Are you ready for today?
Our professional instructors are full-time firefighter-paramedics. As EMS providers we have walked into every type of business and have seen just about every type of medical emergency you can imagine. One of the more interesting places we respond to is medical facilities and doctor’s offices. The reason we find it so interesting is because EMT’s and paramedics receive less formal training than doctors and nurses, yet occasionally what we find when we arrive is a sub-standard level of care being delivered.
There are two things that I feel are instrumental in being proficient in one’s skills. The first is experience and the second is training. As paramedics we run an average of 8 to 12 calls a shift. This means over a year’s time we average approximately 1,440 calls. We are also required once a month to attend a three-hour continuing education block to assist us in our knowledge base. How experienced and prepared is your team for a medical emergency to happen in your office?
Patients visit medical facilities such as dentists, oncologists, cardiologist and many others on a daily basis. Yet, how many of the doctors, nurses and staff come to work and ask themselves am I ready for today? Sure you might be thinking, I’m ready to take a blood pressure, give an injection and maybe even start an IV.
But, are you as a doctor and your staff ready to handle a heart attack that might occur in your waiting room? Is your staff trained to recognize the signs and symptoms of a stroke? If one of your patients went into respiratory arrest in one of your exam rooms would your staff know how to maintain an open airway, and provide ventilations having the skills to use a bag valve mask to ventilate the patient until EMS arrived?
I know what you are thinking, isn’t this like the worst case scenario that we are talking about, do we really have to be “This Ready”? My response to that is who is your clientele? If you operate a tire store and your selling wheels then you probably would not be that concerned. If you own a sporting goods store you still wouldn’t be that worried about it. The reason being, that most people go shopping for tires and sporting goods when they are feeling pretty good.
People visit doctors when they are having trouble with their hearts, lungs or diabetes. These patients are walking time bombs and are usually taking a cabinet full of medications. Many are the elderly and some are infants and children. These patients because of their age are at higher risk when visiting a doctor’s office.
American Heart Association has stated that time is the most important element when attempting to keep someone alive. Immediate recognition of a heart attack, activating the 911 system, early CPR and Defibrillation with the use of an AED, and then rapid transport to an ER is the standard. But, is a doctor’s office held to a higher standard?
This question is usually answered on a case by case basis and it’s unfortunately answered in a court of law with lawyers, judges, and families from the deceased. The first place lawyers look is at the individual’s training records. Most medical staff is trained to include at a minimum, certifications in CPR and first aid as well as individual medical certificates and licenses. If your staff’s credentials have any inconsistencies you can be sure they will canvas all of your records. Another agency that gets involved when there is a death of a patient or employee is OSHA, which has its own compliance regulations and concerns for medical facilities.
So in summary, are you ready for today? This is a question every physician and their staff may have to answer. This is a medical, legal, and ethical question. Can you defend your actions or lack of actions if you were called into a court of law and you had to defend what happened to one of your patients? Is your staff properly and professionally prepared, trained and certified to handle an emergency in your facility until EMS arrives? If you would like to a free consultation with one of our professional trainers about what we can do to help you bring your medical facilities into compliance please feel free to call US Bio-Clean at (602) 384-3927.