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Personal Emergency Preparedness: Nurses Serving Nurses as Trusted Messengers
With approximately 2.8 million registered nurses in the United States (HRSA, 2013), nurses comprise the largest segment of the healthcare workforce and disaster response is often dependent on the surge capacity of the nurse workforce (NACNEP).
Literature suggests there are significant barriers which have an impact on nurses’ willingness to respond to a disaster. Among them: lack of personal preparedness, concern/fear for family and pets, effect of disaster on self and personal property, transportation obstacles, fear for self within the work environment and the absence of crisis standards of care (CSC) (Orlando, 2008; Danna, 2010; Adams, 2011; Connor, 2014; Shipman, 2016).
In 2013, leaders from FEMA and the Red Cross gathered to discuss how to improve preparedness messaging to encourage the public to prepare themselves and their families for a disaster. One of their key recommendations was to identify “trusted messengers” to share preparedness messaging; individuals tend to listen more intently to messengers they trust.
As part of a campaign to ensure that all nurses are prepared, we are inviting nurses who were called on to respond to disaster, to serve as a “trusted messengers” by sharing their story about how their own personal preparedness impacted their response. A collection of voices will be compiled into an audio-visual presentation to be shared with professional nursing organization conferences and events.
The Disaster Nursing Call to Action was initiated by Veterans Emergency Management Evaluation Center in 2014 to improve nursing readiness. Those efforts have resulted in the formation of the Society for the Advancement of Disaster Nursing and a commitment to make every RN ready to respond to a disaster event or public health emergency.
If you are a nurse and you have responded to a major disaster in a hospital or public health setting, please share your story about personal preparedness.
Be the Voice of a Trusted Messenger: Share Your Personal Preparedness Story
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Thank you so much for your participation.
Together we can encourage all nurses to have a personal preparedness plan!