Date of Award

Spring 3-3-2021

Degree Type


Degree Name

PhD Health Sciences


Health and Medical Sciences


Deborah DeLuca, J.D.

Committee Member

Genevieve Pinto-Zipp, Ed.D.

Committee Member

Terrence Cahill, Ed.D.


disaster management, disaster preparedness, disasters, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Ministry of Health, training, knowledge, policy and procedure


Background: Disasters can overwhelm the capacities of health care facilities quickly. In recent years, the world has been affected by an increasing number of significant disasters. These include natural disasters such as earthquakes, hurricanes, floods, tornados, storms, fires, and epidemic outbreaks. There are man-made disasters such as terrorist attacks, transportation accidents, and stampedes at mass gatherings. The resulting deaths and property damages have enormously affected countries’ economies, particularly on a health care system’s preparedness. In a major disaster, health care professionals must respond, manage, and prevent additional harm to victims. Nurses are the largest group of health care professionals required to respond. However, there are gaps in a health system’s preparedness that make it difficult for nurses to respond adequately.

Purpose: The purpose of this study was to explore how emergency nurses (ER) nurses in Saudi Arabia perceive their disaster preparedness by assessing their perceived levels of disaster knowledge, disaster training, and awareness of disaster management policies and procedures and by identifying the barriers associated with their preparedness for disasters.

Methods: This study used a basic qualitative design exploratory in nature because the problem needed to be easily measured. There were 20 participants in the study, and all were certified ER nurses who had worked in a Saudi Arabian ER for at least 1 year.

Results: There are five overarching themes about exploring the perceptions of Saudi ER nurses about their disaster preparedness: receiving insufficient disaster training, lacking knowledge about the disaster, policy and procedures existed only on paper, associating barriers with disaster preparedness, and insufficiently prepared psychologically. The study used the conceptual framework as a lens to interpret the findings.

Conclusion: This study’s findings to bridge current gaps of knowledge in disaster preparedness situations based on Saudi nurses’ perceptions and identification of existing barriers. The study shows that participants feel underprepared for disaster responses and do not feel that education and training readily exist; nurses reveal an absence of formal knowledge in the nursing curriculum. An additional conclusion of this study is a need to emphasize important information regarding Saudi nurses’ perceptions concerning disaster management preparedness and to focus on understanding their limitations in responding effectively. As a result, extending a survey to a larger Saudi ER nurse population will benefit further investigations.

Keywords: disaster management, disaster preparedness, disasters, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Ministry of Health, training, knowledge, policy and procedure