Nurses from all corners of the Asia-Pacific region will descend on James Cook University in Cairns on November 26 for a three-week workshop that will develop their research skills in order to help their countries better prepare for disasters.
AusAID has given the WHO Collaborating Centre for Nursing and Midwifery Education and Research Capacity Building at JCU an Australian Leadership Award to conduct the workshop for 25 member countries of the Asia Pacific Emergency Disaster Nursing Network.
WHO Collaborating Centre Director Professor Kim Usher said JCU was at the forefront of research into disaster preparedness which was still in its infancy in many regions.
“We are committed to helping other countries build their capacity to undertake such research through our leading role with the Asia Pacific Emergency Disaster Nursing Network,” she said.
“The Asia Pacific region is very disaster prone with countries facing various threats including cyclones, tsunamis, earthquakes, volcanic eruptions and floods.
“Developing the skills of researchers within this region to evaluate disaster preparedness will help their communities be better prepared for disasters and therefore build resilience to such events.”
The workshop will culminate with a research showcase day where studies such as the ‘Preparedness, loss and distress associated with Tropical Cyclone Yasi’ by JCU’s School of Nursing, Midwifery and Nutrition in Cairns will be presented.
The Yasi study was designed to help northern Queenslanders prepare for future cyclones and will be adapted for use as a prototype for similar work with victims of the Japanese tsunami and southeast Queensland’s floods.
Professor Usher said the JCU researchers who had worked on the Yasi study would be helping participants at the Research Capacity Building Workshop to develop, implement and report a research project using the skills they acquired during the workshop.
“During the workshop we will help them develop the research project, which could be a topic like looking at the competency level needed for nurses in a disaster, and we will provide ongoing support during their research which they will present at the Asia Pacific Emergency Disaster Nursing Network meeting in Bangkok in October,” she said.
“Workshop participants will go back to their country with increased knowledge of how to undertake research and will be able to train colleagues which will further build research capacity in their country.”
Issued November 19, 2012
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