Disaster preparedness among Hong Kong nurses

Authors


O.W.M. Fung: e-mail: hsof@inet.polyu.edu.hk

Abstract

Title. Disaster preparedness among Hong Kong nurses

Aim.  This paper is a report of a survey to explore Hong Kong nurses’ disaster preparedness.

Background.  Increasingly frequent global disasters are posing threats to human health and life. The World Health Organization has called for countries to have detailed plans at all levels in order to be prepared for disasters that may arise.

Method.  A questionnaire was distributed to convenience samples of practising Registered Nurses studying in Master’s degree programmes at a Hong Kong university in 2007.

Results.  Of a possible 174, 164 questionnaires were returned (Response rate 94%). Almost all nurses (97·6%) considered the government health department to be the organization most involved in disastrous situations. The majority (84·8%) were aware of the existence of a protocol on disaster management at their workplace. About one-third would respond in accordance with protocol (38·4%) or rely on directions from their immediate supervisors (34·8%) if a disaster occurred. Almost all the nurses (97%) considered themselves not adequately prepared for disasters. They recognized that a protocol for disaster management (85·4%) and training and drills for disasters (both 84·1%) are useful tools.

Conclusion.  Nurses in Hong Kong are not adequately prepared for disasters, but are aware of the need for such preparation. Disaster management training should be included in the basic education of nurses.

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