During disaster situations, nurses often find themselves dealing with the challenges and potentially undesirable outcomes of working in compromised environments. Often, the ability to provide care is affected by a lack of staff and supplies or loss of utilities such as electricity and water. In addition, as residents of the area, nurses are also affected by disasters and are equally concerned about the safety of their own families and homes.
Texas Nurses Association and Texas Organization of Nurse Executives, with support from the Johnson & Johnson Foundation, developed Care for the Caregiver to help nurses before, during and after disasters. With many cities still recovering from hurricanes, active fires and evacuations throughout the west coast, and harsh winter storms predicted, nurses need to be ready to face any disaster, both at home and at work.
Nurses are often compelled by their duty to care for others. In addition to mental and physical fatigue, nurses may experience moral distress related to ethical concerns arising from the conflicting values and obligations inherent in the disaster work environment. To best care for patients, nurses must care for themselves.
Visit www.texasnurses.org/c4c to watch videos, download resources, and get more information on preparedness, resiliency, self-care and more. Nurses can learn:
- How to create a family disaster preparedness plan
- Key items for a disaster kit at home, for work and while traveling
- What to expect if working during a disaster
- How to understand work policies and obligations
- Stress relieving techniques
- Aspects of disaster work that produce stress
- Stress-prone and stress-resistant personality traits
- How to recognize acute or chronic stress
- The role of self-esteem in promoting and resolving stress
- Effective coping strategies and relaxation techniques for wellness
- How to recognize symptoms of PTSD in yourself or others
- Key indicators of compassion fatigue
- How to combat compassion fatigue