Nurses Must Take a Lead Role When Terror Strikes -- MEDICA - World Forum for Medicine

A terror attack has rocked the mass transit system of London, and emergency workers are scrambling to deal with the aftermath of the incident. Dotti James, Ph.D., and Joanne Langan, Ph.D., Saint Louis University nursing faculty members and co-authors of a book on what nurses can do to respond to a terror attack, are available to comment.

"When you look at something like this, you can see how unexpected it is and how important it is for nurses to prepare to lead the emergency team that treats victims of the disaster,” says James, who is an associate professor of nursing at Saint Louis University's Doisy College of Health Sciences.

"Missouri is registering nurses willing to respond in case of an incident here, and has plans in place to respond in case of a similar terror attack. What happened in London is an example of a well coordinated, non-biological attack and nurses around the world must be prepared for their new role - take the lead in caring for victims when disaster strikes.”

"Every nurse has to be prepared in case of disaster,” adds Langan, an assistant professor of nursing at Saint Louis University Doisy College of Health Sciences. "Nurses will be sought out for information no matter where they are. Nurses will play key roles in disaster relief whether they work full time, part time or at home in their communities.”

James and Langan wrote "Preparing Nurses for Disaster Management". They found there was no single place for nurses to go for comprehensive information about what to do during a terror incident or disaster. They started a one-of-a-kind certificate program at Saint Louis University, preparing nurses across the country to handle the aftermath of a terror attack. They had travelled to Israel to see how nurses there deal with similar disasters, and used that experience in their book and Saint Louis University's distance-learning program for nurses.; Source: Saint Louis University Health Sciences Center