Disasters are serious disruption of functioning society. It involves environmental resources, causing scarcity and mass destruction. Disaster can happen at any given time and place without warning. Being prepared is a key safeguard for people’s lives so that they’ll be able to take appropriate actions when facing imminent type of disaster. From the article “Mass casualty events Are you prepared?” by Janice S. Smith, she discussed disaster in mass casualty as well as nursing management during a disaster. According to the Smith (2010), “ Standing on the front lines of the healthcare system, nurses make up the largest portion of the healthcare work force and are often referred to as, first receivers, in the event of a disaster” (p.1).
A mass casualty event is a situation that stresses the health care system and local resources with overwhelming injuries and illness that require immediate attention and care. There are many different types of mass casualty event such as bioterrorism, chemical emergencies, radiation emergencies, and natural disaster (hurricane, earthquake, tsunamis, and tornados). As a nurse, being part of the healthcare team, you have a professional responsibility to the public and to yourself about being disaster prepared. This mean that you would need to understand and construct an effective disaster plan in order to care for the victim of mass casualty event and not worry about anything else in time of disaster.
Personal and family preparedness is a key to protect yourself and your family in the event that emergency strike, before, during, and after the event. The recommendations and guidelines of a complete disaster plan include the disaster kit unique to every family’s need and practice. According to FEMA.org, “the guide has been designed to help the citizens of this nation learn how to protect themselves and their families against all types of hazards.” To be prepared, nurses are required to perform to the full extent, caring for the victims without hesitations.
The American Nurses Association considers disaster preparedness and response as a part of the nursing scope of practice. The nursing action involves caring and assisting patients, families, and communities on various type of emergency situation. According to American Nurses Association (2013), “nurses should be aware of their expected role in any response efforts and to be aware of the ethical situations they may encounter, especially in times of scarce resources and supplies when they may face unimaginable patient care decisions” (p. 5).
In addition nurses also needs to response to mass casualty event in a simple but concise system called the Simple Triage And Rapid Treatment or START. This system appropriately assesses the victims from more serious to non-serious life threatening complication in a timely manner, 30 seconds or less. The START system has three primary categories to assess, the victim’s respiration, perfusion, and mental status or PRM. While the...