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Experiences of operating room nurses in disaster preparedness of a great disaster in Iran: a qualitative study.

BMC Emergency Medicine 2023 November 24
BACKGROUND: In recent years, Iran has encountered a growing frequency of earthquake disasters. Given that nurses constitute the largest group of healthcare providers, it is imperative that they possess adequate disaster preparedness skills, irrespective of the location or time. Despite the operating room nurses' roles in disasters, their experiences and challenges in disaster preparedness have been overlooked. Consequently, this study aimed to investigate the experiences, challenges, perspectives, and factors influencing the disaster preparedness of operating room nurses during the 2017 earthquake in Kermanshah, Iran.

METHODS: The present qualitative research was carried out in Iran In 2022 utilizing conventional content analysis. The study involved conducting semi-structured interviews with 16 operating room nurses who had participated in disaster preparedness during the Kermanshah earthquake. The participants were selected using a purposive sampling approach that aimed to achieve maximum diversity. The interviews were continued until the point of data saturation was reached, and the verbatim transcripts were analyzed using conventional content analysis in MAXQDA software. To ensure the rigor of the research, Guba and Lincoln's criteria were employed.

RESULTS: The study conducted data analysis to identify the main theme as "insufficient disaster preparedness due to a faded preparedness", along with six major categories and eighteen subcategories related to earthquake disaster preparedness. The major categories included: knowledge and perception of preparedness for disasters; educational and training programs for disaster preparedness; equipment preparedness for disasters; managerial-organizational preparedness for disasters; clinical skills for responding to disasters; and resilient ability in disaster response situations.

CONCLUSION: The findings of the study provide valuable insights into the dimensions of disaster preparedness in earthquake disasters among operating room nurses. Nursing managers can utilize these findings to develop effective strategies and provide support in areas such as improving knowledge and educational level, equipment preparedness, strengthening plans and managerial structures, enhancing skills, and explaining resilience strategies to improve the disaster preparedness of operating room nurses and medical organizations' disaster response teams.

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