FUKUSHIMA Lives on the Line

80This earthquake and nuclear accident created a situation beyond even the predictions of experts. Owing to the effects of the nuclear accident in Fukushima Prefecture, there have been daily news reports regarding concerns over radiation exposure. However, it has been scientifically proven that the current levels of radiation are not strong enough to cause any harm to one’s health. Fukushima Prefecture is having to battle against discrimination over both the earthquake and the radiation levels.As a graduate of FMU Nursing School, I trust the scientific data and am determined to go about my daily nursing duties in the prefecture’s only university affiliated hospital in hopes that my efforts will contribute the on-going recovery in some small way.Offered Nursing Care at a Hub Hospital During the DisasterKaori WatanabeNursing school studentMessages from Student Volunteers, Medical Interns, and Nursing School Students(1) Friday, March 11, 201114:46: Occurrence of the Earthquake (Fukushima City: Magnitude 6)15:00: University Hospital Director’s Office establishes the Disaster Response HeadquartersConfirmation of status of admitted patients→ No human casualtiesOutpatients assembled in entrance lobby→ No human casualties(Confirmation of status of hospital facilities and equipment, performed status check on lifeline)15:30:• Emergency Medical Care CenterAllocation of doctor/nurse dutiesConfirm triage measures/establish locationsGreen: orthopedic outpatient careYellow: internal medicine outpatient careRed: emergency medical care center outpatient careGathering all stretchers, hot-water bottles, and emergency carts (surgery) on each floor for emergency outpatient careGathering newly hired nurses of Yoshimi-So• Operation DivisionDetermining whether to halt or continue with in-progress surgeries; relocating all patients to the ICU by 16:42.• Nursing DivisionIn-transit heart catheter patients disrupted by the earthquake took refuge on a nearby floor off the elevator and were received by the 2nd floor north ward without returning to their original ward.Confirmed empty beds and emergency lamps and provided notice of limits placed on outpatient status.• Preparation of PTSD Care WardEstablished in Nutrition Management Unit with the cooperation of the Psychosomatic Division(Psychiatric Health Care for Employees)• Student VolunteersAssisted with triage measures and shifting outpatients in consultation to the appropriate hospital wards while elevators were shut down immediately after the occurrence of the earthquake; aided hospital with movement of patients around wards during the staff shortage following the earthquake.15:46: Hospital-wide broadcast of disaster and victim status “No human casualties, minimal structural damage to facilities”21:30: Held the first University-wide meeting. The second meeting was held on March 12, 2011 at 0:00.*Other meetings on March 12 and 13 were held at 9:00, 15:00, and 21:00. Later, meetings were held twice a day, and shortly after, once a day. In April, they were held once a week, and from June, once a month.Condition of Victims and Hospital Facilities on the Day of the Great East Japan EarthquakeHospital Administration Department