G.S. is an experienced nurse on the medical/surgical floor at a community hospital. G.S. is the charge nurse for the floor and needs to make decisions regarding staffing in the morning. A blizzard with 2-3 feet of snow and damaging winds is forecasted within the next 12-18 hours. It is the charge nurses responsibility to make the decision on proper emergency protocol for safe patient handling. There should be a contingency plan in place in all hospitals to adhere to during a crisis situation.
Comprehensive Emergency Management Plans (CEMP) is used in Florida for all hospitals for emergency and non-emergency situations. The CEMP is responsible for the government, private, ...view middle of the document...
A hospital should have a protocol in place giving guidance to whom to contact and give directions during a disaster. As soon as a hospital personal is informed of a possible disaster then they need to take the necessary step and reach out to the necessary people per the hospital protocol. The hospital staff needs to follow CEMP, hospital protocols, and explicit duty descriptions for efficient patient safety.
The potential challenge for any contingency plan is staffing amongst the nurses. Some nurses are unable to attend a natural disaster due to childcare, health ailments, or difficulty getting to work due to weather conditions. The challenge is to ensure a backup plan to rotate staff that can provide access to the facility during a disaster. Some hospitals have a disaster committee to provide necessary training and planning to nurses. These nurses are trained to take charge of the disaster. They observe the weather, contact staff, initiate daycare, places to sleep and even food. Another challenge is to keep everyone safe from the weather conditions. The disaster team not only thinks about the nurse but the family of the nurse too. The staff is usually willing to trust in the system and come to work when they feel safe, secure and organized.
The development of the plan should involve a disaster committee with a variety of hospital staff. The group should include nurses, physicians, management and directors. Nurses have the ability to influence others through the possession of knowledge or skills that are useful to others (Manojivoich, 2007). Nurses have the voice to relate to other nurses to ensure safety in the workplace during a natural disaster. The committee can make necessary changes and follow through with the hospital protocol and contingency plan.
A contingency plan should be implemented during the first initial awareness of a natural disaster. The committee should be aware of the disaster or possible disaster and ensure when to react on the necessary steps of the contingency plan. The contingency plan should be...