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Emergency Preparedness and Response Plan

Emergency Preparedness and Response Plan

The effective emergency planning helps to improve the collaboration between healthcare professionals. It is reasonable to examine the recent Emergency Response Plan of the Arizona Department of Health Services (2016). It provides the general overview of the key emergency responses, preventive measures, and basic approaches towards coordinating the functions and responsibilities of all parties involved. However, the proper implementation of the designed plan is impossible without considering the interests of people with special healthcare needs such as patients with ASD.

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The analyzed plan provides the systematic overview of general measures that should be taken by professionals while facing emergency situations of different types. It is developed in a way that makes it applicable to both small and extreme emergency situations. The plan specifies the mitigation of threats with the key emphasis on medical countermeasures. The responsibilities and communication between various parties and organizations are addressed (Arizona Department of Health Services, 2016). The plan development and maintenance issues are mentioned, and they enable comprehending the underlying motives and the logic of the outlined regulations.

It is difficult to assess the adequacy of resources available for meeting potential emergency challenges. On the one hand, the plan enables consolidating substantial human and financial resources proportional to the level of emergency threat. On the other hand, the intensity of emergency risks can vary depending on the potential weather, technological, or other conditions (Girard, David, Piatyszek, & Flaus, 2016). Therefore, if the level of emergency threat becomes extremely high, the Arizona Department of Health Services should coordinate its efforts with the federal level to provide the most effective and consistent responses (Arizona Department of Health Services, 2016). However, in relation to the most probable challenges, the availability of resources of different types as well as the flexibility in their provision seem to be sufficient.

Although the availability of resources is comparatively high, there are serious issues associated with their effective distribution among all groups of potential recipients. It is evident that different population groups have different health needs and face various challenges. Therefore, the plan should be more oriented to such groups. They include children, the elderly population, people with physical and mental disabilities etc. Only the consistent orientation to the needs and demands of all these people can allow achieving the positive results in the long run.

Thus, it is reasonable to increase the number of healthcare professionals with the necessary specialty. It does not require the substantial increase in the general amount of resources but mostly presupposes the effective reallocation of funds among various community needs. In addition, the technological opportunities should increase to minimize the time needed for addressing emergency threats throughout the state (Jack, De Souza, & Kalebaila, 2015). Finally, the communication resources’ availability should rise due to the central role of communication during emergencies (it is also mentioned in the emergency plan). The healthcare and emergency specialists should get free access to the latest communication technologies to coordinate their efforts and responses.

Considering my health track and preparation, I may fulfill the functions of the health educator paying attention to the needs of people with ASD. I believe I should increase the general community awareness of ASD and additional risks experienced by patients with ASD during disasters. I can focus on the following two major areas: behavioral and communication aspects. The former refers to different patterns of behavior demonstrated by people with ASD. Other social members should both correctly interpret patients’ actions and provide the corresponding assistance whenever it is possible. The latter refers to communication difficulties faced by the majority of patients with ASD. Thus, their relatives and friends should assist with delivering their messages to third parties and minimizing the level of stress caused by the emergency situation (Iannuzzi, Kopecky, Broder-Fingert, & Connors, 2015). The healthcare professionals should also focus on psychological needs of patients with ASD while designing and implementing their interventions.

The role of the health educator in relation to the needs of patients with ASD is important as he/she helps to minimize the existing misunderstanding and social stereotypes about these people. As a result, the community emergency response will also focus on the needs of these individuals. Correspondingly, they will receive the necessary organizational and psychological assistance. If no one fulfilled this role, the needs of patients with ASD during disasters could remain unaddressed (Iannuzzi et al., 2015). Thus, they would face unprecedentedly high health risks and the lack of proper support from professionals and other social members.

In conclusion, the analysis of the Emergency Response Plan of the Arizona Department of Health Services (2016) indicates the ability of the state authority to outline the causes of potential threats and provide the systematic review of the optimal emergency response measures that should be initiated at different levels. Although the total amount of available resources may be sufficient to address the largest fraction of potential emergencies, their distribution is non-optimal. Thus, it is possible to add HR, technological, and communication resources to increase the effectiveness of future emergency responses. I may perform the role of the health educator with the major focus on the needs of patients with ASD. It is necessary to increase the community’s general awareness about the needs of patients having ASD and potential forms of assistance that can be provided to them. It may have a significant positive impact on these people’s health.

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