Announcement Archive

Preparing for Disaster: Report on 2nd Delivery of Disaster Nurse Training Course

Thursday, November 1st, 2012

story from Tokyo Development Learning Center

Disasters will often overwhelm resources and threaten the safety of communities.  Nurses can play a major role in responding to disasters, managing their victims, and ensuring the best possible outcomes for survivors. In particular their ability to adapt and respond competently at each cycle of a disaster can greatly impact on the chance of victim survival, especially for disasters with a massive number of victims. 


Nugroho Nurdikiawan Sunjoyo/World Bank

An intensive 2 day training course on disaster nursing was successfully held in six countries in May 2012.  This course aimed to provide the essential foundation for disaster nursing to fill the need for specialized training for nurses to be able to respond effectively to disasters. 

Being prepared for disaster
This training course is the latest in a series of disaster nursing courses organized by Tokyo Development Learning Center (TDLC). The overall aim is to promote a systematic knowledge base for disaster nursing among course participants, as well as to help networking of the nurses to form a community of practice among disaster nursing practitioners.  The course delivery was scheduled intensively over 2 days from May 7-8, 2012.  The content consisted of lectures from experts in Japan and other Asian countries and covered the basic knowledge on disaster nursing that is essential at each cycle of a disaster such as triage, mental health nursing under disaster conditions e.g. PTSD, basic emergency preparedness competencies and the emergency response role of nurses at evacuation sites etc. 

Participants joined from East and South Asia
A total of 328 participants joined from Indonesia, Nepal, Philippines, Sri Lanka, Thailand and Vietnam. The majority of participants were nurses with over 5 years or more clinical experience, as well as other public health care practitioners who wished to learn the essential foundations of disaster nursing. Participants who completed the 2-day training course received a joint certificate from TDLC, the local Distance Learning Centers (DLCs) and their strategic partners.

Course assessment
The course was highly evaluated by the majority of participants.  In brief, over 95% of the participants rated the course to be above average and 79% rated it as excellent to good.  About 94% of participants indicated that the course was relevant to the respective employer’s needs, while 84% of participants indicated that the course was relevant to those respective countries needs. The evaluation also found that approximately 80% of participants preferred either an intensive 2 or 2.5 day course length. This finding supported initial desk research and advice provided by the course experts that given the nature of disaster nursing structured contents delivered in an intensive format would be the ideal course delivery format.

Participant’s voices
Here is a selection of comments from the participants outlining their future plans for putting into practice the valuable skills and knowledge gained from this course.

I will share my knowledge from this course with my students and when my country has a disaster, I will apply my experience to solve the problem.  (Indonesia, Airlangga University)

Disasters can occur at anytime and we have to be prepared for Disaster Management always.  I will try my best to share all my knowledge skills to all other staff so that we can handle all the victims and provide maximum nursing care. (Nepal Kathmandu Model Hospital)

We shall enhance/improve our existing hospital disaster preparedness committee and our emergency response team. Also to integrate new trend/updates in our Disaster Team and conduct seminar/training on Disaster Nursing in our hospital. (Philippines)

I gained so much knowledge regarding Disaster management. Especially post traumatic management (nursing). I wish to share knowledge gained through this disaster nurse training course with other nurses and to educate our nursing students as well as I hope to apply gained experience and skills for the situations ( any disaster situation) if it will happen. (Sri Lanka)

I plan to share the knowledge and good attitudes from this training course. Explain to my colleagues and students, let them know what I gained from this course as much as possible. I think that all I got from this course is more than knowledge. (Thailand)

I am planning to include the content onto my curriculum for topics relating nursing work at home, community and hospital, particularly topics relating psychological support, altruism and how to priories care and treatment (Vietnam Development Information Center)

Way forward
Many of the course participants expressed a wish to repeat the course as well as strongly encouraging TDLC to continue its on-going effort to develop and deliver disaster related capacity building courses given that the need for disaster related capacity building for health practitioners remains high.  Feedback from the course evaluation will guide the course organizers, including TDLC, DLC colleagues and their local partners, in planning improvements.