Natural disasters occur, hospitals and medical centers are usually swamped. Nurses step in and offer first aid and give medication to patients before they are attended by doctors. This goes a long way in saving lives and offering relief to injured persons.
A lot of unity is called for in instances when a disaster occurs. Nurses helping patients cope with natural disasters goes a long way in ensuring that members of the public remain safe, in good health, and well cared for psychologically to ease the impact. At times, nurses from other areas volunteer to outsource their services and expertise to affected areas which comes as a great relief. Collectively, they make the impact of natural disasters less traumatizing and significantly help to keep the fatality rate low.