Nursing Bioterrorism Preparedness Essay

Bioterrorism preparedness has become essential for many healthcare
professionals, including nurses. Nurses play a critical role in bioterrorism preparedness

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efforts because they will be at the forefront in patient management. Despite this, little is
known about nurses’ bioterrorism preparedness. The aim of this dissertation was to
explore issues associated with nurses’ roles in bioterrorism preparedness efforts. The
objectives were to develop a theoretical definition of nursing bioterrorism preparedness,
create a patient management algorithm for a bioterrorism attack using an airbome-spread
agent, and evaluate health belief model constructs in relation to nurses’ bioterrorism
preparedness. Nursing Bioterrorism Preparedness Essay A concept analysis was used to delineate nursing’s unique role in
bioterrorism preparedness, identify essential constructs that contribute to nurses
becoming better prepared to recognize and respond to a bioterrorism attack, and provide a
definition that allows concept measurement. Nursing bioterrorism preparedness is the
process of nurses becoming better prepared to recognize and respond to a bioterrorism
attack and the extent to which nurses engage in this process. A systematic literature
review was used to develop a state-of-the-science paper that summarizes appropriate
patient placement and infection control strategies to be implemented in response to a
bioterrorism attack using an airbome-spread agent. A secondary data analysis of a
national bioterrorism needs assessment survey of infection control and public health
professionals conducted after the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001, was used to
examine the relationship between nurses’ bioterrorism preparedness and the health belief
model. Two health belief model constructs (risk perception and barriers) were found to
influence or explain nurses’ participation in bioterrorism preparedness initiatives. Future
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research should include the following: (a) examination of nurses’ bioterrorism knowledge
and response plan components contingent on nursing bioterrorism preparedness, (b)
evaluation of the current numbers of negative pressure rooms available in U.S. hospitals,
the total available occupancy, and the percentage of those that meet the functional
standard, (c) examination of cost effective approaches to development of large negative
pressure areas that can be mobilized rapidly after a bioterrorism attack or infectious
disease outbreak, and (d) development and psychometric testing of an instrument that
more accurately measures all health belief model constructs.
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Dedication
This dissertation is dedicated to the people who mean the most to me: Craig,
Kevin, and Alexis Rebmann. Without your patience, love, and support, none of this
would be possible nor worth the effort.
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Acknowledgements
The author would like to acknowledge Ruth Carrico, Ph.D., R.N., C.I.C.,
Assistant Professor at the University of Louisville in the School of Public Health and
Information Sciences in Louisville, Kentucky, Judith English, R.N., M.S.N., C.I.C.,
Director of the Infection Control Department at Georgetown University Hospital in
Washington, D.C., and Bruce W. Clements, M.P.H., Director of the Center for
Emergency Response and Terrorism within the Missouri Department of Health and
Human Services in Jefferson City, Missouri, for their valuable and constructive
comments regarding the concept analysis and the development of the patient management
algorithm for airbome-spread diseases. The author would also like to thank Drs. Joanne
Kraenzle Schneider, Joanne C. Langan, and Andrew C. Mills for their helpful comments Nursing Bioterrorism Preparedness Essay
on this work. Lastly, the author would like to thank Dr. Greg Evans who helped develop
the intellectual curiosity to undertake a Ph.D. program and supported the progress of
such.
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Table of Contents
List of Tables…………………………………………………………………

After the 2001 attacks on the World Trade Center, public health garnered more attention.
This event forced public health nurses to acquire new roles needed to respond to
disasters. The purpose of this project was to synthesize the current evidence related to the
role of nurses during disaster preparedness and apply that evidence to public health
nurses. The practice question focused on the role of nurses during disasters which were
not a part of their normal daily activity. The Fineout-Overholt, Melnyk, Stillwell, and
Williamson hierarchy for grading evidence was the theoretical framework used. A
systematic literature review was conducted to synthesize the current evidence and answer
the proposed practice questions. After removing exclusion criteria, there were 3 articles
evaluated and graded for levels of evidence. Much of the current literature offered
recommendations for competencies, role identification for nurses during disaster
preparedness by their employers, curriculum development, and training needed for nurses
to identify their role during disasters. A suggested recommendation based on this project
is to conduct a mixed methods study to help identify the specific role of the public health
nurse during disasters. Obtaining a broader perspective of the role for the public health
nurse during disasters can provide a better understanding of the new roles and duties they
can assume. The social implication of these findings is that local health departments can
identify the role of public health nurses during disaster preparedness and improve the
nurse’s response to disasters, thereby protecting the health of populations. Nursing Bioterrorism Preparedness Essay

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