DES PLAINES, Ill. (Sept. 2, 2016) – In conjunction with National Preparedness Month, the Emergency Nurses Association (ENA) will hold DisastER, a large-scale mass casualty incident (MCI) training at “Emergency Nursing 2016,” the largest conference dedicated to the profession that will take place in Los Angeles Sept. 14 - 17, 2016. This is ENA’s second annual training of this magnitude—an effort to prepare emergency responders for real world disasters.
“Emergency nurses play an integral role in the mitigation, preparedness and response to disasters which are unfortunately becoming more prevalent," says ENA President Kathleen E. Carlson, MSN, RN, CEN, FAEN. "The hands-on training provided at DisastER in the Exhibit Hall will guide attendees through managing emergency care during the chaotic aftermath of an earthquake, and review how those principles apply to other disaster scenarios. We’ll walk through best practices in communication during an MCI, techniques in START Triage, self-aid, buddy-aid and tourniquet application. Our goal is to help emergency nurses prepare to face real-world catastrophic scenarios outside the emergency department."
In 2014, the American College of Emergency Physicians conducted a readiness evaluation of the nation’s emergency care environment and gave it a near-failing overall grade of D+ and specifically a C- in “Disaster Preparedness.” With forecasters calling for an especially intense hurricane season, and active shooter incidents and terrorism on the rise, emergency responders must be better prepared for unanticipated crises.
During the conference opening session, Dr. Joseph Kotora, DO, MPH, FACEP, regional EMS medical director for Navy Region Southeast, will address situational awareness using a 360-degree threat assessment, incident command and accepted triage systems, staff and logistics management with federal and state resources, and signature injuries of earthquake disasters. Dr. Kotora, who has responded to incidents across the globe from Hurricane Sandy to Iraq, will also share best practices by elaborating on his three cardinal rules:
- All disasters are local. State and Federal assistance will come, but YOU must manage the first 8-24 hours.
- The incident is NOT the time to exchange business cards. Know the players and leverage long-standing relationships when time is short.
- Preparedness starts at home. Knowing your family is safe at home with food, a generator, first-aid and supplies allows you to leave at a moment’s notice during a disaster to help others without distraction.
During the “Emergency Nursing 2015” conference in Orlando, Fla., ENA conducted a surprise mock active shooter drill, immersing nurses in a realistic MCI that forced participants to think on their feet. The MCI training drill earned ENA the 2016 ASAE "Power of A" Silver Award. ENA had no way of knowing that just eight months later, a nightclub just 10 miles away from where the drill was conducted would become the site of the deadliest mass shooting in American history. The massacre illustrated the international need for this type of emergency response training.
The 2015 drill was moderated by Daniel Nadworny, MSN, RN. As Clinical Director of Operations at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, he was part of a team that helped 24 victims from the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing.
"In providing realistic, intense training, participants not only learn how to respond when disaster strikes, but how to manage for the stresses and traumatic experiences that come with them," says Nadworny. "You can see in the video of last year's event, where 'gunshots' rang out merely minutes into my presentation, how there is every attempt to make this as real as possible for each attendee."