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Nurses Making a Difference in Japan’s Recovery

Through natural disasters and frightening tragedies, nurses are usually among the first responders to help the victims who are injured or disoriented. With the tsunami in Japan that occurred earlier this month, Vocational Nursing and RNs were once again ready to aid the hurting both physically and financially.

NurseZone.com contributor Debra Wood, RN, has some specifics about how nurses have come to the aid of this devastated country. “The American Red Cross has sent $10 million to the Japanese Red Cross Society, which has deployed nearly 171 medical teams, made up of more than 800 people, including doctors and nurses. A physician at one mobile clinic at an evacuation center reported many chronically ill people are without their medications. Some have become sick with colds. A stomach virus is causing diarrhea, resulting in dehydration.”

The major incident which is greatly limiting how nurses outside of Japan can help the Japanese is the threat of a nuclear meltdown. “As a result of the nuclear accident, sending untrained and potentially poorly equipped individuals into the area is not safe. Therefore, the American Nurses Association encourages nurses wanting to help to support the nurses of Japan with donations through the American Nurses Foundation’s Japan Disaster Relief Fund.”

“Nurses want to share their skills, but they need to temper that with knowledge about community and how they can share,” said Susan Fletcher, EdD, MSN(R), RN, associate professor at Chamberlain College of Nursing in St. Louis.

Some medical teams have landed in Japan and have offered assistance to those in remote areas. “International Medical Corps has dispatched an emergency response team to assess needs of people in the coastal regions affected by the earthquake and tsunami and reported people fatigued, stressed and in need of emotional support. Hypothermia, influenza-like illnesses and gastrointestinal infections are of concern as well. The corps has four medical teams on standby, ready to respond if needed.”

The hardest part about being in a vocational nursing school in the San Francisco Bay Area is seeing all of these images of devastation on TV, in the newspapers or on the internet is not being able to use your skills to aid the hurting.

To read the complete article referenced in this post, you can visit