Shared experiences of CRNAs who were on duty in New Orleans during Hurricane Katrina

Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center Nurse Anaesthesia Program, New Orleans, USA.
AANA journal 06/2012; 80(3):205-12.
Source: PubMed


The purpose of this focused ethnography was to describe the shared experiences of certified registered nurse anesthetists (CRNAs) who were on duty in New Orleans, Louisiana, during Hurricane Katrina as well as to elucidate the psychosocial impact the storm had on them. Ten CRNAs participated in 1 of 3 focus groups that were audio recorded. The audio recordings were transcribed and analyzed using qualitative data analysis computer software (NVivo 8, QSR International, Melbourne, Australia). Six major themes emerged from the study: caught off guard; sense of duty; uncertainty/powerlessness/frustration; group identity and cohesiveness; anger; and life-changing event. The themes represented how the CRNAs appraised and coped with the stressful events surrounding Hurricane Katrina. The psychosocial impact of Hurricane Katrina on the CRNAs resulted mainly in short-term sleep disturbances and increased drinking. Only 2 CRNAs expressed long-term psychosocial effects from the storm. The results of this study should be used to guide policies regarding disaster activation of CRNAs, to educate CRNAs on preparing for disaster duty, and to provide a framework for future disaster studies regarding CRNAs.

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