• disaster preparedness;
  • evacuation;
  • training

Poster Presentation

  1. Top of page
  2. Poster Presentation

Purpose for the Program

In the last 11 years, we have seen more disasters that have affected our health care system in numerous ways. Some of these disasters have had an indirect effect with an influx of patients into the system, whereas others have directly affected the ability to deliver health care. The lessons learned led to the very comprehensive “Emergency Preparedness and Disaster Response: Competency Based Educational Objectives for Perinatal and Neonatal Nurses.”

Proposed Change

In this age of continually evolving health care, our staff nurses have an overwhelming amount of information to process on an ongoing basis while working in a busy women's hospital that performs approximately 7,000 births per year. Our approach to meeting these competencies is to provide hands-on training addressing one area of need at a time.

Implementation, Outcomes, and Evaluation

We started by having all clinical mother–baby team members actually wear our baby evacuation vests carrying four 1-gallon water jugs to simulate what it would feel like to physically evacuate four infants. We reviewed our fire evacuation plan and location of emergency evacuation routes. Six months later, we added adult evacuation using the ParaSlyde and had teams of two to four staff members evacuate a real person from a bed to the floor and down a flight of stairs. This was paired with additional training on initial fire response, our hospital emergency response team, and recognizing fire compartments and when to evacuate a fire compartment. The feedback from team members was overwhelmingly favorable and indicated that they enjoyed being able to actually do hands-on practice with the vests and ParaSlyde.

Implications for Nursing Practice

We plan to address the following topics with hands-on training in the next 1 to 2 years: active shooter scenario requiring lockdown of the facility; recognition of chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear, and explosive agents and how to respond; use of disaster supply carts with obstetric specific supplies; lecture and practice of triage system; and practice and review of caring for patients in low-tech environments.