Lessons for workforce disaster planning from the first nosocomial outbreak of COVID-19 in rural Tasmania, Australia: A case study

Jessica Hammersley, Carey Mather, Karen Francis

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Abstract

The identification and announcement of the COVID-19 pandemic has been a global issue. Disaster preparedness for internal and external threats is inherent within health care environments and requires agile thinking and swift remediation. Nosocomial infection is a risk for recipients of care, especially in hospital settings, which has implications for workforce planning. The aim of this case study was to examine the community response to the internal disaster of the first nosocomial COVID-19 outbreak within an Australian rural health care environment. A critical discourse analysis method was adopted to generate and analyse data collected from three different media platforms during a six-week period. Four main themes were distilled: actions and intent, loss, well-being and recognising choice, and community action. Phase two of the study interrogated these themes to expose the power positioning of speakers and their relationships to the audiences. Strengthening communication with local communities within health care environments must be a priority in any future rural workforce disaster preparedness planning. Maintenance of trust with health service provision and delivery in rural communities is imperative. The inclusion of a robust communication plan within any risk management strategy that meets the needs of the local users of health services is mandatory.

Original languageEnglish
Article number7982
Pages (from-to)1-17
Number of pages17
JournalInternational Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
Volume18
Issue number15
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2021
Externally publishedYes

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