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Understanding the willingness of Australian emergency nurses to respond to a health care disaster


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Understanding the willingness of Australian emergency nurses to respond to a health care disaster; poster presented at the 17th World Congress on Disaster and Emergency Medicine, Beijing, China, 31st May – 3rd June.

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Understanding the willingness of Australian emergency nurses to respond to a health care disaster

  1. 1. Understanding the willingness of Australian emergency nurses to respond to a health care disasterArbon P , Cusack L , Ranse J , Shaban R , Considine J , Mitchell B , Hammad K , Woodman R , Kako M , Bahnisch L . 1 1 1,2 3 4 5 1 1 1 11. Flinders University, South Australia; 2. University of Canberra, Australian Capital Territory; 3. Griffith Institute for Health and Medical Research and Princess Alexandra Hospital,Queensland, Australia; 4. Deakin University and Northern Health, Victoria, Australia; 5. Northern Health, Victoria, AustraliaIntroduction MethodsEvents such as bushfires, floods and cyclones occur regularly in Australia.1 Within the This study used three phases. Appropriate ethics approval was received for this project.literature, eight key themes are evident that influence a health care professional’swillingness to attend their workplace during a disaster; family responsibility and safety,2-4 Phase I A national online survey, distributed via the College of Emergency Nursing Australasia, Australian College of Emergency Nurses and promoted in fourpersonal safety,3-4 working conditions,5 professional duty,4-5 type of event,5-6 gender,5-6 hospitals.knowledge,6-8 and ability.8-9A study focusing on Australian nurses willingness has not been previously undertaken. Phase II Six focus groups at four hospitals: 41 participants; andIt is important to understand the willingness of nurses to respond to disasters, and thepotential factors that enable or disable their response. Phase III In-depth interviews: 13 participants who participated in phase II. Data analysis for phase I included descriptive and inferential statistics. The participant narratives from phase II and III were transcribed and thematically analysed.Findings Qualitative FindingsPhase I Phase II and Phase III451 Emergency Department (ED) nurses completed the national survey. The thematic analysis identified 3 main themes and a number of sub-themes. Table 2: themes and sub-themes from the analysisParticipant DemographicsTable 1: Participant demographics Main Theme Sub-theme Uncertainty It depends on what is happening at home Male 71 (16%) It depends on what is happening at work Gender It depends on the information provided Female 373 (84%) It depends on the type of disaster Age M = 39.75 (21- 64) It depends on degree of risk It depends on the teamThe majority had no children (61.6%, n=277). Of the participants, 34% (n=152) lived with The unspoken Disasters are not talked abouta partner and 35.8% (n=160) lived with a partner and children. What is a disaster? Emergency nurse’s current roleDescriptive Findings Emergency nurse’s role in a disaster Moral dutyOf the participants, 30.1% (n=135) worked as an ED nurse between 1 and 5 years, and Choices Making a choice33.3% (n=148) held a Postgraduate Certificate or Diploma.Figure 1: Factors that influence the willingness of working in the ED in a disaster Discussion 500 Agree ED nurses demonstrated a willingness to work in disasters and describe themselves 450 as being prepared. Willingness to assist does not equate to an ability to assist, which 400 Disagree is influenced by factors such as transport availability and caring responsibilities. 350 Nurses were more willing to assist in transport/natural disasters, when compared to 300 terrorist/pandemic/CBR events. 250 200 Recommendations 150 100 1. On occasions, nurses are not willing to assist in disaster response. Strategies to overcome this should be implemented, such as enhancing PPE provisions, 50 0 2. Reasons why nurses are willing, but not able to assist should be investigated and Having a Having Having a Right to Needing more Managers responsibility knowledge / supportive work say no knowledge / should organise strategies developed to enhance the ability of staff to assist, and to work skills environment skills other sta 3. Further research, beyond the cohort of ED nurses explored, should be undertaken.Inferential statistics Acknowledgements: This research was supported by funds from a Flinders University Industry Partnership Grant. The authors would like to thank the Royal Adelaide Hospital, Calvary Health Care ACT, Princess Alexandra Hospital and Northern Health who were partner organisations in this research. The authors wouldThe odds of being willing to attend work in transport/natural disasters was 23.9 times like to thank the CENA and the ACEN for the distribution of the survey.higher than the odds of being willing to attend work in terrorist/pandemic/CBR events References: 1: Nicopolous N & Hansen E, 2009, ‘How well prepared are Australian communities for natural disasters and fire emergencies?’, The Australian Journal of Emergency Management, 24(1): 60-66. 2: Dalton CB, Durrheim DN, & Conroy MA, 2008, ‘Likely impact of school and childcare closures on public health workforce during an influenza pandemic: a survey’, Communicable Diseases Intelligence, 3292): 261-262. 3:(95% CI: 10.85 – 52.8, p <0.001). Damery S, Wilson S, Draper H, Gratus C, Greenfield S, Ives J, Parry J, Petts J, & Sorell T, 2009, ‘Will the NHS continue to function in an influenza pandemic? A survey of healthcare workers in the West Midlands, UK’, BMC Public Health, 9(142): 1-13. 4: Ehrenstein BP, Hanses F, & Salxberger B, 2006, ‘Influenza pandemic and professional duty: family or patients first? A survey of hospital employees’, BMC Public Health, 6:311. 5: Masterson L, Steffen C, Brin M, Kordick MF & Christos S, 2009, ‘Willingness to respond: of emergency department personnel and their predicted participation in mass casualty terrorist events’, The Journal of Emergency Medicine, 36(1): 43-49. 6: Grimes DE, & Mendias EP, 2010, ‘Nurses’ intentions to respond to bioterrorism and other infectious disease emergencies’, Nursing Outlook, 58(1): 10-16.Of the participants, 35.7% (n=161) reported wanting improvement to Personal Protective 7: Irvin CB, Cindrich L, Patterson W, & Southall A, 2008, ‘Survey of hospital healthcare personnel response during a potential Avian influenza pandemic: will they come to work?’, Prehospital and Disaster Medicine, 23(4): 328-335. 8: Watt K, Tippett VC, Raven SG, Jamrozik K, Coory M, Archer F, & Kelly HA, 2010, ‘Attitudes to living and working in pandemic conditions among emergency prehospital medical care personnel’, Prehospital and Disaster Medicine, 25(1): 13-19. 9: O’Sullivan TL, Amaratunga C, Phillips KP, Corneil W, O’Connor E, Lemyre L & Dow D, 209, ‘If schools are closed, who will watch our kids? FamilyEquipment (PPE) caregiving and other sources of role conflict among nurses during large-scale outbreaks’, Prehospital and Disaster Medicine, 24(4): 321-325. © 2011 DESIGNED & PRINTED BY MULTIMEDIA SERVICES, CANBERRA HOSPITAL