SZT1 Task 4
Western Governors University
During disasters, healthcare personnel are vital in recovery efforts. Responsibilities of healthcare officials during times of disaster include assisting in prevention of injury, upholding food and water safety, relaying information regarding health consequences, and coordinating access to healthcare needs. Following disaster situations, public health care providers are responsible for ensuring citizens have access to follow up care and evaluating disaster response to plan for future disaster response. Each member of the healthcare team has responsibilities as well. The nurse’s responsibilities are ensuring that the needs of the community are ...view middle of the document...
Following disasters, a chain of command is instituted to guarantee that responsibilities are equally distributed and to make sure a power structure is in place. The first in the chain of command is the Emergency Operations Center commander, followed by the Operations Chief. After the operations chief comes the Health Branch Director, followed by the Public Health Director, then under that position is the Public Health Nurse.
The community health nurse interacts with many citizens to ensure safety and wellness. They may not be able to adequately assist the members of the community they are assisting. In these cases, they refer the clients to outside sources. In this scenario the nurse encountered several areas out of their scope of practice. These include, environmental health specialists, shelters, emergency medical services, translator services and mental health counselors. It is important for the community health nurse to recognize their scope of practice and know when to refer to outside resources, so they may better help their clients.
During the simulation, the community health nurse performed door to door interviews to ensure the needs of the community were met. In these situations the nurse may encounter emergency situations that are out of their scope. When the nurse encountered a patient who had hypertension and was out of their medication, the nurse then assessed the patient’s blood pressure and referred the patient to a shelter, where a hospital could supply the patient’s medication. Then, when the nurse discovered someone who had flooding, mold and chemical spills, she contacted the environmental health specialists to ensure this person’s safety. When the nurse came upon a woman who was running low on supplies and voiced concern for having to care for her mother-in-law without her husband’s help, the nurse spoke with the woman and her husband to come up with a plan to refer them to a shelter for more assistance, as well as providing supplies.
As the nurse interacts with members of the community, they not only ensure health and safety, but help these people cope adequately with their...