PREPARING PUBLIC HEALTH NURSES FOR DISASTER: INCREASING SELF-EFFICACY & STANDARDIZATION
Objectives: The purpose of this project was to increase disaster self-efficacy and standardization for public health nurses (PHNs) thru implementation of disaster training, specialized disaster certifications, and standardized triage procedures to prepare PHNs as first responders during disasters. The impetus for conducting the project was to address evidence from literature that suggest when PHNs are called on to be first responders in a disaster they do not have the knowledge and skill set to be effective in triage or to follow incident command protocols. Methods: This project incorporated quantitative methods to identify and measure disaster self-efficacy for PHNs. This task was accomplished with a variety of approaches including: pre and post training Disaster Self-Efficacy Surveys (DSES) created by Dr. Catherine Naypaver, demographic questionnaires, simulations, online certifications, and course evaluations. All Data retrieved and collected was analyzed in SPSS software. Results: The results of the dependent sample t-test were substantial, t (16) = -10.68, p < .001, SD 10.70, df 15, and Sig. (2-tailed) = .000 signifying that there was a difference in pre and post DSES tools. Overall 100% of the study participants perceived an increase in their individual level of disaster self-efficacy. Increased disaster self-efficacy was measured by the mean increase from pre-training DSES (55.63=45%) to post-training DSES (84.29=67%) reaching the goal of 20% or greater rise in mean scores. Conclusion: The results of this DNP project demonstrate that PHNs at Riverside County Department of Public Health (RCDOPH) recognize specialized disaster training and certification in Basic Disaster Life Support (BDLS ®) to be a useful addition to their current training and will prepare them to respond to disasters in the role as first responder.
A dissertation submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for Degree of Doctor of Nursing Practice
Nursing, Public Health, Disaster Response