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Title: Editorial: Are we ready? Preparing nurses to respond to disasters and emerging infectious diseases
Contributor(s): Usher, Kim  (author)
Publication Date: 2010
DOI: 10.1111/j.1365-2702.2009.02979.x
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Abstract: The need to be adequately prepared to face the challenges of disasters and emergencies has never been greater. This is also the case across the health workforce but especially for nurses and midwives. Recent natural disasters such as the bushfires and floods in Australia, the earthquakes in Indonesia, Pakistan and China, and the tsunamis in Thailand and Indonesia, have led to a heightened concern about the current adequacy of disaster response in the health workforce and other associated services. Natural disasters are often catastrophic, result in mass casualties, inflict a huge toll on health workers and stress their ability to cope. To manage effectively in such situations requires adequate preparation as well as available resources and support services. In addition to the added preparation required to manage natural disasters, we now face renewed threats from infectious diseases such as severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) outbreaks, as well as outbreaks of avian and swine influenza. Interestingly, we seem to only now realise that outbreaks of newly emerging contagious diseases are here to stay; they are predicted to be a major health problem of the 21st century (Smith 2006). Given the current outbreak of novel influenza, or H1N1, it is evident that nurses and other health workers must be adequately prepared to face these challenges. As nurses are particularly vulnerable to contracting the disease due to their close proximity to patients and direct contact with respiratory fluids (Marjanovic et al. 2007), it is even more important to enhance the health workforce preparedness to meet these challenges.
Publication Type: Journal Article
Source of Publication: Journal of Clinical Nursing, 19(11-12), p. 1483-1484
Publisher: Wiley-Blackwell Publishing Ltd
Place of Publication: United Kingdom
ISSN: 0962-1067
Field of Research (FoR) 2008: 111002 Clinical Nursing: Primary (Preventative)
Socio-Economic Objective (SEO) 2008: 920210 Nursing
920407 Health Protection and/or Disaster Response
HERDC Category Description: C4 Letter of Note
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