This episode of RNFM Radio is all about nurses being prepared for, and responding to, natural disasters.
Ashley shared that nurses have been desperately needed in response to recent hurricanes hitting Texas, Florida, and the Caribbean. What responsibility do we nurses have to respond to natural disasters? Do you feel moved to dig deep and help out on the ground?
There’s always volunteering, but there is also donating money if you’re not in a position to actually go help in person.
One skill to develop in order to be an asset in an emergency would be upping your knowledge about wound care. Would you like to sharpen your wound care skills and be more proficient for when disaster strikes?
Even basic first aid would be great to brush up on.
Understanding water-borne illnesses like cholera would also be helpful, especially if you want to volunteer in countries like Haiti.
Learning how to be resourceful with materials is paramount — there generally aren’t well-stocked supply rooms in a disaster.
Also, know your institution’s downtime protocol. What happens when there’s no electricity, generators, supplies, EMR access, etc? Consider how you would preserve resources in an emergency or disaster.
Doctors Without Borders is a great organization to look into for volunteering. Global Outreach Doctors is another very good organization that’s based in Santa Fe, New Mexico; their director appeared on RNFM Radio in 2014 on episode 131.
Our first #StumpSean question asked for the name of the nurse who singlehandedly founded the American Red Cross early in the late 19th century. Who was it? Clara Barton! Sean was stumped at first but came up with the right answer.
Question #2 asked for what “R-P-M” stands for in relation to an assessment criteria for a well-known disaster triage system. The answer? R = respiratory, P = pulse, M = mental status. Always use radial pulses in order to assess for distal perfusion.
Keith’s Career Corner asks when you last reviewed your resume. Keith recommends reviewing and editing your resume twice per year. If you live in a place where Daylight Savings Time is practiced, simply put it on your calendar to do so every fall and spring when the clocks are changed and the batteries are changed in your smoke and carbon monoxide alarms.
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