& Position Statement > Disaster Preparedness
Trained Nurses’ Association of India accepts the definition
of Disaster as framed by WHO: "Disaster is any occurring
that causes damage, economic disruption, loss of human life
and deterioration in health services on a scale sufficient to
warrant an extraordinary response from outside the affected
community area." The present century has added a new ecological
dimension to the definition of disaster: Chemical and nuclear
catastrophes, oil spills, air, water and soil pollution, desertification,
the greenhouse effect and environmental refuses.
TNAI believes that the Nurses, as the key members of the health
care team, can be of much assistance to the sufferers in and
outside the hospital, including disaster situation. The disasters,
particularly of high magnitude, like floods; earthquakes, wars,
etc. bring about not only physical problems but also physiological,
psychological and socio-economic problems. Nurses have a vital
role to play in times of disasters because of their broad-based
operations including study of humanities and social sciences.
Whatever may be the cause of disaster, whether natural or man-made,
Nurses are expected to handle the situation with competence.
from "traditional" emergency relief and assistance
in case of natural disasters, epidemics and other calamities,
the TNAI puts emphasis on the reduction a and management of
disasters. In practical terms, the TNAI focuses on training
in preparedness, assessment of health needs, information and
communication and planning for post-disaster activities. It
sees its main role as helping State Branches to make workable
arrangements for emergency preparedness plans on a nation–wide
underlying objectives of nursing actions in disaster are to
effectively reduce the impact of disaster on human life and
health, and to participate in the coordinated efforts of all
groups to reduce loss of life, property damage, social and economic
disruption and to initiate rehabilitation, It spans a broad
spectrum from pre-disaster planning to training for disaster
preparedness and relief action. While Disaster Nursing is not
considered a clinical speciality integrated with Medical Surgical
Nursing, it is important that Nurses be prepared to develop
leadership qualities that will enable them to perform challenging
roles in meeting the demands of disaster situations.
TNAI recognizes that in emergency situations there is need to
harmonise its efforts with health care groups, the local community,
civil defence, army, police, fire brigade and various non-governmental
its Branches all over the country, the TNAI can work towards
establishing centres for conducting training programmes on disaster
preparedness, and have a panel of Nursing who would spring into
action when disaster strikes for providing relief work in collaboration
with governmental and non-governmental organizations.
Planning and Training
The role of Nurses and Nursing in relation to community
or a hospital disaster preparedness plan: this should include
training in immediate care, casualty evacuation, emergency treatment
in hospital, psychological assistance to community and provision
of safe water and sanitation.
The Identification of the type of organizations which will
enable the Nursing staff to function most effectively during
Special preparation that Chief Nurses, Supervisors and Head
Nurses will need to assume leadership roles.
The kind of training that should be given to non-professional
members of Nursing service who are directly or indirectly involved
in patient care.
First Aid training at the grass-root level especially
in disaster-prone areas. In real life situations it is often
the only way to save lives.
Creating awareness in the school children and their teachers
as they are some of the most receptive groups to disaster preparedness
education and training. Recognising the value of school children
as "multipliers" of disaster information: tapping
this potential can prove its long-term effectiveness.
Participate in committees or bodies established to prepare,
coordinate and supervise programmes for the control and prevention
of specific health hazards during disasters.
Define their position in relation to the management of
the major health problems and solicit the cooperation of governments,
the community and voluntary organizations for the adoption
of preventive measures and development of the needed services.
Initiate and participate in research relating to determining
the magnitude and nature of the priority areas, appropriate
measures to be taken, practices and techniques which enable
people to cope with such situations, and prevention of disasters.
Ensure that sufficient number of Nurses receive the specialised
preparation required to work with particular groups.
Support the international measures against those problems
requiring international cooperation (provision of adequate
nutrition, control of drug traffic, pollution control, etc.)
Work for bringing about necessary changes in Nursing Education
to ensure adequate preparation of Nurses in order to carry
out their responsibilities effectively in combating disaster.