Biological, chemical, and nuclear terrorism readiness: major concerns and preparedness of future nurses.Disaster Manag Response. 2004 Oct-Dec; 2(4):109-14.DM
The nursing profession is developing educational resources to improve their response to victims of nuclear, biological, and chemical terrorism. Future nurses may differ from practicing nurses in their perspective of what is critical information. The purpose of this study was to identify student nurses' major concerns in relation to working with victims of terrorism.
A descriptive study was used to identify how future nurses might practice as caregivers for victims of terrorism. The study population consisted of a convenience sample of 95 junior and senior baccalaureate nursing students at a mid-south state university. The students were given an anonymous questionnaire regarding their concerns and how their lives had changed after September 11, 2001. The questionnaire consisted of 19 major items that identified demographics and perceptions and concerns regarding preparedness, willingness to work, expectation of future terrorism events, effect on lifestyle, and other fears related to terrorism or caring for victims of terrorism. A Cronbach alpha coefficient of reliability on standardized items was .745.
Students' primary concern was for the safety of themselves and their families. They were primarily concerned about having adequate protection for all types of terrorist agents and indicated they would not be willing to care for victims if there was a lack of protection for both themselves and family. Although the nursing school faculty had provided self-education information about terrorism, students did not demonstrate an accurate understanding of the pathogenic nature of many agents.