Background: The last few decades had witnessed a lot of natural disasters such as floods, Indian Ocean tsunamis in 2004, hurricanes, earthquakes, tornadoes etc. which were experienced by people in different countries across the globe. The study investigated nurses’ preparedness for disaster in selected hospitals in Ondo state. Methodology: A descriptive design was adopted. Using a convenience sampling technique, a total of 248 respondents were selected from four hospitals in Ondo State, Nigeria. Data collection was done with the aid of an adapted structured questionnaire and an in-depth interview schedule. Results: Results revealed that only 12.5% of the nurses had good knowledge of disaster preparedness. The use of contingency plans, networking, use of worldwide web as well as multimedia were identified as available solutions by 12.5%, 11.7%, 10.5% and 9.3% of the nurses respectively. The study further identified the current roles played by nurses in achieving disaster preparedness as follows: facilitating communication and coordination of care (22.5%), acquisition of skills to give psychological support (17.7%), provision of quality health care (15.7%), giving first aid treatment (14.9%), and learning to triage victims (13.5%). The study also showed that there is a significant relationship between the nurses’ level of knowledge on disaster preparedness and their years of experience (X2= 3.11, P = 0.0001) and their rank (X2= 2.46, P = 0.0001). Conclusion: It was concluded that disaster preparedness among nurses in selected hospitals in Ondo State was at low level and materials/equipments needed to rescue the victims were inadequate.
Keywords: Disaster, Nurses and Hospitals, Preparedness
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