Public Health and Health Nurse Essay

Submitted By allisoncooper
Words: 1593
Pages: 7

In the event of a natural or man-made disaster, public health personnel have to work together to respond appropriately to the emergency at hand. The Incident Command System (ICS) is a helpful tool in determining what role an individual should be assigned. “ICS provides a common language as well as the standardization necessary for communicating and cooperating with other agencies or with an EOC” (Disaster, 2006). The ICS attempts to fit a person into the role that plays to their strengths and where their individual experience will help them be better prepared in serving the community. All public health personnel should be trained on the specifics of the ICS and be competent to take on any role they might potentially be assigned in a disaster.
Some of the individual roles of major public health personnel are: the Liaison Officer, Finance/Administration Chief, Planning Chief, Public Information Officer, Logistics Chief, Operations Chief, and the public health nurse. The role of the Liaison Officer is to answer the questions of the community and provide public statements when necessary. The Finance/Administration Chief keeps track of the expenses and resources that have been utilized during the emergency response. The Planning Chief gathers all of the available information about the disaster and what has gone wrong in the community such as the water system being contaminated. They then devise an action plan on how to fix the issue at hand and give that information to the Public Information Officer. The Public Information Officer determines what information will be accessible to the public. He ensures that each member of the ICS is provided with the approved information so that the message to the public is consistent and stable. The Logistics Chief makes it possible for the operations chief to do their job; they provide them with the space and tools they will need to fulfill their role. The Operations Chief will compile the supplies provided by the logistics chief and form a strategy to utilize the resources given to them to organize the distribution of aid to those in need. The public health nurse determines the needs of the community members. They go to the temporary housing made available and ensure that all the provisions being provided are safe and effective in healing the community. They will go door to door and ensure that each family’s needs are being met whether they be psychological or physical. The public health nurse also helps to facilitate the resources provided by the ICS to the appropriate community members by determining their specific needs.
The chain of command that was used in the simulation for the community health nurse was ultimately headed by the Emergency Operation Center (EOC) Commander. He was the person who had the final say about what decisions should be made and what the plan of attack should be. While when looking at the hierarchy of EOC, the public health nurse is noticeably at the bottom and it would seem the nurse would have to work their way up the chain of command to provide the EOC Commander with information they had obtained. This however was not the case. The EOC Commander led meetings where each voice of the members were able to be heard no matter where their role might be on the hierarchy. Though when following the chain of command it would seem that the public health nurse would provide information to the Medical/Health Director, who would then pass that information along to the Operations Chief, who then gives the information to the EOC Commander. The EOC Commander would then decide what to do with that information and allocate it to the appropriate member such as the Logistics Chief.
The most important resources available to the community health nurse to deal with situations outside the nurse’s scope of practice would be the other members of their multi-disciplinary team. Being able to share information and having the availability of different levels of