Disasters and psychological wellbeing have been inextricably linked; disasters can critically affect the involved community. Victims frequently downplay their loss and attempt to avoid the truth. Individuals in a rejection are more sensitive to stress, depression, and various problematic behaviors (Leiva-Bianchi et al., 2018). These people may have PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder), stress, anxiousness, mental anguish, and sleeplessness due to calamities. Psychological suffering, as well as social and economic suffering, is widespread among survivors. Although psychological therapies have assisted victims in improving with time, the primary frequent mental diseases, like loneliness and anxiousness, are projected to rise due to the harmful influence on mental wellbeing (Leiva-Bianchi et al., 2018). Natural catastrophes can leave people in a condition of desolation and shock. This terrible incident interferes with the victims’ ability to operate normally. Furthermore, there is a loss of optimism and a disruption in their community duties following the calamity.
Strategies that Nurses can Use to Help People in the Immediate Aftermath of a Disaster
Nurses are good disaster management managers because of their competence in general healthcare, considerable familiarity in interprofessional collaboration, and excellent collaborative abilities. Search-and-rescue efforts, firefighting, and building homes for evacuated people are examples of viable reactions. To give the appropriate treatment to their victims, nurses must have a solid comprehension of the contingency strategy and a clear comprehension of the circumstances around the catastrophe (Oliver-Smith, 2018). Nurses can use the tactics listed below to assist individuals in the immediate aftermath of a tragedy;
- Developing a management & control strategy – The management and control strategy should involve assigning a particular site for the operations center.
- Defining internal and externally functional tasks and duties – Throughout such a crisis, inner and outside departments must have a comprehensive awareness of their duties and obligations and the functions and obligations of third entities.
- Choosing a communications network. A common communication procedure must be designed to handle the likelihood of systems breakdown.
- Creating an infectious diseases strategy. A standardized procedure must consider the possibility of the epidemic or outbreak of a contagious disease.
- Acquiring and keeping emergency structures, equipment, and materials in good working order. A systematic approach for procuring and managing crisis devices and materials is required for emergency preparation (Richards et al., 2020).
Impact of Disaster Trauma on First Responders
Current analysis shows that the breadth and intensity of psychological effects vary depending on the specifics of the catastrophe. These variations include; the specific respondents, the type of prior traumatizing experiences and preparation, the circumstances, and the available assistance post the crisis (Richards et al., 2020). Most of these individuals will suffer modest, temporary anxiety, like sleeplessness, panic, tension, anger, melancholy, or increased cigarette or alcohol usage. A lesser proportion might develop mild effects like chronic sleeplessness or anxiety and abnormalities in travels or professional conduct. While such alterations might never generally match the diagnostic criteria for an illness or condition, they could impact job or personal productivity (Leiva-Bianchi et al., 2018). A lesser percentage might acquire psychological illnesses, including PTSD or severe depression, that need specialist therapy.
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Community Reactions to a Large-Scale Disaster
Most communities have traditionally banded together to react to crises and assist one another in situations of disaster and calamity. The reactions comprise casual assistance, emerging and developing organizations not members of the regular disaster management system, and developing and recognized organizations that remain members of the established framework (Oliver-Smith, 2018). Collaborating with unofficial and official connections and associations, the community comes in to eliminate obstacles, address regional needs, and aid themselves and others. These communities react to catastrophes in a variety of manners, including searching and rescuing victims and first aid, establishing assistance centers and offering urgent housing and supplies, analyzing urgent requirements, organizing community engagement, and offering psychological aid and psychotherapy.
Psychosocial Training Needs of All Disaster Responders
Dynamic, adaptable, and diverse training techniques which might be modified for location specificity demands are most likely to be maintainable, allowing for a better flexible strategy for the training program. Respondents must be reliable, empathetic, and supportive while reacting to interactions made by victims or starting communications (Leiva-Bianchi et al., 2018). Comforting and refocusing victims who are psychologically distressed or bewildered. They require links to psychosocial assistance networks to make quick or persistent interaction with providers of main assistance and additional sources of assistance, such as family members, associates, and community assistance services.
Helpful Interventions for Use With Survivors of a Disaster
Within the transitional period, interventions emphasize offering helpful guidance, linking distressed persons with services, and educating on resilience-building skills. Additionally, evaluating and delivering comprehensive formalized medication to patients most in danger of persisting challenges. Empathic listening and problem-solving, in which staff may lead victims along with the problem-solving process actions, helps them with prioritization and pointing actions. These interventions include providing victims with the skills, knowledge, and information the people require to absorb the event and push ahead in long-term healing (Oliver-Smith, 2018). This intervention is in contrast to the earlier stages when providing physical help or psychosocial therapies such as Psychological First Aid (PFA) is adequate for most people who remain upset or struggling to adapt.
The Characteristics of PTSD
Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a psychological illness brought about by seeing or enduring a frightening experience. Memories, hallucinations, intense uneasiness, and uncontrolled thinking regarding the incident are all possible effects of PTSD (Richards et al., 2020). The warning sign of this mental condition can occur as soon as a week following a stressful circumstance involvement, yet they can also take decades to arise. Those symptoms can cause major issues in the societal context and workplace circumstances, and also in social relations. The symptoms might also make it difficult for someone to carry out their routine everyday activities. Distracting thoughts, resistance, unfavorable abnormalities in thought and attitude, and variations in bodily and mental responses are the main characteristics of PTSD symptoms (Oliver-Smith, 2018). Signs might change with time or from one individual to the next.
Possible Benefits and Dangers of Psychological Debriefing
Debrief sessions are thought to help frame the disaster encounter, bringing out the many encounters and viewpoints of the various session participants into one. Simultaneously, it displays the group’s or society’s supportive function to the participants. The debriefing is crucial in assisting participants in speaking regarding the situation, recognizing they are never isolated, listening to others share, becoming a member of a team who has gone through similar experiences, and learning ways other individuals dealt with distress (Oliver-Smith, 2018). When participants eloquently explain their encounters, there is a danger of contagion. These individuals might stand the danger of picturing or envisioning whatever others express because few participants report very upsetting thoughts and encounters (Leiva-Bianchi et al., 2018). Such imaginations can be obtrusive in and of themselves. Many debriefings tend to self-maintain, and participants can quickly get trapped in a victimized mentality.
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Leiva-Bianchi, M., Ahumada, F., Araneda, A., & Botella, J. (2018). What is the psychosocial impact of disasters? A meta-analysis. Issues in Mental Health Nursing, 39(4), 320–327.
Oliver-Smith, A. (2018). Disasters and large-scale population dislocations: International and national responses. In Oxford research encyclopedia of natural hazard science.
Richards, A., Kanady, J. C., & Neylan, T. C. (2020). Sleep disturbance in PTSD and other anxiety-related disorders: An updated review of clinical features, physiological characteristics, and psychological and neurobiological mechanisms. Neuropsychopharmacology, 45(1), 55–73.