Disaster Planning in Public Health

The Director of Nursing (DON) for the local health department has been assigned by the Medical Director to develop a plan to handle an emergency plan with the local long-term care facility (LTCF). She will serve on a team with the health department emergency preparedness coordinator and the epidemiologist. Neither the DON nor medical director have been in their current positions for more than six months. The DON has resided in the area for several years, had worked at the local hospital for three years before obtaining her current position. The medical director came from another health department in another state. He had been involved in a hurricane which impacted the local nursing home where two patients died due to a food-borne outbreak. The emergency preparedness coordinator is experienced and works with the state level emergency preparedness team. The epidemiologist has lived in the area for 20 years and has been the epidemiologist for over 15 years at this health department. The nurse is assigned to develop a nursing protocol regarding patient care to be included in the disaster plan coordinating agreement between the LTCF and the health department. The health department team will work with representatives from the LTCF nursing department. Use the following template to develop this policy/protocol:
• Designated authority.
• Describe the problem. List the proposed nursing diagnosis.
• Background: Introduce the business case for why developing this protocol is necessary. Provide the data and information to support the protocol.
• Identify other persons needed to serve on this team from both the LTCF and health department.
• Generate a list of what information about the nursing care facility is needed to develop this plan and delineate assignments to the appropriate persons.
• Objectives: Delineate one to three objectives for this plan. Make sure the objectives are in behavioral terms, are measurable and realistic. Include timeframes.
• Proposed Interventions: Develop a comprehensive list of action steps for both the LTCF and the health department to be included in this plan.
• Expected Benefits: Describe the expected benefits and outcome of the interventions taken.
• Audit and evaluation: Describe how the outcomes will be evaluated. Propose what and how pertinent audit findings will be used to evaluate the success of the plan. Describe how ongoing monitoring and review of the strategies will be done.
Include at least three references using the APA style. Keep statements succinct, clear and without opinions. Limit the protocol to no more than three pages.
Learning Materials 
• Veenema, T. G. (2013). Disaster nursing and emergency preparedness (2nd). New York: Springer. Chapter 38
• http://www.astho.org/Programs/Preparedness/
• http://www.cdc.gov/phpr/science/planningtools.htm
• http://www.redcross.org/get-help
• http://www.marchofdimes.org/materials/Are-you-ready-for-hurricane-disasters-December-2014.pdf
• Baack, S. (2013). Nurses’ preparedness and perceived competence in managing disasters. Journal of Nursing Scholarship, 45(3), 281-287.
Suggested Materials:
• Disaster Epidemiology (26 minutes)
After completing this module, you will be able to do the following:
Describe the biological, psychological, environmental, social effects of disasters on people and the environment.
• Outline the four stages of disaster involvement and identify the key nursing roles or functions in each stage.
• Identify key groups that are potential partners in disaster planning.
Emergencies or those sudden events with serious consequences that require an immediate response but are handled by the persons involved and are reported in the news every day. On the other hand, a destructive event that interferes with a population being able to carry-out normal activities of daily living is a disaster. Disasters may occur daily throughout the world but usually are not part of the usual public health practice but when they do occur, the nurse must be prepared and know an immediate response. This module will explore the types of disasters, the role of government in responding to those disasters, and the type of planning necessary to protect the health of populations. Emphasis will be placed on the role of the nurse in collaboration with other disciplines in all phases of disaster management.