NURS 6710 The Public Health Nurse and Emergencies and Disasters Week 11 Discussion

Multiple natural and man-made disasters have occurred throughout history. These events represent community emergencies when they are large enough to have a major impact on community functioning. When such events exceed the community’s capacity to manage them, they are called disasters. Because of the nature of these events and their impact on the people living in the affected communities, organized efforts must be employed to plan for, manage, and recover from the impact. Planning for, preventing, and responding to public health needs during times of emergencies and disasters has long been a role of public health nurses.

In 2005, Hurricane Katrina demolished many U.S. communities in the southern Gulf of Mexico region, especially in the states of Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama. Imagine you are transported back in time and are practicing as a public health nurse with the New Orleans health department during the weeks leading up to, during, and following this disaster.

Group 1: Planning Surveillance Phase

Group 2: Acute Phase

Group 3: Recovery Phase

Note: The Instructor will assign students to one of the three groups/phases for this Assignment.

To Prepare:

  • Review this week’s Learning Resources. Pay close attention to this week’s readings that discuss the nurse’s roles during public health emergencies and disasters in one of the following categories: Planning/Surveillance Phase, Acute Phase, Recovery Phase.
  • Review and consider the disaster scenario provided in the Discussion introduction from the perspective of the role you have been assigned.

By Day 3

Post an analysis of your assigned phase and provide an explanation of the role, responsibilities, and actions of a public health nurse in responding to the threat during that specific phase. Take into consideration any special community aggregates that might need extra support during times of crisis.

Read a selection of your colleagues’ responses.

By Day 6

Respond to at least two of your colleagues who were assigned the other two phases by offering a new suggestion for actions that might have been beneficial during that time.

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