Disaster Preparedness for the Bedside Nurse

disaster preparedness

Nurses are vital responders during natural disasters like the recent typhoon that struck the Philippines. Preparedness is essential for nurses to be successful in caring for patients during times of high stress and great need.

Drs. Toni Hebda and Charlene Romer, professors in the Master of Science in Nursing degree program at Chamberlain, provide the following tips for bedside nurses who find themselves providing care in the midst of a disaster:

  1. Stay informed: What is your role as a nurse at the bedside during a disaster?
  2. Know the organizational plan: During disasters, the healthcare operations chain of command may be different than during day-to-day operations.
  3. Step up: Regardless of your specific nursing role (acute care nurse, public health nurse, student nurse, etc.), you may be asked to perform work during an emergency that is not part of your daily job routine.
  4. Keep records: When there is no access to documentation systems or forms, nurses should implement a process that works for them – whether that process utilizes a paper binder or a tablet.

To learn more, visit ADVANCE for Nurses, where Hebda and Romer shared additional insights during their webinar, “Disaster Preparedness for the Bedside Nurse.” (Not a member of ADVANCE? Sign up for a free account.)

Our thoughts are with those affected by the typhoon in the Philippines, the tornadoes in the Midwest, and all responders taking part in the relief effort.

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