Western Governors University
Community Health Nursing
Audrey Poor Bear
April 27, 2013
HAT1 Task 4
Tragic events that cause damage to property and life may destroy the social, cultural and economic life of a community. Communities must be engaged in the various phases from prevention to recovery to build disaster resilient communities. In order to do this, there must be a disaster preparedness plan in place that involves multiple people in various roles. Role of Public Health Personnel
In the Disaster in Franklin County simulation (Regents of the University of Minnesota [UMN], 2006), there were several key personnel in the incident command team. This concept is utilized in real disasters when the Public Health Director is responsible for collaborating with the other key personnel from the community. Some of these people are the Fire Chief, Police Chief and EMS Director who collectively provide a summary of potential public health concerns resulting from the disaster. Often the issues that need to be addressed are obtainment of necessary supplies, potential evacuation plans, management of power outages and hazardous spills, activation of emergency personnel and communication to the public. The Public Health Director will establish the Incident Command Center and assign responsibilities to the various sections. The Public Health Nurse is usually part of a multi-disciplinary team that is deployed to check on residents after a disaster and/or staff the temporary shelters. In the Disaster in Franklin County simulation, the nurse is deployed to go door to door to assess the needs of the residents. The primary function at this time is to triage the victims and evacuate or obtain additional resources based on the specific needs. The nurse also is heavily involved in communication and education about the state of recovery and safety protocols that should be initiated.
Chain of Command
Chain of Command, as defined by The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), is “an orderly line of authority within the ranks of the incident management organization” ("ICS Intro," n.d., Lesson 2). The Incident Commander defines the incident action plan and assigns the roles of the incident response team ("ICS," 2010). The Public Information Officer makes sure that accurate information is communicated to the public and involved agencies. The Planning Chief gathers, analyzes and disseminates information to everyone. He or she is preparing for what else can occur. The Logistics Section Chief is responsible for obtaining equipment, supplies and space needed to carry out the actions of the team. The Liaison Officer is the contact person for supporting agencies and relays information and provides briefings when indicated. The Operations Section Chief organizes, assigns and oversees the team members. The Finance / Administration Chief ensures that all financial processes are correct and monitors resources that have been used (Regents of the University of Minnesota [UMN], 2006). Resources
The community health nurse often covers large areas in a disaster and will need to be able to direct citizens to various areas based on their needs. The ability to identify available resources will be invaluable to these nurses as well as the victims. Safety and shelter are some of the most important issues that these nurses will need to address. The strength of a qualified community health nurse comes from knowing the resources available to them to address situations that are out of their scope of practice. Environmental Health Specialists, Social Services, Public Health Director, and Center for Disease Control Prevention (CDC) are agencies that are often consulted. One example of this utilization is a pre-printed informational pamphlet on various topics in several languages that nurses can distribute. During times of stress, victims have so many problems which they are dealing with that it is often hard to...