• To recognise that nursing students have a potential role in responding to disasters in their communities and in disaster relief operations
• To learn about nursing students’ awareness of, competence in and attitudes towards disaster preparedness and disaster nursing
• To be aware that the basics of disaster nursing and disaster preparedness should be part of undergraduate nurse education curricula
Background Any country is at risk of disasters associated with natural, biological, technological and societal hazards. Such disasters pose ever greater challenges for healthcare systems. Nurses and nursing students have a crucial role in responding dynamically to disasters in their communities.
Aim To investigate nursing students’ knowledge of and self-perceived competence in disaster nursing and attitudes towards disaster preparedness.
Method A descriptive cross-sectional study design was used to investigate knowledge, competence and attitudes in a convenience sample of 300 nursing students in their third and fourth years at a nursing college in Saudi Arabia. Students were asked to complete an online questionnaire on disaster nursing and disaster preparedness. A 96% response rate was obtained.
Results Most participating students had a favourable attitude towards disaster preparedness. They also perceived themselves as having a relatively high degree of competence in disaster nursing. However, most participants had inadequate knowledge of disaster nursing and may not have been fully aware of their role in disaster relief operations.
Conclusion Enhancing nursing students’ awareness of the importance of disaster preparedness and competence in disaster nursing can potentially save lives. Disaster nursing and disaster preparedness should be part of undergraduate nurse education curricula and nurse educators should develop innovative educational interventions on these topics.
Nursing Management. doi: 10.7748/nm.2022.e2058Peer review
This article has been subject to external double-blind peer review and checked for plagiarism using automated software
Abou Hashish E, Banoona R (2022) Disaster nursing and disaster preparedness: an investigation of nursing students’ knowledge, competence and attitudes. Nursing Management. doi: 10.7748/nm.2022.e2058
Published online: 18 August 2022
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