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Letter to the Editor

  • We would like to thank the author of the Letter to the Editor in response to our OJIN article “Calling Nursing Informatics Leaders: Opportunities for Personal and Professional Growth”. Reading their comments and experiences regarding their growth as an emerging NI leader highlighted to us the importance of proactive work to support the NI leadership pipeline.

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Letter to the Editor on "Be Safe, Be Prepared..."

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November 17, 2006

Response by Suemede Lawrence to:  Be Safe, Be Prepared: Emergency System for Advance Registration of Volunteer Health Professionals in Disaster Response by Cheryl Peterson, MSN, RN (Sept. 30, 2006)

Dear Editor:

Thank you, Ms. Peterson, for the OJIN article, "Be Safe, Be Prepared: Emergency System for Advance Registration of Volunteer Health Professionals in Disaster Response." As a nursing student this article was significant to me in that my pursuit of nursing as a second career stemmed primarily from my realization that providing care to those in need would be the most valuable contribution I could make to society. However, I had never given much thought as to how I could be of help in the event of a disaster situation.

Prior to reading this article I thought that health care professionals just ‘showed-up’ to help during disasters. Your article certainly brought to light so well the fact that disaster situations can be extremely complex and as such require significant expert planning in order to attain the best outcomes. Your explanation of the necessity for advance registration with disaster response organizations and your listing of those important questions one should consider prior to seeking enrollment as a disaster responder were very thought-provoking.

I now realize that a decision to become a registered volunteer in a disaster situation requires very serious evaluation, as it involves not only our professional lives but our personal lives as well. I am still contemplating answers to some of the questions proposed.

Suemede Lawrence
Nursing Student
State University of New York at Downstate
Brooklyn, NY