Disaster/Pandemic Community Involvement and Coping - page 2

Good Afternoon. I want to personally thank all of you in the health care field. You have my respect and admiration. :saint: I would like to discuss surviving a disaster. Hurricanes, tornados,... Read More

  1. by   Laidback Al
    Quote from Ayrman
    . . . . .
    How many nurses have the faintest idea about the practice of basic nursing care, i.e. supportive as opposed to chart checks, IV starts, med routes, test results, etc when it comes to being the primary care provider (read that decision maker) in a disaster situation? Any outback nurse from Alaska to Australia would run rings around the modern American nurse when it comes to being useful under such circumstances.

    Ayrman
    Indeed, now is this time to brush up on the basics. I am not a nurse, but every projection I've seen about a pandemic indicates that health care facilities and hospitals will be overrun. There is no surge capacity now, so during a pandemic basic care will all that will be available, with or without infrastructure (i.e. electricity, lights, water, etc.). Me, and others like me, and your relatives, friends, and neighbors will all be looking towards each of you for guidance and direction because you have the nursing skills and backgrounds to deal with sick people and patients. You need to recognize that even if you choose not to go work, people will search you out for help and answers once a pandemic starts. You need to be ready to deal with the questions when people call you on the phone or knock on your door.
  2. by   indigo girl
    I see an inability to be with this kind of information. It is not that the subject is too difficult to understand. It has everything to do with the subject being painfully frightening to be with emotionally, because it is so very personal to us.

    That is really what the problem is, IMO. Nurses are mothers/fathers, and family members. I really understood this today when talking to a fellow nurse with several children and grandchildren today. She understood everything. She just could not process it emotionally.

    We need help and support. Our participation will be of critical importance to everyone. Instead of blaming each other for our lack of insight, criticizing the messengers or whatever else we are doing, I suggest examing our feelings about the impact on our lives and the wellbeing of our families. We have to start this dialogue and be realistic about our ability to cope with the possibility of great personal loss.
  3. by   sanctuary
    Oh, darnnn. I was about finished with an excellent response to the above post, and had to respond to a local emergency (loud i-Pod after bedtime leading to harsh words and some threats) and returned to a timed out screen. So, where was I...
    Oh, yes. It is hard for anyone, even trained emergency responders, to personalize catastrophy. Listen to the news. The first thing out of a subject's mouth is, "I never thought it could happen to me (my neighborhood, my family, my next door neighbor.) It only happens to people on TV." This winter has been particularly harsh. There have been power outages all over the US, but there is not a hue and cry to the local authorities to be better prepared next time. Would it not make sense for each and every one of us to have a First Aid Kit, an family emergency kit, and a small in-car "stranded driver's kit" for the next small one?
    A particularly helpful experience was responding to a couple of significant earthquakes in So-Cal. People were not prepared, for the most part, and those that were had their kit stashed in the garage, which frequently fell down in the quake. So I began using a 30 gallon plastic trash can, which I locked to my fence with a bike cable, and keep 2 weeks worth of food, water, hand wipes, clean clothes, a change of shoes, and ADL supplies. Some stores sell a small backpack with minimal supplies. Check out what is in them and add to that. Sometimes the thought of dealing with the end of the world as we know it is too hard to wrap our brain around. (But the world as I knew it has ended several times, already) So get practical, break it into small chunks, share ideas with your co-workers, (I sure do not want to be the only one able to show up for work). Get with your employer and talk about a child and pet care center, on site. Talk about where staff can spend the off hours resting and sleeping. Create a system of 12 hour shifts, so that the available staff are best utilized. Get immunized against the Hep viruses, and get your tetanus updated. Be the Paula (or Paul) Revere of disaster. "The pandemic is coming, the pandemic is coming" may not sound like a clarion call, but by golly, if we are ready for that one, we sure will be able to cope with the next ice storm that hits.
  4. by   sanctuary
    And in the absence of electricity for IV pumps, remember, gravity always works.
  5. by   Laidback Al
    Quote from sanctuary
    . . . . Would it not make sense for each and every one of us to have a First Aid Kit, an family emergency kit, and a small in-car "stranded driver's kit" for the next small one?
    A particularly helpful experience was responding to a couple of significant earthquakes in So-Cal. People were not prepared, for the most part, and those that were had their kit stashed in the garage, which frequently fell down in the quake. So I began using a 30 gallon plastic trash can, which I locked to my fence with a bike cable, and keep 2 weeks worth of food, water, hand wipes, clean clothes, a change of shoes, and ADL supplies. Some stores sell a small backpack with minimal supplies. Check out what is in them and add to that.
    sanctuary makes an excellent point. Preparations for a disaster or pandemic must begin at home. Community involvement should not begin until you and your family are comfortable with your own preparations for an unexpected disaster. You will be more confident and you will be better able to convey the message to other who are just starting to prepare. The tip about accessibility is a good one. Emergency supplies and stores of food and water are useless if you can not get to them.
  6. by   General E. Speaking, RN
    I have asked our hospital (more than once) what we are doing to prepare for a possible pandemic. Cannot get a satisfactory response. I thought for sure our unpreparedness for a possible direct hit by hurricane Rita would light a fire under someone... My public health background demands that I keep asking! One of our employees from Education Dept went to a Pandemic Flu conference a while back and she came back energized and armed with a lot of useful information. I am afraid that it will fall on deaf ears. It seems the only thing Administration is concerned with right now is budget cuts. Pandemic preparedness takes a back burner. However, as Katrina has shown, ignoring the elephant in the room does not make it go away.

    I find that when I talk to co-workers about being prepared, sometimes I get "the look". But, I keep gently introducing the subject.
  7. by   indigo girl
    Quote from kriso
    I have asked our hospital (more than once) what we are doing to prepare for a possible pandemic. Cannot get a satisfactory response. I thought for sure our unpreparedness for a possible direct hit by hurricane Rita would light a fire under someone... My public health background demands that I keep asking! One of our employees from Education Dept went to a Pandemic Flu conference a while back and she came back energized and armed with a lot of useful information. I am afraid that it will fall on deaf ears. It seems the only thing Administration is concerned with right now is budget cuts. Pandemic preparedness takes a back burner. However, as Katrina has shown, ignoring the elephant in the room does not make it go away.

    I find that when I talk to co-workers about being prepared, sometimes I get "the look". But, I keep gently introducing the subject.
    I know "the look" well. There is also another type of look, the one where the person you are talking to does get it. And then immediately they go into denial in their heads, and start doing something else frantically. It is interesting to watch to this happen. I know that they understand, and believe every word I said, but it makes them so afraid that they are unable to think rationally about it. This is not just common to nurses, BTW.
    This is where we are stuck, IMO. Unless, we can find a way to help people to move forward past that reaction, nothing will get done. I think that if more of us start talking calmly and as you say gently, Kris, it will help. Maybe when this happens, we need to point out what is happening, and make them aware of it consciously so that we can help support them in their feelings.

    Right now, there is no support for people to be with this type of information. We are talking about the possibility of unprecedented illness that will effect us directly as nurses, and personally as family members.
    How do we deal with our feelings about this? Right now we cope with denial. It's not going to help in the long run, but helps to get on with our lives now. Meanwhile, the clock is ticking, and we do not know when this will occur. We only know that the CDC says that it will.
  8. by   Florida1
    Here is a ready made flyer to print and copy for friends, neighbors, and well...just about anyone.


    http://newcreations.net/Flyer-HALF-na.PDF
  9. by   sanctuary
    Great poster, poster. (Could not help myself)
    I have discovered that if you cut it in half and expand it, it is easier to read, and matches all the other papers on the bulletin board. Lets spread this around.
    Last edit by sanctuary on Feb 14, '07 : Reason: bulletin is not spelled phonetically

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