Phase 1, the pre-disaster phase, is characterized by fear and uncertainty. The specific reactions a community experiences depend on the type of disaster. Phase 2, the impact phase, is characterized by a range of intense emotional reactions. As with the pre-disaster phase, the specific reactions also depend on the type of disaster that is occurring. Phase 3, the heroic phase, is characterized by a high level of activity with a low level of productivity (Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (2018).
Primary prevention would be having volunteers appropriately vaccinated before leaving. After landing in Haiti, have the Hatians vaccinated against airborne and vector-borne diseases such as malaria. Ensure safe and proper sanitation such as making sure hands are washed before and after personal hygiene and patient care. Have clutters cleaned and cleared and make tracks for stagnant water to flow to avoid breeding mosquitos and encourage infestation of bugs. Shelters should be adequate and not overcrowded. Educate about diarrhea, what symptoms to look for and how to handle it.
Secondary prevention depends on how devastating things are. Triage casualties according to acute, urgent, emergent. Initiate search and rescue efforts in wreckages, but not until damaged structures are deemed safe to enter or dismantle. Have a plan to manage casualties so that there will be no chaos. This could be done by using tents and designated signs with volunteers directing traffic. Teach the Hatians how to cope by asking for help from friends and families not badly affected by the disaster. Set-up an area where they can get emotional support to deal with their loss and address future community educational needs, such as disaster preparedness.
Teritary prevention entails looking at long-term needs after the resolution of the disaster. Things such as healing and how to cope. Stress related issues such as rebuilding, that could be dealt with by the government and outside organizations such as the Salvation Army and other charitable organizations.
I would work with Adventist Disaster Relief Agency (ADRA) because they are a branch of my church, the Seventh Day Adventist Church. They have been helping with the organization of outreach world wide. They are always on the ground in every disaster alongside the Canadian Red Cross and the Salvation Army organizations. Here’s a link for ADRA if interested to know more: www.adra.ca/connections
Prevention includes a wide range of activities — known as “interventions” — aimed at reducing risks or threats to health. For many health problems, a combination of primary, secondary and tertiary interventions are needed to achieve a meaningful degree of prevention and protection, (Institute for Work and Health 2015).
Based on the script, this nurse is at the preimpact stage which falls under primary prevention, as she is planning to reduce the impact of the hurricane on the population and what damage may have occurred. This could only be assessed on her arrival.
GCU. (2010). “Diary of a medical mission trip.” Retrieved from Grand Canyon University: http://lc.gcumedia.com/nrs427v/diary-of-medical-mission-trip/v2.1/
Institute for Work and Health (2015). Primary, Secondary and Teritary Prevention. Retrieved from: https://www.iwh.on.ca
Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (2018). Phases of Disaster. Retrieved from https://www.samhsa.gov
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