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Care for the Caregiver
Although this page was originally developed for nurses responding to natural disasters, these resources are also useful for nurses in high-stress or crisis situations like the COVID-19 response. Look for updated resources coming soon. 

During disaster situations, nurses often find themselves dealing with the challenges and potentially undesirable outcomes of providing care in compromised environments (lack of staff and supplies, loss of utilities such as electricity and water).

Texas Nurses Association and Texas Organization of Nurse Executives, with support from Johnson & Johnson, developed Care for the Caregiver to help nurses before, during and after disasters.

Nurses are often compelled by their duty to care for others while trying to balance care for themselves. Nurses are also affected by disasters and are equally concerned about the safety of their own families and homes.

In addition to mental and physical fatigue, nurses may experience moral distress related to ethical concerns arising from conflicting values and obligations inherent in the disaster work environment.

If you are exploring this site, you have likely either served during a disaster or in a disaster recovery effort or have a friend or family member who has served. We thank you for that service and commitment to the profession.

View the full video playlist

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Before a Disaster

The pre-incident videos, titled Preplanning and Preperation for Impending Disasters, are meant to be watched before a nurse is placed in a disaster situation. The videos offer strategies for preparing both at home and at work for a disaster, such as a hurricane, earthquake, flood or wildfire.



  • Know common disasters for your area
  • Understand how to create a practical family disaster preparedness plan including a communication plan and one for pet care
  • Identify key items for a disaster kit at home, for work and while traveling
  • Know what to expect if working during a disaster
  • Understand work policy and obligations
  • Learn stress relieving techniques
  • Introduce National Incident Management System (NIMS) training

During a Disaster

This video explains techniques for mitigation of stress responses during disasters. By understanding how their personality may affect their resiliency, nurses can be prepared to recognize and treat stress.



  • Define resiliency
  • Identify the aspects of disaster work that produce stress
  • List stress-prone and stress-resistant personality traits
  • Describe self-esteem and the role it plays in promoting and resolving stress
  • Recognize effective coping strategies and relaxation techniques that promote wellness
  • Suggest local and national resources for on-going support

After a Disaster

This video explains how nurses can be affected by stress, PTSD and compassion fatigue after a disaster. See how personal resilience can affect responses to stressful situations. 



  • Define post-traumatic stress disorder
  • Recognize symptoms of PTSD in self and/or others
  • Explore resources for those living with PTSD
  • Recognize the consequences of acute or chronic stress and tools for reducing stress
  • Identify key indicators of Compassion Fatigue
  • Explore resources for combating Compassion Fatigue
  • Acknowledge that we live in a world that is volatile, uncertain, chaotic, and ambiguous

Texas Nurses Association

Texas Affiliate of ANA | 4807 Spicewood Springs Rd., Bldg 3, Suite 100, Austin TX 78759

800.862.2022 | 512.452.0645 |