Disaster Nursing and Emergency Preparedness for Chemical, Biological, and Radiological Terrorism and Other Hazards

By McEntee, Margaret A. | Nursing Education Perspectives, January/February 2004 | Go to article overview

Disaster Nursing and Emergency Preparedness for Chemical, Biological, and Radiological Terrorism and Other Hazards


McEntee, Margaret A., Nursing Education Perspectives


Disaster Nursing and Emergency Preparedness for Chemical, Biological, and Radiological Terrorism and Other Hazards edited by Tener Good-win Veenema, PhD, MPH, MS, CPNP; New York: Springer Publishing, 2003; 616 pages, $79.95

With this book, Dr. Veenema has definitely met her objective - presenting the "foundation for best practice in disaster nursing and emergency preparedness" to help develop "a national nursing workforce that is adequately prepared to respond to any disaster or public health emergency." She has organized the current knowledge of disaster and emergency nursing into a well-written, coherent text and filled a gap that has long been empty in the nursing literature. Further, she has designed a text for flexibility and expansion as new developments arise.

Introducing the reader to concepts and activities involved in incident management, Dr. Veenema organizes content into core sections - Disaster Preparedness, Disaster Management, Types of Disasters (natural/accidental and intentional), and Special Topics - that include implications for nursing education, research, and practice. Throughout the text, the emphasis is on health consequences for those involved.

Chapters on disaster preparedness address the roles of local, state, and federal jurisdictions and discuss psychological, legal, and ethical issues. Content pertaining to hazard vulnerability analysis can be readily incorporated into community health curricula as a component of community assessment. A developmental approach for addressing psychological responses will serve as a guide for preparing to meet the needs of children. The chapter on legal and ethical issues is exceptionally well written. The juxtaposition of the American Nurses Association Code of Ethics for Nursing and the Model State Emergency Health Powers Act provides critical information, yet can serve as source material for classroom debates. The need to participate in the preparedness phase is repeatedly emphasized.

Chapters in the disaster management section clearly describe the implementation of plans developed in the preparedness phase. An exceptionally well-written chapter by Qureshi and Gebbie helps the reader through the intricacies of the Hospital Emergency Incident Management System (HEICS), which is developing into the standard for emergency management plans. Sample job action sheets facilitate the presentation and will help nurses in health care institutions encourage their organizations to adopt HEICS.

A chapter on the management of psychosocial effects thoroughly describes interventional strategies for primary victims as well as responders and health care workers. Unfortunately, the authors cite the Cochrane Review to present a "debriefing controversy," in which "debriefings" have had "negative effects. …

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