Remote community-based public health nursing during a disaster: An ethnographic case study in Japan

Mari Sato, Fumi Atogami, Yasuka Nakamura, Yuko Kusaka, Toyoko Yoshizawa

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)


Background: The Great East Japan Earthquake that occurred on March 11, 2011 generated a tsunami that directly struck Japan. Public health nurses (PHNs) played important roles in this disaster response and community recovery. This research identified a PHN's experience in an affected area. Methods: An ethnographic case study approach was used to obtain in-depth information regarding the experiences of one PHN, using semi-structured interviews, participant observation, and statistical documents. Results: Six themes were identified and explored, including that the PHN undertook overwhelming responsibilities to protect the local residents, made several autonomous decisions, and had a strong sense of mission. These were based on the relationship-building that occurred with the local residents due to the geographical characteristics and her own preparations. Conclusions: The findings encourage PHNs to participate in simulations of disasters in preparation for major catastrophes and establish good collaborative efforts with residents by being a part of the community.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)106-111
Number of pages6
JournalAustralasian Emergency Nursing Journal
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2014 Aug


  • Case study
  • Disasters
  • Ethnography
  • Life change event
  • Public health nursing
  • Relief work


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