Following the September 11, 2001, terrorist attack, there is a need for health centres, hospitals and other medical institutions to formulate and implement policies that will assist in responding to such tragic events in order to avoid more injuries or unnecessary deaths in cases where the health care providers are unprepared. Therefore, there is a need for hospitals and other medical care providers to become prepared for such terrorist attacks in case they occur again in the US. Emergency preparedness is a very crucial aspect in the hospitals and health care providers to save lives and avoid injuries or deaths in the process of rescuing the victims of the attack.
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The administrators in the health care centres and hospitals need to ensure that their personnel are well equipped with the necessary safety clothes and equipment to avoid contamination and injuries that may increase the number of casualties. This move ensures that the medical personnel are protected while they offer medical care to the injured. In addition, there is a need to train and educate the hospital personnel on how to rescue victims of terrorist attacks to avoid the panic that may lead to more deaths.
More so, terrorist attacks are diverse as their attacking weapons range from biological, chemical, nuclear and thermomechanical calling for hospitals to be prepared in case the terrorists’ decision to use any of these weapons upon the US. This implies that healthcare personnel should be well trained and educated on how to respond to any of these attacks.
In addition, there is a need to develop fast and effective communication systems to ensure that all departments of a hospital or health care providers are alert and well informed on the situation on the ground i.e. the form of the attack and what is expected of each department to avoid panic. Communication plays a very crucial role in any rescue attempts as it ensures all the parties involved are well informed on what is required of them.
Hospitals and other medical providers should develop a surveillance system that will detect illnesses to avoid them from spreading in the case where the terrorist may opt to use biological weapons. This system ensures that diseases are detected and controlled before they become a national disaster and spread to other countries and become a global problem. This may pose a disaster that would be hard to control and cure. Therefore, there is a need to install these systems to detect illnesses at an early age that can be easily controlled and cured.
The hospital administrators should ensure that each department or unit in the institution has enough resources that could be used in case of any terrorist attacks. The resources include enough personnel, drugs such as antidotes, antibiotics etc and other emergency-related facilities such as ambulances. In addition, the administrators should ensure that space in the hospitals and health care centres can easily be created without much problem in case of any tragic events to avoid incidences of some patients lacking medical services or having to be taken to other centres when they could in critical conditions and their lives be at stake.
In addition, the healthcare administrators’ should work closely with the department of defence officials to ensure that they work closely in the rescuing process. This is necessary to ensure that the hospital personnel do not interfere with evidence on the ground that may assist in taking down the culprits. For instance, the hospital personnel are supposed to label each victim clothes and documents and keep them safely where they can be easily accessed by the security officials. This assists in determining whether there could any terrorists who could have been rescued and treated as a victim of the attack.
Henretig FM, Cieslak TJ & Eitzen EM, (2002) Biological and chemical terrorism, Cambridge: Cambridge university press.
Noji E.K. (1996), the public health consequences of disasters, oxford: oxford university press.