Cena 2011 presentation_28-09-11_LBahnisch
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The recent extreme weather events in Queensland and Victoria highlight that natural disasters occur regularly in Australia. Arguably, the Australian health care system has had little experience with ...
The recent extreme weather events in Queensland and Victoria highlight that natural disasters occur regularly in Australia. Arguably, the Australian health care system has had little experience with disasters that overwhelm health resources. This raises questions about the ability of health care providers to respond under conditions of increased demands and personal vulnerability. International experience, including earthquakes in Japan , Christchurch  and Haiti , has shown that uncertainty about their safety and that of their family and friends may prevent nurses from attending work during a disaster. An understanding of the factors that enable or disable nurses’ disaster preparedness will underpin future disaster policy and planning for Australian and international health care organisations.
A study of the willingness of Australian emergency nurses to respond to a disaster was conducted. A 3-phase mixed-method design was used, consisting of a national survey, focus groups and in-depth interviews with emergency nurses at four hospitals. This presentation builds upon preliminary results delivered at the 8th International Conference for Emergency Nurses (2010). The findings indicate that emergency nurses’ willingness to respond to disasters is dependent on a number of factors, including their out-of-work responsibilities, changes to their roles at work, their confidence in management, protective equipment and work teams, the information received, the type of disaster and the degree of risk involved. The nurses’ willingness also differs according to their age, family status, personal preparedness and disaster related qualifications. These and other factors will be examined, exploring the implications for individual nurses and planners.
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