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

SADN Panel Presenting on Disaster Nursing Research Projects at NHCPC, Wednesday, Nov. 30th

 

SADN Panel Presenting on Disaster Nursing Research Projects at NHCPC, Wednesday, Nov. 30th at 10:15 AM in San Diego, CA.  Come hear from some of the founders of the Society for the Advancement of Disaster Nursing (SADN), including Roberta Lavin, Chair of the SADN Executive Committee, Joanne Langan, Chair of the Practice Workgroup and Aram Dobalian, Director of the Veterans Emergency Management Evaluation Center.  Join us!

Register Today! – Joint ARC & NHCPC Conference | November 28-30, 2017 | San Diego, CA

Join hospital and emergency management leaders, government decision-makers, researchers, academicians, and local and state public health preparedness professionals at 3-day Joint Advancing & Redefining Emergency Management (ARC) and National Healthcare Coalition Preparedness Conference (NHCPC) in San Diego, CA, Sheraton San Diego Hotel & Marina, November 28-30, 2017.

For panel topics and descriptions, please visit ARC Conference Website and  NHCPC Conference Website

Register Today!

SADN Dissemination Workgroup Presentation at American Public Health Association’s APHA 2017 Annual Meeting & Expo

Prepare to Tweet: Making Nurses Disaster-Ready

The SADN Dissemination Workgroup is presenting on its work to promote the Society for the Advancement of Disaster Nursing (SADN) at the American Public Health Association’s APHA 2017 Annual Meeting & Expo (Nov. 4 – Nov. 8) in Atlanta. If you are coming to these meetings, please join us at the Public Health Nursing Section Session:

4347.0: Disaster Preparation, Response, and Recovery

Tuesday, November 07, 201702:30 PM – 04:00 PM

Georgia World Congress Center – B309

To hear more about the accomplishments of the  SADN Dissemination Workgroup, come listen to the 3:30 presentation: ‘Prepare to Tweet: Making Nurses Disaster-Ready’ at this session. The advancement of disaster nursing, including activation of a new organization with national impact is an enormous and crucial undertaking. The Dissemination Workgroup’s efforts may serve as a model for advancement of large initiatives and newly formed organizations. 

 

 

A Thank You Note to Volunteers Who Support Disaster Response

A Thank You Note to Volunteers Who Support Disaster Response

By Anne “Belle” Griffin, MPH,BSN, RN

Clara Barton was 60 years old and working in the U.S. Patent Office in Washington DC when the U.S. Civil War broke out. Realizing the wounded soldiers needed early intervention, she gathered first aid supplies and volunteered herself to care for them on the front line of war. Over the next several years and despite many obstacles, Clara Barton was determined to assure that the U.S. would sign and commit to the Geneva Convention Treaty in 1881, establishing the American Red Cross with its mission to protect the sick and wounded during times of war.1 Today, there are 20,000 volunteer Red Cross nurses who are committed to serving in disaster response, health and safety instruction and program development.2

Recent disasters continue to present opportunities for the same kind of commitment. Hurricane Harvey recently caused overwhelming damage to 40 counties in south eastern Texas. Hurricanes Irma and Maria were right behind, wreaking havoc on the infrastructure of Florida, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Devastating fires in northern California followed. In less than a two-month period, the American Red Cross received over 5,000 new applications from health and mental health volunteers3. Active Red Cross volunteers have provided nearly 195,000 mental health and health services to support and care for those affected by each of the hurricanes and fires.4 Social media outlets provide evidence of the many nurses who have worked well beyond their obligation to support continuity of patient care.

It has now been three years since Veterans Emergency Management Evaluation Center invited 18 nursing leaders with disaster nursing expertise to develop strategies to assure our nursing workforce is prepared to respond to disaster.5 This effort evolved into the Society for the Advancement of Disaster Nursing (SADN) and a strong sense of volunteerism has driven its success. The initiative is expanding and the number of volunteers have more than doubled.

Whether it be in the field, in a hospital or in a classroom; SADN wishes to thank those who serve as volunteers and dedicate their time, expertise and energy to be of service to those who are impacted by random and devastating disasters.

1-http://www.redcross.org/about-us/who-we-are/history/clara-barton

2-http://www.redcross.org/about-us/who-we-are/history/nursing

3-http://www.redcross.org/take-a-class/lp/hurricane-harvey-health-professionals

4-http://www.redcross.org/news/article/Our-Response-to-Harvey-and-Irma

5- Veenema, T. G., Griffin, A., Gable, A. R., MacIntyre, L., Simons, R. A. D. M., Couig, M. P., … & Larson, E. (2016). Nurses as leaders in disaster preparedness and response—a call to action. Journal of Nursing Scholarship, 48(2), 187-200. Link to Abstract

 

Now is the Time, Personal Preparedness Can’t Wait!

On August 25, 2017, Hurricane Harvey made landfall in Texas leading to catastrophic flooding in Houston and surrounding areas.  Less than two weeks later, Hurricane Irma slammed into the Caribbean and Florida, causing flooding, damage, and widespread power outages.  Most hospitals in the impacted areas sheltered-in-place requiring nurses and other critical staff to stay at the facilities for extended periods.

While these disasters had some advance warning, many aspects of the disaster were uncertain including the extent and location of flooding, power outages, etc. Other disasters, such as tornadoes or earthquakes, strike with little or no warning. Previous studies have found that lack of personal preparedness, concern/fear for family and pets, concern for the effect of the disaster on self and personal property, and transportation difficulties pose major barriers to disaster response. Although many agree that healthcare organizations should address the personal preparedness of their employees, little is known about the degree to which the U.S. nursing workforce is personally prepared to respond to disasters for extended periods of time.

The Society for the Advancement of Disaster Nursing believes personal preparedness of the nursing workforce is paramount. This week, SADN members will be hosting a presentation on personal preparedness at the Emergency Nurses 2017 Conference in St. Louis, MO (Details below).

Title: Now is the Time, Personal Preparedness Can’t Wait!
Date: Thursday, September 14, 2017
Presentation time 3:15 PM – 4:15 PM
Room: 267

We hope conference attendees will be able to join us for this session.

For nurses who are not attending this conference, we recommend you undertake the following steps to get prepared as soon as possible:

  1. Assemble disaster supplies kit for home, work, and car
  2. Create a family disaster plan. Your family may not be together if a disaster strikes, so it is important to know which types of disasters could affect your area and have a plan in place that addresses how you’ll contact one another and reconnect if separated. Tailor this plan to any special needs your family has, including care of pets.
  3. Practice and update your plan regularly, just like a fire drill.
  4. Familiarize yourself with your organization’s emergency operations plan and know your role if a disaster strikes.

See https://www.fema.gov/media-library-data/20130726-1549-20490-4633/areyouready_full.pdf for more information on becoming personally prepared.

Alicia Gable, MPH

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