August 28, 2014  

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Southern Miss Nursing Students to Participate in Red Cross Pilot Program

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Approximately 100 nursing students at The University of Southern Mississippi will participate in an online disaster preparedness workshop sponsored by the American Red Cross.

The pilot program titled, “Sheltering and Disaster Health for Nursing Students” will help prepare Southern Miss students to volunteer with the South Mississippi Red Cross chapter in the event of a local disaster. The program is scheduled to begin early next spring.

“With their strong commitment to community service, our nursing students want to be ready to respond should disaster strike close to home,” said Dr. Cathy Hughes, an instructor in the School of Nursing at Southern Miss. “This workshop will prepare them to volunteer in Red Cross disaster settings.”

Southern Miss is one of 12 U.S. nursing schools set to participate in the workshop that includes the following objectives:

  • Introduce nursing students to the role of a Red Cross Disaster Health Services volunteer.
  • Prepare nursing students to assess the needs of disaster clients and provide needed assistance.
  • Provide strategies for working with vulnerable populations.

All too often a flood, hurricane, tornado or other natural or man-made disaster can leave people with nothing but the clothes on their backs. Thus, the Red Cross stresses that every region needs a plan to respond to local disasters and trained personnel ready to staff relief operations.

Disaster preparedness is a critical component of the professional development of nursing students. The American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN) requires emergency preparedness/disaster management content in all accredited baccalaureate nursing programs. “Sheltering and Disaster Health for Nursing Students” meets AACN requirements.

For more information about services/programs provided by the American Red Cross, visit www.redcross.org. To learn more about the Southern Miss School of Nursing call 601-266-5454 or visit www.nursing.usm.edu/