Role of a Director of Community Health Services
Emergencies refer to unforeseen situations, which may lead to casualties if not urgently responded to (Toback, 2007). In some instances, deaths may occur on the spot. The health service department has a critical role to play in terms of emergency preparedness and response. In this discussion, a case example of a health crisis that occurs in a city has been used to explain how the Director of Community Health Services can best handle the situation. The situation at hand is a train accident that has occurred in a populated city and has caused chemical leakage.
To begin with, the Director of Community Health Services is at the forefront of community health affairs and makes very important decisions in regard to this. The director does all within his powers to ensure that citizens are kept as healthy as possible by staying vigilant and watchful to any health hazards or threats in a region, city or county. They are in charge of developing and implementing plans and policies related to any new health education programs in the community, which are meant to help in the prevention of diseases and the promotion of healthier and active lifestyles. Also, they also have the power to apply for funding for the facilitation of various health initiatives and the making of policy changes, which are likely to boost the wellbeing and health of community members (Toback, 2007). In most cases, a director of community health services works under the local government.
Therefore, as a director of community health services, I will organize for the training of enough health workers and other supervisors on emergency preparedness and response. This is important particularly when it comes to rescuing to enable those taking part in the operation to avoid contaminating themselves with the chemical in the process. Necessary equipment and means for transportation in situations like this also ought to be available during the response. I will determine the size and scope of the chemical spillage and also identify the type of chemical and its likely effects on the citizens before embarking on rescue and response operations. The director should also be aware of the danger of involving so many protocols and procedures during this operation to save as many lives as possible. I will ensure that there are proper communication channels during the whole process and that the main focus should be on the health of the victims and everything possible should be done to prevent any deaths from the chemical leakage (Fleck, 2015).
There are two important factors that I, as a director of community health services, should consider when it comes to emergency response in the scenario at hand. These include health intelligence and health coordination. In health intelligence, I need to comprehend what exactly is happening in terms of the chemical leakage including how many people are affected and the nature of complications that have been caused by the chemical, that is, statistics on children, women, and the old. Knowledge of fatalities (if any) and vital needs in terms of systems of operations may also be important. Health coordination, on the other hand, is basically about the mobilization of technical staff and support teams to ensure adequate response. This is important particularly for establishing health actions that are urgently needed. Finally, coordination also involves proper communication channels to ensure the rescue operation, and treatment of victims flow smoothly (Tej, Živčák, Viktória & Sirkova, 2014).
Given that health crises occur without notice, it is important for the leadership of community health always to be vigilant and ready to respond amicably to such situation. Therefore, leaders in the health sector have a key role to play in saving people’s lives during emergencies.
1. Toback, S. L. (2007). Medical emergency preparedness in office practice. American Family Physician, 75(11), 1679–1684.
2. Fleck, F. (2015). WHO steps up its role in health emergencies? World Health Organization.Bulletin of the World Health Organization, 93(12), 824-825.
3. Tej, J., Živčák, P., Viktória, A. T., & Sirkova, M. (2014). CRISIS AWARENESS OF THE MUNICIPAL DISTRICT RESIDENTS: IMPLICATION FOR CRISIS MANAGEMENT AT THE LOCAL GOVERNMENT LEVEL. Quality Innovation Prosperity, 18(2), 1-14.