Emergency nurse disaster preparedness during mass gatherings: a cross-sectional survey of emergency nurses' perceptions in hospitals in Mecca, Saudi Arabia

Fuad Alzahrani*, Yiannis Kyratsis

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review

Abstract

Objectives To assess hospital emergency nurses' self-reported knowledge, role awareness and skills in disaster response with respect to the Hajj mass gathering in Mecca.

Design Cross-sectional online survey with primary data collection and non-probabilistic purposive sample conducted in late 2014.

Setting All 4 public hospitals in Mecca, Saudi Arabia.

Participants 106 registered nurses in hospital emergency departments.

Main outcome measure Awareness, knowledge, skills and perceptions of emergency nurses in Mecca with regard to mass gathering disaster preparedness.

Results Although emergency nurses' clinical role awareness in disaster response was reported to be high, nurses reported limited knowledge and awareness of the wider emergency and disaster preparedness plans, including key elements of their hospital strategies for managing a mass gathering disaster. Over half of the emergency nurses in Mecca's public hospitals had not thoroughly read the plan, and almost 1 in 10 were not even aware of its existence. Emergency nurses reported seeing their main role as providing timely general clinical assessment and care; however, fewer emergency nurses saw their role as providing surveillance, prevention, leadership or psychological care in a mass gathering disaster, despite all these broader roles being described in the hospitals' emergency disaster response plans. Emergency nurses' responses to topics where there are often misconceptions on appropriate disaster management indicated a significant knowledge deficit with only 1 in 3 nurses at best or 1 in 6 at worst giving correct answers. Respondents identified 3 key training initiatives as opportunities to further develop their professional skills in this area: (1) hospital education sessions, (2) the Emergency Management Saudi Course, (3) bespoke short courses in disaster management.

Conclusions Recommendations are suggested to help enhance clinical and educational efforts in disaster preparedness.
Original languageEnglish
JournalBMJ Open
Volume7
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 11 Apr 2017

Keywords

  • Nursing, Saudi Arabia, Professional Role, Disaster Preparedness, Mass gatherings

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