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Table of Contents
ARTICLE
Year : 2018  |  Volume : 19  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 81-84

Knowledge and attitude regarding disaster preparedness and management among nurses and nursing students


Professor, Mamata College of Nursing, Khammam, India

Date of Web Publication5-Jun-2020

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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


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  Abstract 


Disaster is a sudden adverse or unfortunate extreme event, which causes great damage to human beings. Disaster is any occurrence 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 nurses’ role is to respond in all serious events that could threaten the life of others. Every nurse must seek for new challenges on disaster management and emergency responses. The present study was done to determine the nurses’ knowledge and attitude regarding the disaster preparedness and management. A comparative cross-sectional study was conducted to assess the knowledge and attitude among nurses and nursing students in selected hospital at Khammam. Fifty nurses and fifty nursing students were selected by using convenience sampling technique. Data was collected by using a self-administered questionnaire to assess the knowledge and a Likert scale to assess the attitude. The results showed that 32% of the staff nurses and 14% of the nursing students had adequate knowledge regarding disaster management. With regard to attitude among staff nurses, majority, i.e., 92% had favourable attitude and 8% were neutral in their attitude. Among nursing students 98% had an favourable attitude and 2% were neutral. The study concludes that staff nurses have better knowledge when compared to nursing students and nursing students have better attitude when compared to the staff nurses towards disaster preparedness and management.

Keywords: knowledge, attitude, disaster preparedness, disaster management, nurses role


How to cite this article:
Mariappan R, Philip R. Knowledge and attitude regarding disaster preparedness and management among nurses and nursing students. Indian J Cont Nsg Edn 2018;19:81-4

How to cite this URL:
Mariappan R, Philip R. Knowledge and attitude regarding disaster preparedness and management among nurses and nursing students. Indian J Cont Nsg Edn [serial online] 2018 [cited 2022 Oct 6];19:81-4. Available from: https://www.ijcne.org/text.asp?2018/19/2/81/286094






  Introduction Top


The nurses role is to respond in all serious events that could threaten the life of others. The World Health Organization (2005) defines a disaster as “a sudden ecological phenomenon of sufficient magnitude to require external assistance.” The Joint Commission Accreditation of Health Care Organizations (2019) has a somewhat different definition, which states a disaster is “an imbalance in the availability of medical care and a mal-distribution of medical resources versus casualties within a community.” Certainly other definitions exist. These two definitions focus on the medical aspects of a disaster, while there are indeed many other aspects of an event which might qualify it as a disaster.

The unpredictable occurrence of disaster whether man-made or natural, consequently makes it uncontrollable and inevitable. The devastating impact on human life and properties necessitates man’s preventive and collaborative effort to minimize or prevent greater damages to it occurrence although, it may not be possible to control nature and to stop the development of natural phenomena.

In the past two decades there have been many natural and man-made disasters in India. Flood is the most common natural disaster worldwide and is theleading cause of weather related disaster. This disaster brought the need for emergency preparedness to the attention of Indian public. Apart from flood earthquake, terrorist attack, cyclone, fire etc have created concern across the country for preparedness. Terrorist acts almost every day pointed to an urgent need for special planning and responses of emergency responders and agencies (Nursing, 2008).

Comprehensive disaster management plan including all sectors and organizations of the nation is vital to meet the challenges related to disasters.

Disaster preparedness refers to measures taken to prepare for and reduce the effects of disasters. That is, to predict and, where possible, prevent disasters, mitigate their impact on vulnerable populations, and respond to and effectively cope with their consequences. The objective of disaster preparedness is to ensure that appropriate systems, procedures and resources provide timely effective assistance to disaster victims thus, facilitating relief measures and rehabilitation of services (International Federation of Red Cross, [IFRCS], 2019). The International Council of Nurses (ICN) Framework on disaster nursing competencies recognized an accelerated need to build capacities of nurses at all levels in order to safeguard populations, limit injuries, and deaths, maintain health system functioning and community well-being in the midst of continued health threats and disasters (World Health Organisation, 2009).”Nurses comprise the largest healthcare workgroup in most countries and are at the forefront of the healthcare response to disasters. From the work of Florence Nightingale in the Crimean War to the recent care provided by nurses in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina in 2005 and the Asian tsunami of 2004, nurses historically are linked to the provision of care during crises (Nursing, 2008)”.

Nurses have been serving in disasters rescue for more than a century, and to this day, provides significant resources to both the employee and the volunteer disaster management workforce, unmatched by any other profession. Nurses as well as nursing students can be valuable resource during disaster. Hence, the present study is aimed to assess the knowledge and attitude regarding disaster preparedness and management among nurses and nursing students.

Objectives

  • To compare the level of knowledge and attitude of staff nurses and the nursing students regarding disaster preparedness and management
  • To find the association between the level of knowledge and attitude scores regarding disaster preparedness and management and the selected socio- demographic variables of the staff nurses and nursing students



  Methods Top


A comparative cross-sectional study was conducted to assess the knowledge and attitude among nurses and nursing students in a selected hospital at Khammam. The study was conducted in a General Hospital, Khammam District, Telengana. The subjects were selected by using convenience sampling technique. A total of 100 including 50 nurses and 50 nursing students were selected as study subjects using convenience sampling technique. Data was collected by usingself administered questionnaire to assess the level of knowledge regarding the disaster preparedness and management and a Likert scale was used to assess the attitude regarding the disaster preparedness and management. Data were analysed by using descriptive and inferential analysis.


  Results and Discussion Top


The results show that among 50 nurses, majority 68% (34) were between 21-25 years of age. With regard to gender majority (96%) were female nurses. Most (62%) were B.Sc (N) and 50% of them had less than lyear experience. Among 50 nursing students, 94% (47) of them were between 20-22 and 86% (43) were females.

With regard to knowledge among 50 nurses, 28 (56%) had moderately adequate knowledge, 16(32%) had adequate knowledge, and 6 (12%) had inadequate knowledge whereas among 50 nursing students, 36(72%) had moderately adequate knowledge and 7 (14%) had adequate knowledge and 7(14%) had inadequate knowledge [Figure 1]. With regard attitude among staff nurses, majority, i.e., 92% had favourable attitude and 8% were neutral in their attitude. Among nursing students 98% had favorable attitude and 2% were neutral [Figure 2].
Figure 1: Distribution of Staff and Student Nurses According to Level of Knowledge

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Figure 2: Distribution of Staff and Student Nurses According to Attitude

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These findings are consistent with a study conducted on nurses’ knowledge, attitude, practices and familiarity regarding disaster and emergency preparedness by Ibrahim (2014). The results revealed that there was a lack of knowledge level in disaster preparedness. While the attitudes of them regarding disaster preparedness was accepted except to attitude agreement that disasters are likely to happen in any healthcare setting as many believed that health care settings themselves donot encounter disasters.

The study reveals that staff nurses have better knowledge when compared to student nurses and student nurses have better attitude when compared to the staff nurses towards disaster preparedness and management. There was a significant association between the attitude scores and the gender and income of the staff nurses at p > (0.05). The gender influence cannot be generalized as majority in this study were females. There was a significant association between the attitude scores and the age of the student nurses at p > (0.05) level showing that mature students had better attitude. There was no significant association with the level of knowledge and the demographic variables of staff nurses and the student nurses. As attitudes are vital in providing care, the positive attitude and a relatively better knowledge reveal that nurses and nursing students can be resourceful in disaster mitigation and relief activities. However, knowledge can be optimized with regular training,continuous nursing education initiatives on disaster management.


  Conclusion Top


The findings of the study reveal that the staff nurses have better knowledge when compared to student nurses and student nurses have better attitude when compared to the staff nurses towards disaster preparedness and management.

Preparing for disaster or emergency is very crucial and is a priority for everyone. In every discipline, the individuals or professionals are expected to be knowledgeable and equipped to deal with emergency situations. Nurses by virtue of their competency and intellectual abilities are not left behind and as such, have a significant role to play in terms of emergency or disaster preparedness.

Conflicts of Interest: The authors have declared no conflicts of interest.



 
  References Top

1.
Ibrahim, F. A. A. (2014). Nurses’ knowledge, attitudes, practices and familiarity regarding disaster and emergency preparedness Saudi Arabia. American Journal of Nursing Science, 3(2), 18-25.  Back to cited text no. 1
    
2.
International Federation of Red Cross. (2019). Disaster Preparedness. Retrieved from https://media.ifrc.org /ifrc/what-we-do/disaster-and-crisis-management /disaster-preparedness/  Back to cited text no. 2
    
3.
Nursing. (2008). Disaster management and nurses role. Retrieved from http://nursingparadise. blogspot.com/2008/12/disaster-management-and- nurses-role.html  Back to cited text no. 3
    
4.
The Joint Commission. (2019). Emergency Management Resources. Retrieved from https://www. jointcommission.org /emergency management. aspx  Back to cited text no. 4
    
5.
World Health Organisation. (2005). Definitions: Emergencies. Retrieved from https://www.who.int / hac/about/definitions/en/  Back to cited text no. 5
    
6.
World Health Organization. (2009). ICN Framework of Disaster Nursing Competencies. Retrieved from http://www.wpro.who.int/hrh/documents/icn_fram ework.pdf  Back to cited text no. 6
    


    Figures

  [Figure 1], [Figure 2]



 

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Abstract
Introduction
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