Central Intelligence Agencies are capable of making predictions about terrorist attacks in communities. However, accuracy of predictions is always the greatest challenge. The same is true of weather reports that foretell earth quakes, tornadoes, flooding, hurricanes, fires, and the list can become expansive. This is why emergency response management is so essential in disaster preparedness for communities. Therefore, the community health nurse must be equipped with appropriate skills for efficient collaboration with chain of command, understanding communication protocol, knowledgeable concerning available resources for intervening with distressed families and a confused public.
A. Role of Public Health personnel during disaster
In Franklin County there are specific guidelines for Public Health officials’ response to disaster. The team work concept guides every action. Therefore, collaborative effort is the key to success. Primarily, the role mainly is to assume that as a member of the health care profession the public health nurse must link expertise with several other members on a team to ensure safety of the community in a disaster.
Consequently, the public health nurse’s responsibility is to identify impending danger and thereby applying risk communication through assessment, intervention, implementation and evaluation techniques. Correlation skills must be demonstrated in that the Public Health Incident Command System operable within the county leads the disaster intervention plan. Finally everyone on the team must be capable of articulating personal expertise to be integrated into a system of learning for another disaster (Franklyn County Emergency Management, 2006)
Usually, society depends on the public health system for rescue in a time of natural or man-made disaster. There some degree of solace in knowing that help is on the way when faced with extreme challenging situations. Here is when functions of public health officials become pertinent to survival of their community. The community ought to be assured that there is dependable public health intervention in the capacity of community health nurses and public health officers executing their duties efficiently.
B. Description of Chain of Command in simulation by Community Health Nurse
A national chain of command in simulation exists .Community Health nurses are responsible for effective execution of this line of authority. Importantly, individual counties modify these links while adapting the principles for their individual locations and social structure.
In the diagrammatic description below a general chain of command in simulation by any community health Nurse is outlined. The Incident commander usually heads the team. In many counties it is the Health Officer or someone designated to function within that role (Green, 2002)
Public Information, Safety and Liaison officers follow the descending order of command linking four uniquely equally designated chains of command. Operations; planning and intelligence; logistics and Financial administration are the articulated blends on at the bottom of the chain (Green, 2002)
When considering Franklyn county’s chain of command simulation operations for applied by the community health nurse it can be observed that he/she executes decisions from County Public Health Director’s level through a Senior Public Health Nurse; Environmental Specialists and other Public Health Professionals such as Paramedics, Fire fighters and Social Environmentalists.
Numerous resources are available to the community health nurse functioning within specific geographic locations. They assist the nurse in addressing disaster issues. Precisely, these resources assume is a community health nursing networking approach. Information is transmitted to nurses at different locations at specific times during a day. Public health clinics are a major part of this networking system. They provide medical supplies for injuries such as cuts, fractures, burns; fainting and unconsciousness among other critical emergencies.
Also, ambulance services; paramedics and support systems such as law enforcement and fire fighters add to the gamut of resources which are built into the network of disaster preparedness. Funding through the Health Resources and Service Administration in 2003 made available Bioterrorism Training and Development Curriculum Program. These interventions help Community health nurse function more efficiently regarding how to recognize, assess and utilize resources in the community (Kuntz et. al, 2008).
D. Actions of Community Health Nurse-Door to Door Interviews
It is the responsibility of community health nurses to maintain confidentiality at all times. The reporting protocol for informing the chain command about unusual incidences must be upheld. Door to door interviews must be conducted with a very high degree of professionalism. The motive of this experience is to reassure members of the community that they are safe by affirming the purpose for visiting which is to offer assistance during the crucial recovery period. A needs assessment should be conducted, then planning and implementation instituted.
E. Coping with Aftermath
The aftermath of a disaster is always very distressing to the community, especially, if lives have been lost. Therefore, strategic intervention by community health nurses is vital to stability of distressed residents. It includes reassurance that if help is not there already it will soon be arriving. Widespread education ought to be implemented for residents to be aware of safe practice such as to void drinking contaminated water and mingling with contaminated food / substances.
Food and shelter are low levels needs which are essential for human survival under any circumstances. As such, reassurance regarding food, clothing and accommodation should become an essential aspect of the reassurance strategy. Other important issues is safety from power lines and further injury must be considered. Therefore, collaboration with service organizations such as the Red Cross would be helpful in coping.
E 1. Description of techniques used to calm fears
Community nurses have been trained to communicate positive vibrations through body language, tone of voice and expression of empathy. These are very useful techniques the community health nurse can apply while attempting to align residents with their religious conviction that a divine presence is available as well. It is important to let them feel validated and their concerns of pain, remorse or whatever feelings are surfacing that it is quite alright to express them through confrontation. The community nurse can then be a valuable listening resource in allowing outpouring of feelings.
Events with similar catastrophic consequences such as Katrina, 9/11 and Andrew should provide data that can be utilized in subsequent tragedies to reduce fatality. Also, this data ought to be available to nursing educators and policy makers to include in and update their curriculum for future nursing educational programs. Nurses will then be equipped with current information to intervene effectively in a disaster.
The Katrina Research Center established by the University Of South Eastern Mississippi Gulf Coast has already designed five pertinent pieces of data retrieving mechanisms that could inform future eventualities. They include a repository/historical collection; exhibit center; digital information clearinghouse; research and education concerning post-disaster recovery and enhancement of quality of life. These can be very useful in preparing the twenty first century community nurse for disaster intervention (Katrina Research Center, 2012).
Franklyn County Emergency Management (2006). Franklyn County Basic EDP.
Green Walter (2002). The Incidence Command System for Public Health Disaster Responders. Richmond Virginia. University of Richmond.
Katrina Research Center (2012). Hurricaine. The University of Southeastern Gulf Coast.
Kuntz Sandra, Frable Pamela, Qureshi Kristine, Strong Linda (2008).Disaster Preparedness White Paper for Community/ Health Nursing Educators. Task Force. Association of Community Health Nursing Educators.