Investigating the Role of Emergency Nurses and Disaster Preparedness during Mass Gathering in Saudi Arabia
Although emergency nurses, being the frontline workers in mass-gatherings, are essential for providing an effective public health response, little is known about the skills that emergency nurses have, or require, in order to respond effectively to a disaster event. This paper is designed to address this gap in the literature by conducting an empirical study on emergency nurses’ preparedness at the mass-gathering event of Hajj in Mecca city. To achieve this aim, this study conducted a cross-sectional survey among 106 emergency department nurses in all the public hospitals in Mecca in 2014. The results revealed that although emergency nurses’ role understanding is high; they have limited knowledge and awareness of how to respond appropriately to mass-gathering disaster events. To address this knowledge gap, the top three most beneficial types of education and training courses suggested are: hospital education sessions, the Emergency Management Saudi Course and workshop; and short courses in disaster management. Finally, recommendations and constructive strategies are developed to provide the best practice in enhancing disaster preparedness. This paper adds to the body of knowledge regarding emergency nurses and mass gathering disasters. This paper measures the level of disaster knowledge, previous disaster response experience and disaster education and training amongst emergency nurses in Mecca, Saudi Arabia. It is anticipated that this study will provide a foundation for future studies aimed at better preparing emergency nurses for disaster response. This paper employs new strategies to improve the emergency nurses’ response during mass gatherings for the Hajj. Increasing the emergency nurses’ knowledge will develop their effective responses in mass-gathering disasters.
Digital Object Identifier (DOI): doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.1112035Procedia APA BibTeX Chicago EndNote Harvard JSON MLA RIS XML ISO 690 PDF Downloads 2022
 R.A. DeLorenzo, “Mass gathering medicine: a review,” Prehospital and Disaster Medicine, no. 12, pp. 68–72, 1997.
 K. Hammad, P. Arbon, and K. Gebbie, “Emergency nurses and disaster response: An exploration of South Australian emergency nurses’ knowledge and perceptions of their roles in disaster response,” Australasian Emergency, no. 14,2, pp. 87-94, 2011.
 K. Imran, and R. McLeod, “Managing hajj crowd complexity: superior throughput satisfaction health and safety,” Kuwait Chapter of Arabian Journal of Business and Management Review, vol. 2, no. 4, pp. 45–59, 2012.
 Q. Ahmed, M. Barbeschi, and Z. Memish, ‘The quest for public health security at Hajj: The WHO guidelines on communicable disease alert and response during mass gatherings,” Travel Medicine and Infectious Disease, vol. 7, no. 1, pp. 226–230, 2009.
 W. Higgins, C. Wainwright, L. Ning, and R. Carrico, “Assessing hospital preparedness using an instrument based on the Mass Casualty Disaster Plan Checklist: Results of a statewide survey,” Bowling Green and Louisville vol. 32, no. 6, pp 327–332, 2004.
 C. Kija, and P. Arbon, “Are nurses ready? Disaster preparedness in the acute setting,” Australasian Emergency Nursing Journal, vol. 11, no. 1, pp. 135–144, 2008.
 L. Soomaroo, & V. Murray, “Disasters at mass gatherings: lessons from history”. PLoS Currents, 4, 2012.
 P. Arbon, L. Cusack, J. Ranse, and R. Shaban, “Exploring staff willingness to attend work during a disaster: A study of nurses employed in four Australian emergency departments,” Australasian Emergency Nursing Journal, vol. 16, no. 5, pp. 103–109, 2013.
 K.S. Hammad, P.A. Arbon, and K.M. Gebbie, “Emergency nurses and disaster response: An exploration of South Australian emergency nurses' knowledge and perceptions of their roles in disaster response,” Australasian Emergency Nursing Journal, online, pp. 1-8, 2010.
 P. Arbon, L. Cusack, and N. Verdonk, “Mass gathering public health and emergency medicine literature review: levels of evidence,” Australasian Journal of Paramedicine, vol. 10, no.1, p. 5, 2013.
 M. Rassin, M. Avraham, A. Nasi-Bashari, S. Idelman, Y. Peretz, S. Morag, and G. Weiss, “Emergency department staff preparedness for mass casualty events involving children,” Disaster Management and Response, vol. 5, no. 2, pp. 36-43, 2007.
 A. Bowling, and S. Ebrahim, S. (eds.), Handbook of Health Research Methods; Investigation, Measurement and Analysis. Berkshire: Open University Press, 2005.
 J. Al-Tawfiq, and Z. Memish, “Mass gathering medicine: 2014 Hajj and Umra preparation as a leading example”, International Journal of Infectious Diseases, vol. 27, no.1, pp. 26–31, 2014.
 S. Shafi, B. Booy, E. Haworth, H. Rashid, and Z. Memish, “Hajj: Health lessons for mass gatherings,” Journal of Infection and Public Health, vol. 1, no. 1 pp. 27–32, 2008.
 I. Khan, and R. McLeod, “Managing Hajj crowd complexity: Superior throughput, satisfaction, health, & safety,” Arabian Journal of Business and Management Review, vol. 2, no. 4, pp. 45-59, 2012.
 L. Conlon, and R. Wiechula, “Preparing nurses for future disasters: The Sichuan experience,” Australasian Emergency Nursing Journal, vol. 14, no.1, pp. 246–250, 2011.
 Q. Ahmed, Y. Arabi, and Z. Memish, “Health risks at the Hajj,” Lancet, vol. 367, no. 1, pp. 1008–1015, 2006.
 J. Schriver, R. Talmadge, R. Chuong, and J. Hedges, “Emergency nursing: historical, current, and future roles,” Journal of Emergency Learning, vol. 29, no. 5, pp. 431–439, 2003.
 J. Burstein, “The Myths of Disaster Education,” Annals of Emergency Medicine, vol. 47, no. 1, pp. 50–52, 2006.
 L. Cusack, P. Arbon, and J. Ranse, “What is the role of nursing students and schools of nursing during disaster? A discussion paper,” Collegian, vol.17, no.1, pp. 193–197, 2010.