DISASTER: Is Your TEAM Ready to Respond?
Reynaldo O. Joson, MD, FPCS, MHA, MHPEd, MSc Surg
Operating Room Nurses Association of the Philippines, Inc. (ORNAP)
38th Annual Convention and Scientific Meeting
Theme: Perioperative Nursing Practice ….. Keeping the Culture of Excellence
Disaster in an operating room is any emergency or crisis event that is of a magnitude that overwhelms the administration of the operating room. The overwhelming can be in terms of psychosocial impact, destruction of property, business discontinuity, injuries to or diseases of human beings, and scarcity of resources. Common natural disasters that the operating room team should prepare for are typhoons, earthquakes, and fires associated with natural disasters. Common man-related disasters that the operating room team should prepare for are fires, sudden cardiopulmonary arrests, and medico-legal suits.
The most reliable indicator of disaster response readiness is a track record of effective response to actual disasters in the operating room before. The second most important indicator is the presence of emergency exercises in responding to common types of disasters in the operating room being conducted regularly.
There are at least three big steps to be done to ensure that the operating room team will be able to respond effectively to disasters in the operating room. These are, namely, 1) securing of administrative commitment and support; 2) establishment and continual development of manual of policies and procedures on disaster preparedness; and 3) regular conduct of emergency exercises.
There are at least four administrative driving factors for readiness of the operating room team to respond to disasters. These are, namely: 1) leadership; 2) management; 3) communication; and 4) education and training.
Accomplishing the three big steps and having the four administrative driving factors in place will contribute to readiness of the operating room team to respond to disasters.