Being a manager of Emergency Department, I have set up various disaster management plans for this hospital. To begin with, staff training has been taken as a strategy to deal with any kind of disaster. The training has been established for both internal and external calamities. Through such training, all the staff is made aware of incidences that may be brought abut by either natural or man-made disasters. Natural disasters like tsunamis and earthquakes bring in more injuries and casualties and the staff is more informed on matters relating to such incidences. The reason that makes natural disasters to predict more casualties and injuries is because the people are not aware of their occurrence. For man-made disasters, the casualties and the threats to individuals are expected to be fewer than those brought about by the natural disasters. This is because, incidences like shooting prompt the people near the shooter either to seek for safer spots or to seek for ways of subduing the shooter.
The hospital also conducts bi-annual drills to prepare the staffs to be prepared enough for any kind of disaster.soso Some of the drills that are conducted include evacuation, first aid drills and other life-saving activities. The drills include teaching the staff on how to alter standards i n case of emergencies (American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons, 2010). Such standards include the disregard of some basic services like bed facilities and the use of any possible means that would make the victims comfortable. Through these drills, the hospital is in position to deal with any kind of disaster. The routine for dealing with disasters is set in a way that the more serious victims are attended to first a nd some of the hospital’s normal operations are held to facilitate the attention and quick operations on the victims. This forms part of the hospital’s internal responsibilities.
The medical staff as well as other supporting staffs is trained on how to differentiate a serious injury from a less severe one. This would then have to prompt for faster reaction to the serious crimes and in so doing, reduce chances of death. This is the area that requires staff to be appropriately trained to make such decisions on who is to be attended to first. The hospital is therefore set to respond in a timely manner to the disasters around the community.
The hospital has prepared some resources to enable the hospital staffs deal with disaster without major problems. Some of these resources are protective hazardous material suits, isolation rooms to deal with negative pressure. These facilities and resources enable the hospital to deal with different kinds of disasters at any one given time. For the case of the shooting, the isolation room provides for a better opportunity for psychological recovery of the traumatized victims. For example, a victim may have been slightly injured by a bullet but traumatized by the whole shooting incidence. Such a patient may respond poorly to treatment due to the trauma. In such a case, the patient would have to be isolated from the rest in order to reduce panic incidences among the rest of the patients
If the shooter was to access the emergency department, the hospital has got trained security officials who would ensure that the shooter does not endanger the lives of the people already in the hospital. This would be through using the relevant measures including force to disarm and subdue the shooter. The security guards have been authorized to alter some standards like undermining some rights of the shooter i lin the event of such a case and save more lives by trying to disarm the assailant. Proper handling of the shooter may be considered as a soft approach and the guards are well prepared to deal with any such incidence in the method they deem relevant. In addition, the hospital has a direct line with the nearby police station in case of such an emergency. For this reason, the patients would be safe even with the entrance of the assailant into the emergency room. The guards are included in the staffs training. Although their training is different from the rest of the staff, they are trained on how to handle and approach an armed assailant as well as how to subdue a violent but unarmed person. They are positioned at the main entrance to the hospital as well as in various patrol regions near the patient wards.
The hospital deals with both onsite and offsite disasters. When dealing with an offsite disaster, the hospital plays very important roles. To begin with, the hospital is involved with saving of the patients from the disaster site. This is done with the collaboration of the local police whom provide the hospital with evacuation facilities like the ambulance for ferrying the victims from the disaster site to the hospital. The hospital staffs then offer first aid to the victims in order to save the few who may be in danger.
Being the only hospital in the county, the hospital is responsible for all the casualties and life saving operations in case of disasters. This has led to an expansion of some internal facilities like operation theatres and counseling units. The operation
Theaters are ready to serve those victims with critical conditions. In addition, the hospital is responsible for all the psychological counseling and isolating of certain cases in case of an outbreak. The isolation and counseling activities enable the victims as well as their families to recover from any kind of shock after the occurrence of a disaster.
Emergency response unit
The hospital’s priorities are set in a way that differentiates the external and internal activities. To begin with, there are those issues dealing with community and internal preparedness. The hospital has to first embrace its internal affairs in order to comprehensively deal with all kinds of disasters (Haddow, Bullock, & Coppola, 2007). The response unit makes use of facilities like the ambulance and other life saving kits. In addition, the hospital has to have a link with the community in order to facilitate quicker responses to disaster. It’s therefore a responsibility of the emergency response unit to have clear cut strategies that would facilitate the hospital to fully deal with any kind of disaster. Having the victims receiving timely attention serves as one of the main responsibilities of the hospital’s emergency unit. In addition, it is also the responsibility of the emergency response unit to ensure that there are as many lives as possible which are saved from the victims brought into the hospital.
Some of the internal priorities are ensuring that there are enough facilities in the hospital to deal with the disaster victims. The external priorities include creating collaborations with the communities on matter related with disaster management. This is done through establishing community based educative forums that ensure that the communities around are prepared on some basic drills of dealing with disaster.
Impact on hospital
After the shooting, the hospital experienced some serious effects. Firstly, there was congestion in the out-patient since many people were brought in with minor and moderate injuries. By combining with the patients who had come in with other forms of illnesses, the outpatient unit was significantly flooded. In addition, there was an imbalance in the staff’s distribution. Those staffs that are specially allocated to certain departments were called in to fill in the areas that required more attention. The drugs and other dressing stuffs were significantly reduced due to the disaster. However, the incidence proved that the hospital was in a position to deals with disasters irrespective of the reduced facilities in the hospital. The hospital therefore needs more facilities like beds in order to facilitate for easier attention to the victims of disaster.
To the community, this disaster brought a lot of psychological and social problems. This is because the shooting reflected a lot of insecurity within the neighborhood. Insecurity was illustrated by the lack of proper protection for the individuals in the community. The response of the police and the hospital enhanced the trust and the confidence of the emergency response units. Since the casualties were not many, the communities feel that the response was effective and that the hospital did well in their response activity.
American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons. (2010) Emergency Care and Transportation of the
Sick and Injured. Sudbury, MA: Jones & Bartlett Learning
Haddow, G. D., Bullock, J. A., & Coppola, D. P. (2007). Introduction to emergency
management. Burlington, MA: Butterworth-Heinemann.