Chaos, Teamwork, Compassion, and Leadership

Disasters and Nursing's Finest Hours

Karlene M. Kerfoot


Nurs Econ. 2019;37(5):265-267. 

In This Article

Health Care in Disasters

Health care is a complicated and unpredictable business. Many organizations and businesses are built on linear functions. Health care is anything but linear. There is incredible variation and continual unplanned changes/emergencies that defy prediction. Staffing on a "normal" day can try the souls of the best people. But when chaos hits, it takes a village to maintain patient safety and staff effectiveness. Burnout and "moral injury" can be the fallout of ineffectively handling everyday staffing; in emergencies the challenge is greatly exaggerated. We are challenged to create effective systems to save staff and patients. We must plan for disasters with the right technology, information, and training.