Senior clinical nurses effectively contribute to the pandemic influenza public health response

Kirsty Hope, Peter D. Massey, Maggi Osbourn, David N. Durrheim, Christopher D. Kewley, Catherine Turner

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article


Objective To describe the experience of engaging senior clinical nurses as surge staff in a pandemic public health response and determine the effect of an on-line training package and exercise participation on these individuals' perceptions and confidence of being deployed during an influenza pandemic. Design After action reviews, end of exercise surveys, and pre- and post-training risk perceptions questionnaire completion. Setting The study was conducted within the operational aspects of a public health exercise response to an influenza pandemic. Subjects Clinical nurse consultants, nurse educators and nurse managers sourced from areas defined as not clinically critical during the early containment phase of an influenza pandemic response. Interventions Four hour on-line training package and a four day influenza pandemic exercise. Main outcome measures Expert observation and self-perceived appropriateness of surge staff and measured changes in risk perception. Results Observers' comments and after action reviews indicated that by the end of the deployment, day surge staff were able to perform public health surveillance functions competently. The end of day survey showed that the on-line training package served as a useful reference document but alone was an inadequate means of equipping staff for deployment. Exercise pre- and post-perceptions surveys found that self-perceived knowledge and confidence in performing duties increased following the exercise from 46% to 93% (p<0.01) and from 46% to 90% (p<0.01), respectively. Conclusion Clinical nurse consultants, nurse educators and nurse managers working within a health authority are an appropriate surge workforce during public health emergencies if provided with appropriate training and support.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)47-53
Number of pages7
JournalAustralian Journal of Advanced Nursing
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2010
Externally publishedYes


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