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Posted: November 8th, 2022

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The public health nurse has a variety of responsibilities regarding emergency preparedness and disaster management when working within an acute care hospital. The public health nurse may assist in planning efforts and policy development for emergency preparedness and disaster management and act as a liaison between various inpatient units, outpatient departments, and local/state/national officials. The PHN may help to ensure compliance with local, state, and national regulatory requirements for emergency preparedness. For instance in the state of Arizona, the state health department, along with other key stakeholders, developed the Crisis Standards of Care (CSC), which provide guidelines for healthcare facilities to follow during a healthcare crisis or disaster and during planning (Arizona Department of Health Services [AZDHS], 2021). The PHN may assist a hospital in maintaining critical supplies for emergencies, developing crisis staffing and contingency plans, triage protocols, and other aspects (AZDHS, 2021). With regard to the GYN and urology oncology teams, the PHN may communicate and collaborate with inpatient and outpatient staff, physicians, and department managers to develop a plan for the continuance of critical services for this population during a disaster, as well as develop channels of communication by which patients may maintain contact with providers during a disaster. Finally, the PHN may communicate to the target population (GYN/urology patients and families) about what to do during an emergency.

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