Haiti is the least developed and the poorest country in the western hemisphere. An earthquake catastrophe struck the nation in 2010 taking the lives of about 220, 000 people and crumbling the economy and infrastructures (Adelung, 2017). Till this day the people of Haiti are still suffering from the effects of that earthquake. There is the cholera outbreak that has claimed about 9,100 lives and 780,000 have been infected with cholera (Adelung, 2017). And then recently in 2016, the country was hit again with hurricane Mathew which affected about 2 million inhabitants there by destroying their homes and source of food, water and health services (Adelung, 2017).
Nurses can intervene in the primary prevention phase by assessing risk factors of a disaster, for example in case of the earthquake in Haiti, geographical location of residents in around mountains can place them at risk for effects of earthquakes. This also falls under assessment of potential hazards and vulnerability and preventing them before they occur.
The secondary phase of prevention deals with the quick response after the disaster has occurred. Public health nurses can join the first responders to provide primary care to victims with wounds, infection, and cardiovascular disease quickly before deterioration. This phase is very crucial to a community experiencing a disaster, as seen in the video about volunteers participating in mission trip to assist victims, nurses can also volunteer with agencies like American Red Cross, American Association of Nurses to provide rapid response services to the patients.
Tertiary phase deals with providing resources, services and support for the victims to recover after a disaster. The public health nurse can intervene by assessing the community for psychological support programs and vocational rehabilitation programs to help people train for new jobs after recovery. The nurse should also assess maintenance of long- term health conditions such as cardiovascular disease, respiratory diseases and illnesses from poor sanitation.
Nurses can be involved in any of the phases because when victim experience such catastrophe, they require much assistance in all stages. Nurses can have competency in disaster preparedness with the international Council of nurses (ANA, 2017). Knowledge about disaster care is important to be able to provide the care to the receivers.
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