Emergency preparedness is the ability of individuals, organizations, and communities to respond to public health emergencies, such as natural disasters, bad weather, bioterrorism, outbreak of diseases, accidents casualties, and chemical or radiation emergencies. The most indigenous role of the federal, state or local government is to protect and prevent citizens from injury or potential harm, which involves helping people to prepare and respond to emergency situation, including people with disabilities.
To plan and respond to community emergency require involvement of everybody in the community, including people with disabilities in identifying needs in evaluating operational management. The issues identified with people of disabilities include notification, evacuation, transportation, sheltering, access to information, medication, refrigeration, backup power, and to mobility devices or service animals en route to shelter. Emergency preparedness is pertinent for every community because it could be a life-threatening situation.
Summary of the event that took place at the Neighborhood community as read under the course materials section in the newspaper articles and scenarios in the Pearson Health Science Neighborhood in season two, episode five from University of Phoenix student website. The Neighborhood has a population of 64,200, localized close to a forest and beside the bank of a river. The community has been experiencing fire out-break for five days and had caused irreversible damage to the land, it has destroyed huge acres of land and may be a threat to the town because of the windy climate.
The people are developing respiratory problems because of the fire’s closeness to the city. The city officials are stipulating everyone in the community to remain indoor except it is necessary to do so because of the air pollution from the smoke. The fire fighters are battling with the fire, and the health care workers struggle to stabilize the residents’ respiratory problems and other health issues the fire may have caused within the city. The residents suffer emotional, physical, and mental instability because of this fire outbreak.
With the reduction of atmospheric quality the Neighborhood community needs an emergency preparedness plan for the residents’ safety and the neighboring communities (Pearson health science,). The Neighborhood hospital in the community is experiencing influx of patient because of the exposure to smoke from the fire. Children and adults are suffering from asthma and other respiratory issues. Those with the preexistence condition suffer more. The emergency department is experiencing shortage of bed to accommodate patients.
The hospital staffs are pressurized to discharge patient and make rooms and beds available for emergency room patients’ admission. There is mandatory overtime for nurses and other workers are overworked and tired, though committed giving quality care. The experience is overwhelming for the workers, nursing staff, and the administrative staffs, the nurses are stressed, and caused low morale among the workers which will eventually affect patient care and outcome. The community Senior Center and Nursing Clinic was also affected by this fire.
At the Senior Center, Karen Williams, a geriatric nurse for 30 years has been working at the Neighborhood Senior Center for five years. Several seniors at the Center are required to use oxygen more often. The nurse advised the senior citizens to stay in-door to avoid respiratory irritation. The School is also affected by this fire, Kelsey Young a second grade student has been coughing with difficulty breathing was sent to the school nurse. Violet Brinkworth has been a school nurse for six years and experienced the effect of the smoky environment.
Kelsey was assessed and Violet noticed Kelsey has difficulty breathing with increased respiratory rate, strong regular coughing, and wheezing. Violet sent for the mother to pick Kelsey up from school because there is no inhaler at school as a first aid to respiratory problem. Violet also encouraged Kelsey’s mother to send an inhaler to school with Kelsey in case of an emergency like this. This shows that the school was not prepared for emergency situation because the emergency preparedness is not in place. Jimmy Bley is aged 78 with chronic disease of Emphysema and partial hearing loss in which Jimmy is in denial.
Cecelia Bley is aged 75 with chronic disease of joint-pain. Jimmy and Cecilia Bley have been married for 56 years with eight children and have many grand-children. The children and grandchildren live close helping with routine activities in the house when needed. During the week of the fire outbreak Bley’s dryer broke and needs to be fixed. Cecelia informed Jimmy about the broken dryer but Jimmy did not want to go out to buy the materials needed to fix the dryer until the smoky environment from the forest fire subsided.
Cecilia went to do laundry at the Laundromat with one of the daughters. The fire has caused delay activities in the neighborhood households and has created fear in the residents. The health care workers have worked relentlessly to limit the complication of this fire outbreak. Thorough preparedness agenda entails danger and susceptibility analysis, predictions of the possible health effects, analysis of the accessibility of needed resources, identification of vulnerable populations, and elaboration of comprehensive plans for the preparedness and response.
The public health care team in the Neighborhood played significant role in coordinating and overseeing the delivery of services as well as communicating with the providers, the media, and the public. The health care teams responded to the fire disaster, assisting the community in recovering, assessing, and assisting the quality and accessibility of health care services. The health care teams provided direct medical care at the clinics, in the hospitals, and at school.
The health care team promotes, and encourages healthy behaviors, identify, and protect at risk people associated with environmental hazards. The health care team also monitors environmental conditions, restrict activity of the community, and set standard for healthy living and safety. The school nurse Violet Brinkworth, responded to Kelsey Young’s respiratory condition, by asking the mother to take Kelsey to the pediatrician for evaluation. The nurse recommended to the student’s mother to have an inhaler at school for the daughter in case of future emergencies.
The senior center nurse Karen Williams administered more oxygen to the seniors at the center and instructed the seniors to stay in-door until atmospheric condition gets better. The nurses who initially responded to the emergency are the Neighborhood Hospital nurses, outpatient clinic nurses, and the senior center nurse. Kate worked at the medical-surgical unit at the Neighborhood Hospital, Pat, the nurse manager at the hospital, and the senior center nurse Karen Williams, a geriatric nurse. The nurses are very busy at different location in the hospital playing significant role in the community hospital.
The emergency room experienced influx of patients with emphysema and asthma because of the Neighborhood forest fire outbreak, triaging, and treating hurriedly to create room for more victims, pressurizing for bed in the medical surgical unit for admission. The nurses in emergency room are decongesting the unit rapidly. The medical surgical unit was busy discharging stable patient to accommodate patients from emergency room. There was shortage of nurses because of high-demand for beds and resources that was not available, resulting in mandatory overtime. The hospital was busy, and the nurses were overworked causing low motivation.