The practical nurse plays an important role in disaster preparedness. Disaster preparedness is the process of preparing for and mitigating potential damage from natural or man-made disasters. Preparing for a disaster requires planning, organization, and training to ensure that both individuals and organizations are ready to respond quickly and effectively in order to minimize the impact of a disaster on people, property, infrastructure, and resources (Munroe et al., 2015). As such, it is essential that nurses be trained in how to prepare for and respond to these events.
Identify the Practical Nurse’s role in disaster preparedness.
Practical nurses are often one of the first responders in times of crisis due to their ability to assess patient needs quickly. In addition, they have a vast knowledge base of nursing skills which can be used during an emergency situation. They can provide basic medical care including wound treatment; administer medications; evaluate vital signs; treat minor injuries; monitor patients’ progress; identify potential risks or dangers associated with specific environmental conditions such as flooding or extreme temperatures; provide emotional support and comfort for victims; collaborate with other healthcare personnel when needed; coordinate evacuation procedures when necessary (Garcia & Whitehead 2018). Practical nurses also contribute their expertise on public health topics such as nutrition or disease prevention by providing education materials before or after a disaster event occurs (Goodman & Daeschel 2019). In addition to these roles, practical nurses may also assume leadership positions within their organizations during disasters by leading teams responsible for assessing patient needs, developing plans of action based on available resources, communicating directives related to supplies/medications/equipment required at each site location(s), creating protocols outlining safety protocols related to possible hazardous scenarios resulting from destruction caused by the event (Wilkins et al., 2017).
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