Preparedness & Disaster Mgmt
Please follow the instructor carefully. There are 4 Discussions, your response to classmates should be at least one paragraph for each Discussion, address the discussion topic or question, be respectful, and add to the discussion. You may draw upon personal experience, course or scholarly references, citing appropriately. Restating the primary response, or agreeing or disagreeing without supporting statements will result in a lower grade.
In reference to including a paragraph for both primary and peer responses, 4-5 sentences constitute a paragraph.
Within the United States, the triage has its purpose in serving within the emergency department (ED) by prioritizing the incoming patients and classifying patients who cannot wait to be seen. In addition, the triage nurse evaluates each patient, considering the safety of how long a patient should wait in the waiting room before being seen. Therefore, patients who are above a higher risk of having an emergency have a shorter wait time, in comparison to patients who are not at a high risk (Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality,2012).
On the other hand, a triage may seem as organized because there are staff involved in assessing who should be seen, however there are many ways a triage can be more effective for patients at high risk and low risk. Being that there are patients coming in and patients going out, the capacity level of the triage can be over than where the capacity level should be. Therefore, the patient flow in the emergency room is very important and by nurses and staff reducing time patients do spend in the ED will help reduce over capacity or overcrowding within the triage. So improving patient satisfaction and reduction, may reduce mortality and morbidity while keeping the patient flow (Jarvis, 2016).
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The purpose of triage in the emergency department (ED) is to prioritize incoming patients and to identify those who cannot wait to be seen. The triage nurse performs a brief, focused assessment and assigns the patient a triage acuity level, which is a proxy measure of how long an individual patient can safely wait for a medical screening examination and treatment (Emergency Severity Index Implementation Handbook, 2012). Having an effective triage system is vital in helping those who are in emergency situations. Having implemented policies and strategies to better serve the public is a great way in having an effective triage. Triage nurses who are professionally trained is an important factor and having experience in the field is another factor in providing efficient and accurate service in need. Furthermore, having triage to provide service before coming in to hospitals or clinics is an essential asset in the medical field and gives patients information that can be used in the future.
Vulnerable populations can be described as “Any individual, group, or community whose circumstances create barriers to obtaining or understanding information, or the ability to react as the general population. … Circumstances that may create barriers include, but are not limited to age; physical, mental, emotional, or cognitive status; culture; ethnicity; religion; language; citizenship; geography; or socioeconomic status” (Emergency Preparedness for Vulnerable Populations: People with Special Health-care Needs). Knowing this definition you can see why they would be the ones to suffer in an emergency situation. Many of them have limited mobility which can cause issues when trying to evacuate an area. Those with language barriers may not necessarily understand directions that are being told to them, along with those who are hard of hearing may not be hearing instructions correclty. Furthermore, those with mental disabillities may struggle to grasp the gravity of emergency situations and either refuse to leave, or become violent with first resonders due to fear of the unknown. With the possiblity of all of these issues emergency planning must be done in great detail to ensure the safety of the vulnerable populations, along with the safety of those responding to them.
According to the Minnesota Public Health Emergency Training Series Module on vulnerable populations, “A vulnerable population is any individual or group of people with any physical, mental, emotional, cognitive, cultural, ethnic, socio-economic status, language, or other circumstance that creates barriers to understanding and/or barriers to the ability to act or react in the requested or anticipated manner.” (UM Public Health Staff, 2005). The key to understanding why these vulnerable populations are the ones to suffer most in an emergency incident is in the very definition of what makes them vulnerable in the first place. The fact that these individuals have a condition or lifestyle choice (sometimes not a choice) that prevents them from understanding and/or acting or reacting in the way that is expected is what makes them targets of being the most impacted from an incident to begin with. The best way that I can explain it is with an analogy that I have seen with expectations in a school setting. Imagine a teacher asking 4 students to climb the same tree, the 4 students are a monkey, a cat, a snake, and a fish. Some students simply cannot climb the tree without help. Now, imagine the same scenario, but instead of the teacher asking students, it’s an emergency worker explaining that the only way that your life will be saved is if you climb this tree. In emergency situations, the task being asked is not the problem, it’s a person’s ability to complete the task. There are some portions of every community that have differing abilities that will need help performing the tasks that need to be done.