Chaos, Teamwork, Compassion, and Leadership

Disasters and Nursing's Finest Hours

Karlene M. Kerfoot


Nurs Econ. 2019;37(5):265-267. 

In This Article

'I was Just Doing my Job'

Mark Barnes, FAAN, is often taken aback at DAISY Award ceremonies when the nurse who receives the award is often surprised and says humbly, "I was just doing my job." In his view, nurses are incredible heroes because they unpretentiously do what they need to do and are driven to alleviate human suffering.

In times of disaster, nurses are there to do their work and to manage chaos with compassion through the chaos. Nurses' greatest contributions is their ability to organize, to prepare in advance, to communicate across disciplines, and their individual preparedness (Society for the Advancement of Disaster Nursing, n.d.). These qualities, with the addition of teamwork and compassion, are the ingredients that make the miracles happen in disasters.