Disaster Health and Sheltering Course for Nursing Students

The Disaster Health and Sheltering course is a two-part awareness level course designed to engage nursing students in health volunteerism during disaster operations. The course is hosted on the website of Disaster Resistant Communities Group (DRCG) in Tallahassee, Florida. Part I can be completed as an independent study or taught face-to-face in a classroom. It consists of an historical American Red Cross video and a narrated PowerPoint presentation accessed through http://www.DisasterHealthandSheltering.org. At the completion of the self-study version, students access a link to a 10-question post-test which they print out and present to their nursing faculty as evidence that they completed Part I.

In Part II, students interactively apply Part I knowledge by participating in a shelter-specific tabletop exercise complete with case studies. The customized tabletop exercise was created by Mr. Chris Floyd, Exercise Designer and CEO of DRCG, in coordination with an internal steering group of Red Cross nurses. The Part II classroom exercise is led by a nursing faculty who partners with Red Cross nurses from a local Chapter.

After completing the 4-hour course, (two at home, two in the classroom) students re-enter the website and complete a “hotwash” or course evaluation, then are directed to a link to print out the course completion certificate. Students are then eligible for the American Red Cross Student Nurse Pin and are encouraged to join their local chapter.

Since the inception of the course, almost 13,000 student nurses have been trained.

Course Authors

Dr. Janice Springer
Janice.springer@redcross.org

Dr. Cheryl Schmidt
Cheryl.k.schmidt@asu.edu

Submitted by: Cheryl K. Schmidt, PhD, RN, CNE, ANEF, FAAN & Janice Springer DNP RN PHN

Are You Ready for a Winter Weather Emergency?

 

How ready are you for a winter weather emergency? When I began to write this entry, winter had been colder than usual for much of the United States, and a massive winter storm was approaching the east coast. Such conditions pose significant danger to health and safety. I thought that it was a good time to review preparedness for cold weather emergencies.

Consult https://www.ready.gov/winter-weather for many helpful suggestions and links to prepare your family, home, and vehicle before a winter storm strikes. Highlights include:

  • Establish an emergency communication plan in case your family isn’t together when winter weather strikes
  • Keep an emergency kit—including food and water—on hand in the event power goes out or roads are impassable
  • Winterize your home
  • Be safe with heat sources and generators—prevent house fires and carbon monoxide poisoning
  • Have a fire extinguisher and know how to use it.
  • Know how to shut off water valves
  • Check on elderly or disabled family and neighbors
  • Take care of pets; bring them inside
  • Know what to do in case of power outages. Make sure you consider:
    • Alternate heating sources including extra blankets or sleeping bags
    • Emergency charging options for devices like cell phones
    • Alternatives if home medical equipment uses electricity
  • Winterize your vehicle
  • Keep an emergency kit in the car that includes cold weather-specific items
  • Dress warmly—it’s especially important to cover head, ears, extremities.
  • Walk carefully
  • Drive carefully
  • Avoid overexertion
  • Protect from and watch for symptoms of frostbite and hypothermia

Submitted by Lavonne Adams, PhD, RN, CCRN

Climate and Weather Related Disasters Set New Records in 2017

According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), 2017 was a historic year for climate and weather disasters, inflicting enormous costs in terms of human suffering and financial impact.  Costs have exceeded $300 billion, setting a new U.S. annual record.  Our hearts go out to the countless numbers of individuals who have been affected by the multiple hurricanes, fires, and other disasters which our country endured throughout 2017.  Less than two weeks into 2018, our thoughts are with the victims of the ‘Bomb Cyclone’ winter storm that slammed the East Coast as well as the victims of the California mud slides.  We cannot adequately express our gratitude to first responders and everyone who participates in emergency response and the aftermath; they are our true heroes.

In the early days of 2018, we recommit ourselves to advancing disaster nursing in the United States. Now, more than ever, ensuring “Every Nurse a Prepared Nurse” is a critically important goal.  Wishing you, and your families & friends a safe and healthy 2018.

Development of a Tiered Assessment Tool for Disaster Nursing Competencies

Researchers with the Idaho State University School of Nursing and the Idaho Public Health Association are interested in developing a disaster nursing competency assessment tool for use with baccalaureate nursing students. We are requesting your assistance with developing a tied competency assessment tool based on the International Council of Nurses and World Health Organization (2009) Framework of Disaster Nursing Competencies. The online survey is anonymous and takes approximately 10 minutes to complete.

https://isu.co1.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_cBcT4WbuuVEIVG5

Please complete the survey by Friday, February 16, 2018, and please forward this email to nurse colleagues who work in disaster health or teach disaster health nursing.

After pilot testing the instrument we will provide survey participant the survey results and a copy of the assessment tool if requested. For more information please contact Dr. Mark Siemon, PhD, RN, PHNA-BC, CPH at siemmark@isu.edu

Thank you for your help with this request.

Mark Siemon

Idaho Public Health Association