Role of nurses in responding to disasters

1 postsRe: Topic 5 DQ 1

Disaster usually involves causing great damage that often results in extensive loss of property and loss of life. These catastrophic events can be man-made or natural disaster. Nurses are always at the fore front and playing crucial role in responding to disasters. For nursing care to be holistic, the need for spiritual care is very important to be accomplished, particularly in the event of disaster. However, nurses are using not well equipped to be involved in spiritual work. This is due to the lack of training in the nursing curriculum and this has resulted in the lack of competent in implementing this very important part of care in promoting health and wellbeing. According to (Zehtab, & Adib-Hajbaghery, 2003), not proving spiritual support to patient is neglecting the opportunity to improve patient’s care.

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Spiritual aspect of care is now more central throughout healthcare. A person’s health is looked at physical, mental social and spiritual wellbeing (Who Health Organization, 2007). Spiritual care has a positive effect on the wellbeing of the individual’s stress responses, and it is important for patients during illness and hospitalization (Cavendish et al., 2003).

Nurses serve as an essential resource and can play a wide range of responsibilities related disaster preparedness and response. One of the key roles is providing education to individuals, community, self and colleagues about how to keep self during a disaster. This knowledge shared will help in alleviating anxiety and fear. Nurses have also volunteer during disaster through various organizations such as American Red Cross, the Federal Emergency Management Agency and the United State Public Health Service (the Role of the Nurses in Providing Spiritual Care to Patients, n.d). They can be directly involved in assisting in disasters such as first aid and medication, assessing the state of victims and monitoring the mental health of victims. Nurses have family and themselves, preparing the family with emergency plan and emergency supplies can help ensure the nurse and family are safe in time of disaster.

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