Functioning against the odds. Hospital and residential care nurses' accounts of resilience during disasters
Scrymgeour, G and Smith, Lindsay and Paton, D, Functioning against the odds. Hospital and residential care nurses' accounts of resilience during disasters, Disaster Capacity and Resilience Building: Nursing Contributions Abstract Book, 15 -16 November, 2018, Siem Reap, Kingdom of Cambodia, pp. 25. (2018) [Conference Extract]
Nurses are the single largest group of healthcare workers and are most likely to be involved during and affected by any type of disaster that impacts a healthcare facility. The aim of this research is to examine from a social-ecological perspective how hazard event characteristics interact with personal, team and organisational factors to facilitate the development and maintenance of resilience and adaptive capacity of nurses working within inpatient residential healthcare facilities in New Zealand and Australia during and following a natural disaster.
Phase one of this mixed method study used thematic analysis of literature and qualitative interviews to explore the scope of issues facing nurses working in residential healthcare facilities during a critical event precipitated by a natural disaster. Phase one findings will inform phase two development and validation of a nurse-focused model of adaptive capacity.
Preliminary findings from phase one interviews identify that that nurse participants maintained a strong sense of professional duty, personal commitment and responsibility to their patients and the facility. They demonstrated the ability to adapt, cope and respond in spite of a range of personal, structural and organisational barriers that occurred during and after the event.
The research examined how these factors interacted to help or hinder nursesí ability to anticipate, be adequately prepared for, be able to cope with and adapt to, and respond to the consequences of complex critical incident events such as disasters. The participantís resilience and willingness to keep going to provide the best care possible during critically challenging disaster events need to be championed. The knowledge of disaster preparedness and how this can be implemented to facilitate the development of resilient and adaptive nurses represents an important adjunct to nurse training, service delivery, policy development and research considerations.