Emergency Preparedness and Response
January 10, 2012
Sandi Wheeler, R.N., MSN
Emergency Preparedness and Response
Public emergency preparedness and response is the ability of the public health and health care systems, communities, and individuals, to prevent, protect against, quickly respond to, and recover from emergencies, particularly those whose scale, timing, or unpredictability threatens to overwhelm routine capabilities. Preparedness involves a continuous process of planning and implementation that relies on measuring performance and taking corrective action. There are many different public agencies, from local to national, that are dedicated and ...view middle of the document...
Administration’s answer is to implement mandatory overtime for all employees with the start of the next pay period.
Karen, the nurse at the senior center, has noticed that many of her clients need to increase their oxygen use. She has instructed these clients to remain indoors to avoid the potentially deadly irritants from the smoke. The school nurse, Violet, is also seeing her students with respiratory ailments presenting with worsening symptoms. One particular student, Kelsey, a seven year old second grader, was sent to her office due to increase cough, respiratory rate, and wheezing. The student did not have an inhaler available to her therefore her mother was called and it was recommended she be taken to her pediatrician and an inhaler provided for use at school.
One particular household in The Neighborhood is also experiencing difficulties as a result of the smoke and increase irritants in the air, and they are the Bley family. The Bley household consists of Jimmy, age 78, and Cecelia, age 75. The two have been married for 56 years. Jimmy is a retired electronics technician for the Army and Cecelia is a housewife. Cecelia is in relatively good health; her only issue is osteoarthritis, which she considers an annoyance. Jimmy’s health related issues include hearing loss, which he describes as “mild”, and emphysema, which he describes as “not that bad”. Jimmy does have a hearing aid but would rather not wear it; therefore he does not make regular battery maintenance a priority. He has noticed that over the last few years his breathing difficulties have become worse, as a result, Jimmy knows that he must pace himself when completing tasks, otherwise he becomes quite short of breath and it takes him longer to recover from it. Unfortunately, Jimmy continues to smoke despite the knowledge that his smoking is having a negative impact on his emphysema. For Jimmy smoking is something that he enjoys and is not interested in quitting to better his current respiratory illness.
The Bley’s are aware of the impact the impure, smoke filled air could have on Jimmy’s respiratory status therefore, despite the fact that the dryer is broken and Jimmy can fix it with the necessary part, Jimmy opts to stay indoors until this increasing threat passes. Thankfully the Bley’s have raised eight children, which all live nearby, and one of their daughters comes by and takes Cecelia to the Laundromat to finish the laundry.
The healthcare workers in The Neighborhood have been trying to keep up with the increased need for medical attention as a result of the smoke from the wildfire. The hospital staff members are struggling to keep up with the increased demand and administration is not offering much assistance. In fact, administration has added increased stress and demand upon the staff by instituting mandatory overtime for all staff members, instead of calling in additional staff to assist with the increased demand. Thus...