Saturday, November 12, 2005: 2:45 PM-4:00 PM
Special Session: Disaster Relief Mission to Indonesia to Provide Assistance to the Victims of the Tsunami
Learning Objective #1: Articulate the benefits of utilizing and imbedding a civilian health care team on a U.S. military health care platform in response to a disaster relief or humanitarian mission in a foreign country
Learning Objective #2: Describe the leadership, staffing and ethical challenges that confront nursing leadership during a disaster relief mission in a foreign country that has experienced a severe loss of medical infrastructure
This presentation will encompass an overview of this year's medical and nursing response to aid the victims of the December 26th, 2004 tsunami that devastated the city of Banda Aceh and the northernmost provice of Sumatra, Indonesia. This disaster relief effort was accomplished using a staffing model that had never before been utilized by the United States in response to a foreign disaster or humanitarian mission, and may very well be a template for future health care missions throughout the world. Shortly following the devastation of the late December tsunami, the United States Navy contacted Project Hope, a non-governmental organization headquartered about one hour outside of Washington DC. The Navy wanted to evaluate the feasibility of embedding a civilian health care team on one of their military hospital platforms and wanted to see if Project Hope could assist them in recruiting volunteers. Once the decision was made by the U.S. government to support this disaster relief effort with an American health care team, the Navy and Project Hope collaborated to expeditiously identify a team of medical and nursing professionals that could be quickly moved to the tsunami-strickened area to provide much needed health care to the local population. This presentation will look at the challenges of identifying, orienting and transporting an entire health care team within an extremely short timeframe. In addition, the presentation will review the processes used to determine nursing and physician specialty, the number of patient care beds to be operationalized, staffing challenges, cultural considerations, expectations management of the staff, and the various types of patients cared for, both tsunami related and non-tsunami related. The presentation will conclude by evaluating the feasibility of utilizing this model of health care for future disaster relief/humanitarian assistance missions on both the hospital ship platform and other military health care platforms.
Organizer:William T. Bester, RN, MSN

Sigma Theta Tau International
38th Biennial Convention - Clinical Sessions
November 12-13, 2005
Indianapolis, IN