Be ready to answer these questions

Surveyors will want to see evidence that clinical staff members were involved in implementing your disaster plan, emphasizes Gregory L. Terrell, MS, CSP, ARN, director of risk management at Children’s Medical Center of Dallas. He says all ED staff must be able to describe or demonstrate the following:

  • their roles and responsibilities for emergency preparedness;
  • their roles and past participation in organization wide drills;
  • backup communication system used during disasters and emergencies;
  • how to obtain supplies and equipment during disasters or emergencies.

Here are some specific questions staff may be asked, says Terrell:

— What education have you received about recognizing hazards identified in the emergency management plan?

— What type of orientation, training, and education have you received about your roles and responsibilities in the emergency management plan? What types of emergencies were addressed in the education?

— Has a command center been identified to coordinate community response?

— Does the unit participate in emergency preparedness drills regularly? What was your role in the most recent drill?

Here are some questions that might be asked of nursing leadership:

— is clinical leadership involved in developing the emergency management plan, including the command structure and its specific roles? Who from the clinical staff was involved in its development?

— What were the clinical staff’s contributions to the development of the emergency management plan, including command structure? Who from the clinical staff is included in the command structure?

— has the clinical staff planned to rapidly expand the number of physicians and other licensed independent practitioners (LIPs) in the event of a disaster? Has clinical leadership considered how it will quickly credential volunteer physicians and other LIPs?

— are clinical staff members trained in emergency management?

— What education is provided to clinical staff to recognize symptoms of and/or manage hazards or treat conditions identified in the emergency management plan? When was the training conducted? Who attended?

— What type of orientation and education is provided to clinical staff about their roles and responsibilities in the plan?