Defense Date

2010

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy

Department

Health Related Sciences

First Advisor

Chuck Biddle

Abstract

Hurricane Katrina devastated New Orleans in 2005. Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists (CRNAs) and Student Registered Nurse Anesthetists (SRNAs) were impacted by the storm. CRNAs were required to be on duty during the storm and SRNAs’ education was disrupted by the storm. This dissertation is a compilation of three papers that represent the initial exploratory research into the impact of natural disasters on CRNAs and future CRNAs. The first article was a focused ethnography utilizing focus groups and described the shared experiences of CRNAs who were on duty in New Orleans during Hurricane Katrina and the psychosocial impact the storm had on them. Ten CRNAs participated in focus groups that were audio-recorded, transcribed and analyzed. Six major themes emerged from the study and represented how the CRNAs appraised and coped with the stressful events surrounding Hurricane Katrina. The psychosocial impact of Hurricane Katrina on the CRNAs resulted in short-term sleep disturbances and a temporary increase in alcohol consumption. The second article was also a focused ethnography that utilized focus groups to describe the shared experiences of SRNAs whose senior year was disrupted by Hurricane Katrina and the psychosocial impact the storm had on them. Ten former SRNAs participated in focus groups that were audio-recorded, transcribed, and analyzed. Three major themes emerged from the study and represented how the SRNAs appraised and coped with the stressful events surrounding Hurricane Katrina. The psychosocial impact of Hurricane Katrina on the SRNAs resulted in temporary increased alcohol consumption and anxiety. The third article discussed the results of an observational study regarding the impact of Hurricane Katrina on the outcome of the Self-Evaluation Exam (SEE) taken by senior-level students in the Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center Nurse Anesthesia Program. A convenience sample consisted of 174 former students. Regression analysis revealed the relationship between the overall percentile score of the SEE and the year the test was taken (prior to or after Hurricane Katrina) while adjusting for potential confounding variables. The findings suggest that Hurricane Katrina did not have an impact on the outcome of the SEE taken by these individuals.

Rights

© The Author

Is Part Of

VCU University Archives

Is Part Of

VCU Theses and Dissertations

Date of Submission

December 2010