Japanese nurses' perception of their preparedness for disasters: Quantitative survey research on one prefecture in Japan

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Abstract

Aim:

The objective of this study was to explore nurses' perceptions regarding their knowledge, skills, and preparedness for disasters and how they acquired their knowledge about disaster preparation using a quantitative approach.

Methods:

A descriptive cross-sectional survey using the Disaster Preparedness Evaluation Tool was distributed to nurses in six hospitals (three private, three public) throughout Miyazaki Prefecture located in southern Japan.

Results:

Nine hundred and seventy-three surveys (87.4%) were returned. Seventy-two were eliminated leaving 902 (81.0%) for data analysis. Mean scores for preparedness, response abilities, and evaluation all scored below normal on a 6 point Likert scale (2.63, 2.02, and 2.05, respectively). Overall, nurses felt they were not able to respond in a variety of disaster situations, were aware of their workplace emergency disaster plan, but did not think they could execute them, and were not aware of the level of preparedness of the healthcare systems in their communities.

Conclusion:

The amount of information nurses need to know on the knowledge, skills, and preparation of disasters are in great need. Such skills are understood, but lacking for various reasons. In-house programs for nurses to learn more about disaster nursing are needed. Furthermore, a curriculum for disaster preparedness for undergraduate and graduate nursing programs would also help these future nurses gain more information earlier on to better prepare them for possible disaster situations in their future careers.

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