Moments of disaster response in the emergency department (ED)

Karen Hammad, Paul Arbon, Kristine Gebbie, Alison Hutton

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    10 Citations (Scopus)


    Background We experience our lives as a series of memorable moments, some good and some bad. Undoubtedly, the experience of participating in disaster response, is likely to stand out as a memorable moment in a nurses' career. This presentation will describe five distinct moments of nursing in the emergency department (ED) during a disaster response. Methods A Hermeneutic Phenomenological approach informed by van Manen underpins the research process. Thirteen nurses from different countries around the world participated in interviews about their experience of working in the ED during a disaster. Thematic analysis resulted in five moments of disaster response which are common to the collective participant experience. Results The 5 themes emerge as Notification (as a nurse finds out that the ED will be receiving casualties), Waiting (waiting for the patients to arrive to the ED), Patient Arrival (the arrival of the first patients to the ED), Caring for patients (caring for people affected by the disaster) and Reflection (the moment the disaster response comes to an end). Conclusion This paper provides an in-depth insight into the experience of nursing in the ED during a disaster response which can help generate awareness and inform future disaster preparedness of emergency nurses.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)181-185
    Number of pages5
    JournalAustralasian Emergency Nursing Journal
    Issue number4
    Publication statusPublished - Nov 2017


    • Disasters
    • Emergencies
    • Emergency service
    • Hermeneutics
    • Hospital
    • Mass casualty incidents
    • Nurses


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