Community Emergency Preparedness
Nur 408 Epidemiology: Global and Public Health
October 29, 2012
Amy Reagan, MSN, RN
Community Emergency Preparedness
The Neigborhood events that have taken place in episode 5 are related to a forest fire that has been burning in the local community for over five days. The articles summarize the events and the effects of individual by the forest fire that has struck the community. The firefighters cannot contain the fire causing smoke to fill the skies over the neighborhood. The forest fire has caused smoky conditions and decreases the air quality for people living in the community. With these conditions many people within the neighborhood are affected. The episode continued by explaining and exploring the different people involved and suffered from this forest fire. It showed the emotional, physical, and mental ailments of those living in the neighborhood. With the decrease of air quality the local hospital has seen an influx of patients to the emergency room for treatment. The hospital is overcome with the needs of people coming for treatment related to the forest fire. The nurses who currently work on the medical-surgical floor have been juggling patients throughout the day by discharging, admitting, and transfer patients through the hospital try to and make room for new patients who need to be admitted. Kate, RN has been working steadily on her unit to provide care to her patient, but felt overwhelmed by her patient load. Even though Kate is overworked, she will continue to provide care to those who need it. Other nurses on the floor are dissatisfied with their jobs currently. It is affecting moral on the unit that which ultimately will affect patient care and outcomes. A neighborhood emergency does not make things any better on the nursing unit. Pat, the nurse manager for the floor is upset the hospital is imposing mandatory overtime for his staff. There is already a nursing shortage for the unit, and the overtime will continue to make the moral low. The overtime is to combat the nursing shortage, but with the forest fire and increase of patients seen and admitted to the hospital this comes a poor time. Many nurses are already stressed and unable to manage the current workload. Having to work extra is a burden on many who are already exhausted from the recent events. Kate is one of the first responders to this emergency without even being on the fire lines with the firefighters or in the emergency room with her colleagues. She is providing immediate care to those in need of her skills and expertise. The forest fire is not only showing its effect on the local hospital but also the neighborhood senior center. Many seniors have voiced concerns over the increase smoke in the air and the problems they have with breathing because of it. One senior in particular Mr. Dallion has stated that he has needed to increase his oxygen use since the forest fire has been burning. He is also concerned with a cough that has developed also. Karen, RN that works at the senior center is concern for the elderly that she knows because of the air quality and the problems the elderly have reported. Karen has made it a point to tell the seniors to stay inside if possible to avoid breathing the poor air quality. With this Karen is hoping that none of her seniors will have to be seen or treated at the local hospital. Karen having a good relationship with most of the elderly at the senior center should have a positive impact on them during this crisis. The elderly will be more likely to use her advice and stay indoors to avoid the unhealthy air quality currently affecting the local neighborhood. With the elderly being at such a high risk for complications because of pre-existing conditions it is important for Karen to be vigilant in helping to educate the elderly at the senior center. Not only are the elderly affected by the poor air quality by the forest fire but also the increase of...
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