Resources >> Browse Articles >> On the Job


Disaster Relief Nursing 101

Disaster Relief Nursing 101

Marijke Durning | NursingLink

What the ARC looks for.

Every type of nursing requires a specific skill set. Experience as a nurse is a big help, but even student nurses are welcome to join in. The ARC has outreach programs to encourage students to volunteer, hoping that this will give them the encouragement to look at volunteering down the road as well.

For nurses who are interested in being part of the ARC, “We’re looking for nurses with very strong generic fundamental nursing skills,” said Dr. Stanley. “We’re looking for people who are comfortable working in the community environment.” This part is essential, she stressed, because when the ARC responds to a need, they work with a vast array of community partners. For this reason, the nurses also have to be able to work in a team.

Other traits the ARC looks for include nurses who are creative at coming up with solutions and problem solving. “You won’t always have all the resources you need on hand,” said Dr. Stanley. Nurses also should have strong analytical and assessment skills.

Why Volunteer?

Patty arrived in Haiti six weeks after the initial earthquake hit. “The news [tugged] at my heart,” she said. She knew she wanted to go and help. But it wasn’t easy. “Previous missions helped me understand certain things and the way people lived, “ she said. “But it did not prepare me for the disaster I was about to see or experience in Haiti.”

What struck Patty the most was the living conditions and how happy they were when they were given the simple things in life, such as food and water.

With only a week in Haiti, Patty felt as if she hadn’t done enough. “At first it felt like I was making a difference,” she said. “As the days progressed, it felt like I was trying to stop a flood with my finger. Less and less resources were available and I thought the exact opposite was supposed to be happening.”

Despite this feeling though, Patty hasn’t been soured on helping others. Although she has no formal disaster training, she hopes to take a course later this year. As for her future plans? Next stop, Peru!

Disaster relief nursing is an essential field, filled primarily with volunteers. Providing medical aid and attention in catastrophic situations is what nursing is all about. While it does require exceptional skills and being able to think quickly on your feet, there is helping victims of a disaster is a rewarding feeling in itself.

Next: Disaster Relief, Boost Your Skills and Karma! >>

Related Reads:

  • Photo_user_blank_big


    over 3 years ago


    I never thought there are nurses who actually do that.I guess they should carry with them pharmaceutical grade supplements who you can find in a disaster like that and in what state, injured or not.I also think that there are not so many nurses who put their life in hold to wade into situations like that atleast not in my country.

  • Photo_user_blank_big


    over 3 years ago


    Good Post... dental implants

  • Photo_user_blank_big


    almost 4 years ago


    thanks to all those who volunteer through ARC, you're efforts are greatly appreciated wherever you go. There was no mention though about nurses who respond to disasters through DMATs or Disaster Medical Assistance Teams. These government formed teams or nurses, MDs, medics and pharmacists respond to disasters across the US and beyond! Also, props to the nurse who travels to disasters on her own will to help out but let it be known that that is not always a good idea. Many people want to get up and travel to a disaster area to help but are quite unprepared. Once you get there, there are often no places to sleep, nothing to eat or support yourself on and you need to bring all you're own equipment. Not to mention make sure you have a way to get there and back because there are not always roads intact or airports running.

NursingLink School Finder

Save time in your search for a nursing or healthcare degree program. Use NursingLink's School Finder to locate schools online and in your area.

Get Info

* In the event that we cannot find a program from one of our partner schools that matches your specific area of interest, we may show schools with similar or unrelated programs.