Disaster Nursing and Emergency Preparedness for Chemical, Biological, and Radiological Terrorism and other Hazards, Tener Goodwin Veenema, editor. New York, Springer Publishing Co, 2003. 616 pages, hardcover, $79.95.
This book has encyclopedic overtones because of the sources of scientific contributors to the text. There are 25 authors from many fields and 19 contributing case study authors as well as 36 case studies. The contents are divided into (1) disaster preparedness, (2) disaster management, (3) natural and accidental disasters, (4) disasters caused by biological and radiological agents, and (5) special topics. A total of 14 appendices are also included. Thus, insight into disasters of any type can be gained in advance so that constructive reaction to disaster can be instituted much quicker and with a strong possibility of better results for the afflicted. The world population, and especially the citizens of the United States, is now more uneasy about disaster in any form and everyone is on edge about the appropriate management of disaster as it occurs. Those persons with careers in the health field will be under strong scrutiny and sharp evaluation. The steady growth in all forms of communication helps to raise the expectations for quick and productive management as well as increasing the pressure for prevention and mitigation. A large appendix on Internet resources on disaster preparedness, emergency care, and bioterrorism provides a readily available resource to nurses and others.
Effective treatment of the large number of mass casualty incidents will be under intense scrutiny of everyone and wisely so as it is one means of being forewarned and to stimulate constructive thinking about how to be most effective in responding to the demands that emergencies generate.
The need to have a rich social science background as well as a strong basis of physical science is obvious on every page so as to adjust more helpfully to any type of sudden disaster, be it local or widespread. Reading text such as this one, is a means of reflecting constructively on how to manage such unanticipated situations when they arise.
Nurses, being the largest number of people in healthcare, will be under very strong pressure to deliver the correct actions in disaster so that reading and reflecting in advance is a major means of constructive preparation for the unexpected.