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ABSTRACT: As a result of Hurricane Katrina on August 29, 2005, ED nurses were faced with chaos during and after the storm. The purpose of this pilot study was to determine if emergency nurses have experienced signs and symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) as a result of working in an emergency department of the New Orleans metropolitan area during and immediately after Hurricane Katrina.
The research identifies if the nurses perceived satisfaction with measures administrators took to provide Critical Incident Stress Management (CISM). To combat burnout, absenteeism, emotional difficulties, and health problems in nurses, administration must offer adequate crisis management for those affected by a traumatic event in the workplace. Data were captured through a cross-sectional research design using self-reporting questionnaires. A questionnaire captured demographic information as well as information regarding satisfaction with CISM offered by management. The Post Traumatic Checklist (PCL) was utilized to assess PTSD symptoms in the nurse. An emergency department located approximately 40 miles north of downtown New Orleans, Louisiana, served as the setting for this study. The sample included 21 registered nurses who worked in the emergency department.
Twenty percent of the nurses has symptoms of PTSD. In addition, 100% of the nurses reported that administrators did not offer CISM.
To combat consequences of long-term effects of PTSD, hospital administrators must offer adequate treatment to employees. Further research is needed to expand the sample and gain a wider perspective on PTSD symptoms in nurses who worked during the Hurricane.
Journal of Emergency Nursing 09/2007; 33(4):314-8. DOI:10.1016/j.jen.2007.01.008 · 1.13 Impact Factor