Primary, secondary and tertiary interventions are essential for promoting and protecting the health and wellbeing of communities affected by disasters by aiming to prevent disease/injury, reduce the impact of disease, and help the affected deal with the impact. An example of a primary nursing intervention is immunizing people against infectious diseases and educating them of healthy habits. The provision of the emergency medical attention and nursing care required to manage and treat injuries/diseases is an example of a secondary intervention while the implementation of programs for helping people overcome the impact such as psychological and mental health support programs is a tertiary intervention (Wyss, 2014).
The three interventions lie within different disaster management stages. The primary intervention falls within the mitigation and preparedness phases of disaster management. These phases focus on reducing vulnerability and understanding the possible impact of the disaster. Moreover, the secondary intervention falls within the response phase. Emergency responders and healthcare professionals focus on providing the needed emergency care in response to the impact of the disaster to minimize it and prevent further preventable effects. Further, tertiary interventions are elements of the recovery process. This phase focuses on helping the affected people and communities to recover from the impact by offering continued care, mental health care services, and psychological support to help them overcome the effects (Wyss, 2014; CDC, 2010).
Success in facilitating the interventions require the collaboration of multi-disciplinary team and different agencies. First, local healthcare professionals, critical care nurses, doctors, and emergency responders must work collaboratively to provide the necessary primary, secondary, and tertiary interventions. Donor agencies, United Nations agencies, NGOs, and other emergency response agencies contribute to and are critical in the management of disasters. Collaboration with the agencies and specifically FEMA agents, American Red Cross, community emergency response team (CERT), and the US Humane Society among others facilitates intervention (Wyss, 2014; Grand Canyon University, 2010; CDC, 2010).
Grand Canyon University. (2010). Diary of medical mission trip journal. Retrieved from Grand Canyon University: https://lc.gcumedia.com/nrs427v/diary-of-medical-mission-trip/v2.1/
Wyss, M. (2014). Earthquake hazard, risk and disasters. Waltham, MA: Elsevier.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). (2010). Rapid establishment of an internally displaced persons’ disease surveillance system after an earthquake — Haiti, 2010. (2010). MMWR. Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, 59(30), 939–945