Disaster preparedness is essential for public health organizations. Moreover, public health organizations must ensure that a dynamic incident command system is created and implemented to respond to emergencies. Public health officers are tasked with the responsibility of ensuring the safety of people by responding to community needs. Additionally, they should acquire and give reliable information about emergencies. This paper will explore the roles of public health personnel in responding to emergencies (Olson, 2013).
Role of major public health personnel in the disaster
Public health personnel involved in disaster management are usually specialized in the roles they provide. Nonetheless, they are required to display their strengths in multitasking to help in shared responsibilities as well as inadequacies. Additionally, all public health personnel needs to be trained on incident command system to help improve service delivery in emergencies. Among the public health personnel required to attend to disasters, including environmental health specialists, public health nurse, liaison officer, operations officer, logistics officer, planning officer, communications officer, financial officer, and public health officer, among others. Environmental health specialist is tasked with the responsibility of inspecting restaurants. On the other hand, the operations officer gives a briefing on disaster situations. The operations officer also acquires reliable information on emergency events, chooses section chiefs and command staff to complete the organizational chart. The operations officer is responsible for developing as well as implementing strategy. The operations officer provides tactics to carry out incident objectives.
An operation officer also supervises organizes and assigns tasks to other public health officers. The liaison officer is the point contact for supporting agencies by answering their questions. Moreover, the Liaison officer provides briefings when necessary. On the other hand, the public information officer ensures that necessary public health information is given to the public. The planning officer facilitates processing, compiling, and planning incident action plans. In addition, the Logistics officer acquires what operations need to get the job done. These may include equipment, space, and supplies, among others. Public health nurse works to facilitate door-to-door follow-up on affected areas as well as recommend specific needs in areas visited.
Chain of command utilized in the simulation
The simulation provides an effective chain of command that ensures that an appropriate public health command system is established. The emergency operations commander is given the sole responsibility of controlling the incident command system for a timely and effective evaluation of events. In the simulation, tasks were roles and assigned to various public health personnel with consideration for their strengths and weaknesses. Moreover, the experience was a very important factor in establishing a chain of command in the simulation. The simulation provided a system, which covered a wide scope of factors in disaster management. For instance, efforts were made to align public works, environmental health, and public health departments to a workable incident command system.
Resources available to the community health nurse for use in situations outside the nurse’s scope of practice
A number of resources were availed to the community health nurse. These included equipment, space, and supplies. For instance, emergency communications were availed for timely response and coordination with other specialists like environmental health specialists to respond to problems related to environmental pollution during door-to-door visits. Additionally, public health nurses involved in door-to-door efforts were availed with supplies for aiding recovery efforts. The inclusion of public health staff, as well as materials to assist in areas beyond the scope of public health nurses, was essential in adding a response to emergencies. Additionally, providing resources for training health nurses in ICS and other organizational tactics helps them to attend to problems beyond their scopes. Other resources availed to community health nurses for utilization in situations beyond their scope include food donations, temporary shelter, monetary donations, sanitizers, respiratory types of equipment, and emergency drugs, among others (Qureshi, Gershon, Merrill, Calero-Breckheimer, Murrman, Gebbie, Moskin, May, Morse & Sherman, 2004).
Actions are taken by the community health nurse when encountered with possible emergencies during the door-to-door interviews
Community health nurses were quick in responding to emerging emergencies during their door-to-door interviews. For instance, they were able to solve issues within their specialization effectively, these included counseling of victims on the best course of action to be followed. Additionally, they provided emergency drugs to victims of the disaster who needed such drugs. These included high blood pressure drugs, among others. Additionally, community health nurses compiled notes on their assessments for EOC briefing on-ground activities as well as the incident situation. It should also be noted that community health nurses were actively involved in providing victims with temporary shelter for the period of adversity. Community health nurses provided guidance on foods to be eaten in homes, which had electricity blackout. Additionally, they ensured that families in flooded houses got sanitation equipment as well as environmental health specialists to assist in improving their safety. Moreover, community health nurses referred victims appropriately to various specialists who could tackle their emergency issues.
Actions are taken by the community health nurse to help the people who were interviewed cope with the situations after the flooding
People who experienced flooding were exposed to various hazardous chemicals like sodium hydroxide, which had spilled in the area. Additionally, these people were exposed to various contaminations caused by sewage spillage as well as other wastes. Moreover, the people were exposed to pollution due to animal deaths, which were rampant in a flooded area. Additionally, these people were exposed to charged waters, which were dangerous to their lives. Moreover, flooding caused a power outage, which stopped refrigeration. Essentially, these people faced possible destructions to their buildings, some of which were inhabitable. However, community health nurses were quick in responding to these problems as required. For instance, community health aided victims in destroyed homes to move to temporary shelters. Community health nurses also arranged for help from environmental health specialists to help in analyzing the impact of flooding on families in affected areas. Additionally, they helped move victims to temporary shelters as well as arrange for packed foods to be supplied to families in affected areas. Additionally, community health nurses provided guidance, treatment, and counseling to affected families.
Techniques used or could have been used to calm the fears of the people interviewed
Nurses calmed the fears of people interviewed by reassuring them of efforts to provided safety to all of them. Additionally, they calmed fears by addressing their specific problems to ensure their safety. For instance, community health nurses arranged for emergency drugs for various ailments like diabetes and high blood pressure in order to ensure patients’ safety. Moreover, community health nurses provided assistance in areas beyond their scope such as social counseling to calm affected families (Saucier & Janes, 2009).
How other nursing personnel could be prepared to help in responding to a similar emergency with a much larger affected area
Nursing personnel could be prepared by involving more staff to deal with 7similr emergencies in larger areas. Additionally, nursing personnel could be given more training on handling larger emergency cases of similar nature. Nursing personnel could also be provided with more resources to handle similar emergencies on a larger scale. In addition, nursing personnel could be prepared on methods of relaying information in an effective manner to avoid mixed communication for larger emergencies (Healthypeople2020, 2013).
The simulation contained strategic methods, which are central to disaster preparedness. The simulation also gave clear objectives to nursing personnel involved in disaster management.
Healthypeople2020 (2013). Injury and Violence Prevention. Web.
Olson, D. (2013). Disaster in Franklin County: A Public Health Simulation. Web.
Qureshi, K., Gershon, R., Merrill J., Calero-Breckheimer, A., Murrman, M., Gebbie, K., Moskin, L., May, L., Morse, S., & Sherman, M. (2004). Effectiveness of an emergency preparedness-training program for public health nurses in New York City. Fam Community Health, 27(3), 242-249.
Saucier, K. & Janes, S. (2009). Community Health Nursing. Caring for the Public’s Health (2nd ed.). Burlington, MA: Jones & Bartlett Learning.