Community Health Nursing HAT1
Community Health Nursing - Emergency Response
Whether a disaster is natural or man-made it can have immediate and lasting effects on a community the can affect the financial, environmental and health aspects of an individual or a community. Quick and efficient response is imperative in all aspects of emergency response including healthcare. Ongoing personnel training, establishing preparedness plans and objective evaluation of those plans and collaboration between multiple service sectors is necessary for adequate response to be achieved. The Disaster in Franklin County simulation utilized many public health personnel for the disaster response team including a Community Health Nurse, Public Health Director, and an Environmental Health Specialist. Each member of any Public Health Disaster Team has a specific role. The community health nurse played a very important role in the health and wellbeing of the community. By going door-to-door the community health nurse was able to assess the immediate health and need of those affected by the storm. She was able to do so through the interview process. This process allowed her to assess not only the resident’s possible need for assistance with immediate needs such as medications and clean drinking water, but also their coping with the situation. The community health nurses role continued after the immediate disaster into the long term needs of the community by answering the questions, assessing for continued individual safety and proving referrals when appropriate. The Incident Commander contacted the County Public Health Director to attend the first disaster response meeting. After that meeting the departmental incident command system was instituted at the Public Health Department Building which established communication between the Public Health Director and the Deputy Director. Other duties of the Public Health Director were to attend all briefings. These briefings were used to communicate with the team about anticipated and real needs of the community as well as convey information from the public health team. The duty of the Environmental Health Specialist was to help assess the community’s safety in relation to its environment. Part of their duties includes inspection of restaurants and the like for proper food preparation and adequate sanitation. Duties also include inspection of temporary shelters for food safety, sleeping conditions, pet accommodations if appropriate, and sanitary and waste conditions. Site visits are conducted to assess homes and communities during hazardous waste clean-ups. The chain of command used in the simulation The Disaster in Franklin County was clearly defined by the county’s Emergency Operations Plan. The Emergency Operations Center (EOC) was opened by the County Emergency Manager and acted as the EOC Commander. Under the EOC Commander are the Public Information Officer and the Liaison Officer. The role of the Public Information Officer acts as spokesperson providing information to the public and the media. The Liaison Officer works to assist with communication and coordination of activities. Under the officers are the chiefs. There was a Planning Chief, a Logistics Chief, a Finance/Administration Chief, and an Operations Chief. The Operations chief oversees the next level of assistance. The members include Fire and Law Enforcement Branch Director, Public Works Branch Director, Community Service Branch Director, and Medical/Health Branch Director. The Public Health Group under the supervision of the Medical/Health Branch Director established its own Incident Command Center (ICS). The Planning Chief is a member of the general staff. Responsibilities of this role include collection, evaluation, and dissemination and use of information about the development of the incident and the status of resources (United Stated...