Nursing Students' Competency to Attend Disaster Situations: A Study in Western Iran

Fatemeh Kaviani, Fatemeh Aliakbari, Hojjat Sheikhbardsiri, Paul Arbon

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    Objective: The disaster preparedness of nurses is important as nurses are members of a health care team that needs to work systematically and collaboratively in all conditions. Although education and training naturally underpin effective practice, disaster nursing education is rarely provided to nurses in Iran. Because disaster situations, by definition, overwhelm health services, it is likely that nursing students will be required to join their colleagues in the response. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the competency of nursing students to attend disaster situations. Methods: This descriptive, analytical study was conducted in western Iran in 2020. A total of 70 nursing students in the fourth (final) year of their undergraduate nursing education entered the study by a census sampling method. Data collection was undertaken using a validated disaster competency assessment questionnaire. The data were analyzed using SPSS version 21 (IBM Corp, Armonk, NY) with descriptive and analytic tests. Results: The mean age of participants was 21.4 ± 2.14 and 57.1% of them were women; 45 participants (64.3%) had received no disaster-related training, and 88.6% had no history of participating in disaster exercises. The total score for nursing students' competence was 125.58 ± 14.19. There was a significant relationship between the mean score of nursing competence in response to disasters and student history of participating in an exercise and training course (P < 0.001). Conclusion: Students' competence in disaster situations is poor. Awareness of the competence condition of nurses is the first step to improve their preparedness as the most key members of the disaster health team. Conducting disaster-related training may be appropriate. The results of this study can provide evidence for the development of educational policies in disaster nursing education.

    Original languageEnglish
    Number of pages5
    JournalDisaster Medicine and Public Health Preparedness
    Early online date22 Nov 2021
    Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 22 Nov 2021


    • Competency
    • disaster situation
    • nursing
    • students


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