Transcultural Concepts in Nursing Care


Part Three Healthcare Systems

must take into account for culturally appropriate community-based care. Cultural Concepts in Disaster Preparedness The roles and responsibilities of nurses in global and domestic crises are increasingly diverse. Since September 11, 2001, and the COVID-19 pandemic, there has been an increased interest on the part of health professionals in disaster preparedness : examining how well we are prepared to function when faced with terrorism, pandemics, and other emergencies. This interest has only increased with the now frequent climate-related wildfires, floods, hurricanes, and droughts. Nurses, like other healthcare professionals, can make certain that emergency response plans in healthcare agencies and community settings are in order, are updated regularly, and that appropriate staff and community members know the emergency and disaster protocols. The COVID-19 pandemic has revealed in stark detail the critical importance of having a national nursing workforce prepared with the knowledge, skills, and abilities to respond to these events. COVID-19 has revealed shocking chasms within our healthcare system, resulting in excess mor bidity and mortality, glaring health inequities, and the inability to contain a rapidly escalating pandemic . Individuals and communities of color suffered from the disadvantages of racism, poverty, workplace hazards, limited healthcare access, and other factors that severely restricted their abilities to respond to the pandemic. Knowing in advance what is expected of us will provide an opportunity to acquire pertinent knowledge to practice the skills beforehand. There are four areas of emer gency and disaster management defined by Shoaf and Rottman (2000). They are preparedness, miti gation, response, and recovery. Preparedness As Benjamin Franklin once said, “By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.” Community based nurses can demonstrate readiness to apply

their skills from early planning stages for emer gency events through long-term recovery, effec tively responding to the needs of the population with culturally appropriate interventions. Nurses who work in community settings are familiar with the communities they serve; they know the community leaders, the church networks, and the healthcare providers who provide care to under served communities. Nurses can use cultural concepts to work within community networks helping clients, families, and communities pre pare for disasters and/or other emergencies. Community-based nurses can begin by talk ing with clients and their families about devel oping an emergency plan for an evacuation from natural disasters, public health emergencies, or other crises. For example, it is always good idea for an identified family member to make cer tain that the family car always has at least half a tank of gas. Families should have a list of items to take with them if they must leave their home quickly. All family members should know where this list is kept and who is responsible for retriev ing each item on that list. The emergency plan should be developed and discussed with consid eration of the needs of each family. Each family member should have an opportunity to practice or describe their role in the emergency plan. Community nurses are the health profession als who frequently interact with underserved or high-risk communities in homes, health clinics, or other healthcare settings. For example, it is estimated that 12 million undocumented per sons are living in the United States. Do migrant or mixed status families have a plan to respond if parents or other main caregivers are arrested at work by immigration officials? Who should the children contact? A neighbor? A pastor? Another relative? Talking about and planning for this pos sibility will decrease the anxiety and untoward effects of such an event.

Community-based nurses also know the high risk groups in the community. For example, they can contact staff in assisted care facilities to discuss evacuation plans for patients with func tional needs who live in care facilities. Nurses can Copyright © 2023 Wolters Kluwer, Inc. Unauthorized reproduction of the content is prohibited.

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