Biological warfare threat has spread across the globe from developed to developing, countries in the last few years. It causes alarm among the professionals such as journalist, academics, and policy analysts. Most important, it has caught the attention of policy makers and policy analysts to rethink the whole concept of bioterrorist (Sharyn Janes, 2008). Therefore, what is Bioterrorist? What is its future impact in nursing? Bioterrorism can be defined as the use of biological agents by individual or groups to course harm to people. It's considered to be mostly politically motivated to intimidate the government (WS Carus, 1998).
Terrorist see this biological agents as a tool for achieving specialized objectives not necessarily intended to directly influence government actions. Virtually all bioterrorists seek to keep their use of biological agents a secret, because in many instances success depended on the lack of appreciation that a disease outbreak was intentional. A bioterrorist can include any non-state actor who uses or threatens to use biological agents on behalf of a political, religious, ecological, or other ideological cause without reference to its moral or political justice (W. Seth Carus, 1998).
However, a bioterrorism remains the widely misunderstood subject maybe the approach being employed is not helpful. This has therefore left the whole situation in a quagmire. Besides, denying the potential danger altogether leads to the kind of tunnel that led U.S. intelligence officials to totally ignore the emergence of Aum Shinrikyo in Japan, despite its overtly hostile attitude towards the United States. Therefore it is a matter of time before a great danger or threat is witnessed, if the whole concept is not handled consciously and with speed (EJ DaSilva, 2009).
In the events of September 11, 2011, there were rumors of bioterrorist attacked in the United States. The threat threw the spanner in the medical fraternity; a concern to every healthcare worker's including nurses. Because, in case of an attack caused by an infectious bioterrorism agent, nurses will have to provide care to infected patients and may fear that they and their families could be infected with the agent of disease Secor-Turner, MS, RN, PHN, and Carol O'Boyle, 2002). Therefore, as health care and public health institutions develop bioterrorism readiness plans, nurses have shown minimal involvement in the planning for its future eventuality. The concerns and needs of nurses should be reflected in bioterrorism readiness plans in the United States to provide safe working conditions and to address psychological and motional health issues (Molly Secor-Turner, MS, RN, PHN, and Carol O'Boyle, 2002).
Moreover, in the event of such as attack there could be a serious demand of workforce, compelling to bring in a number of nurses to handle the situation. This, however, could force a lot of debriefing to nurses in shift. The planning should be incorporate in the strategies for transitioning nurses for the emergency or crisis roles to their usual clinical responsibilities. In the event of terrorist attack in Israel in 2002, nurses on duty wanted constant debriefing sessions with their peers. They didn't need debriefing session or organized debriefing, but they needed sometime to be with their colleagues to clear the heads. Closure time for the incident may vary because nurses needed time to verbalize their thoughts, frustrations, and feelings. The stress of caring for victims of terrorist events was lingering, and, depending on the extent of the terrorist event, some nurses continued to report restlessness, sleeplessness, and nightmares (Karen Saucier Lundy, Sharyn Janes, 2009).
Due this new trend, nurses should be prepared through trainings and psychological awareness to the expectation in the event of bioterrorist attacked. The kind of people nurses handle during such event are trauma and in dire need of health care. They need more than just treatment but attention and counseling which nurses should be able to provide. However, this changes the entire curriculum of nurses in future to bring in a well inclusion subject of bioterrorism and how it should be handle and victims as well in any case there is an attack.
Style in Bioterrorism
The evidence shows that there has been an explosive of interest by some element of criminals in biological agents across the world such as India, Japan e.t.c. Fifty six of these acts took place in the 1990s, and nineteen of twenty seven of similar of such activities were reported to be terrorist activities. This, however, suggest the growing interest in bioterrorist agents with agent to harm certain population. The most extensive official comment on terrorist and criminal interest in biological weapons comes from 1997 testimony given by Director Louis Freeh (Lester Garth L. Nicolson, 2007).
This, thus reflected by the fact that, the representatives of Iraqi government announced to leaders of the United Nation Special Commission Team, that they had conducted research into the offensive use of biological weapons. It made the first major announcement in the advancement of biological weapon. They announced that they were conducting research on anthrax, botulinum toxins, clostridium perfringens, aflatoxins and ricin, which threw the United States into spanner (Francis X. Taylor, 2003).
Later, a letter containing anthrax was sent to New York and other five different geographical locations such as Washington DC Florida, New Jersey and Oxford Connecticut. Therefore twenty three people developed anthrax from inhaling from these mailings. They further suffered from inhalation form of the disease and five of these people died. Thousands more directly affected, including individuals working in facilities contaminated by the attacks such as the Brentwood postal facilities in Washington, DC, the Congress, and NBC News in New York. It however, shows the vivid trend and power of bioterrorist and its impact of what it could do when used by its agents (Edgar J. DaSilva, 2002).
Impact to the future nursing
First, the school curriculum of nursing would be modernized to include the preparedness training on bioterrorist, because nurses are essential to preparedness. These nurses could later offer nursing and hygienic awareness in the community. However, lack of basic hygienic procedures both in domestic and public health facilities where disposal of waste can could contribute to the exposure to bioterrorist components if the State doesn't handled these materials with a lot of preparedness (Eric K. Noji, 2002), nurses could train the public which would help in avoiding such eventuality of exposure to bioterrorist attack (Eric K. Noji, 2001).
Students too wouldn't be left out in this war of bioterrorist. Students would be trained on some of the basic preparedness methods on how to handle the calamities. Besides, they should be taught and encourage to wash their handles frequently before meals to avoid swallowing bioterrorist pathogen, because some get transmitted through contact.
However, the crucial elements of appropriate and timely responses which will be required to deal with bioterrorist are to renovate and modernize public health infrastructure. Put in place the necessary networking of the Para-clinical and specialized medical forces involving nurses and general health practitioners, epidemiologists, quarantine specialists and experts in communicable diseases. In brief, an appropriate optimal response constitutes a co-ordinate management of medical capability and restorative efforts backed up by supporting extension services. This would definitely require the advance training of nurse in line with the advance technology (DaSilva. Iaccarino, 1999).
Again, the awareness of the nurses and other practitioners who offer nursing services due to this time of events would have to be trained especially registered nurses. In most circumstances many nurses are needed to deal with the situation, therefore there would be serious demand of more nurses trained specifically for dealing with bioterrorist. This is because caring for patients with psychological systems may be challenging because of the symptoms which may have a multiple of origins such as of result of infection or biologic, fear, anger, pain and paranoia (DaSilva. Iaccarino, 1999).