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A survey of the practice of nurses’ skills in Wenchuan earthquake disaster sites: implications for disaster training

Authors


J. Zhu: e-mail: jingcizhu2010@gmail.com

Abstract

yin h., he h., arbon p. & zhu j. (2011) A survey of the practice of nurses’ skills in Wenchuan earthquake disaster sites: implications for disaster training. Journal of Advanced Nursing 67(9), 2231–2238.

Abstract

Aims.  To determine nursing skills most relevant for nurses participating in disaster response medical teams; make recommendations to enhance training of nurses who will be first responders to a disaster site; to improve the capacity of nurses to prepare and respond to severe natural disasters.

Background.  Worldwide, nurses play a key role in disaster response teams at disaster sites. They are often not prepared for the challenges of dealing with mass casualties; little research exists into what basic nursing skills are required by nurses who are first responders to a disaster situation. This study assessed the most relevant disaster nursing skills of first responder nurses at the 2008 Wenchuan earthquake disaster site.

Method.  Data were collected in China in 2008 using a self-designed questionnaire, with 24 participants who had been part of the medical teams that were dispatched to the disaster sites.

Findings.  The top three skills essential for nurses were: intravenous insertion; observation and monitoring; mass casualty triage. The three most frequently used skills were: debridement and dressing; observation and monitoring; intravenous insertion. The three skills performed most proficiently were: intravenous insertion; observation and monitoring; urethral catheterization. The top three ranking skills most important for training were: mass casualty transportation; emergency management; haemostasis, bandaging, fixation, manual handling.

Conclusion.  The core nursing skills for disaster response training are: mass casualty transportation; emergency management; haemostasis, bandaging, fixation, manual handling; observation and monitoring; mass casualty triage; controlling specific infection; psychological crisis intervention; cardiopulmonary resuscitation; debridement and dressing; central venous catheter insertion; patient care recording.

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