Emergency or Urgent?
Whether your hospital faces severe weather or an emergency that requires you to evacuate your patients, having an evacuation plan is key to keeping everyone safe. Evacuating younger patients can be challenging, but with a few preparations, your staff and your young patients can make their way to safety in an emergency. Here are just a few things to consider as you prepare your hospital for a possible emergency situation. Complete An Emergency Assessment Before you look into creating a plan and investing in emergency evacuation equipment, you’ll want to perform an assessment of the children’s unit to determine any possible obstacles you’ll need to overcome during an emergency. This assessment should also account for different types of emergencies. For example, your response to a fire will differ from your response to pending inclement weather. You won’t be able to use elevators in a fire, but if you are evacuating your hospital in anticipation of a hurricane, you may still be able to use elevators to transport patients to the exits. You should also include an assessment about available nearby resources for transporting your pediatric patients once the hospital is evacuated. After your assessment is complete, you’ll be better able to create a plan. Invest In Emergency Evacuation Equipment Emergency evacuation equipment for children and infants will be different from the equipment you use for adults. Evacuation cradles can be used for infants in your NICU ward and for infants and toddlers in the rest of your pediatric unit. These cradles feature shoulder straps that let your staff move the infants, and they can be customized to hold IV poles and medications. Infant evacuations chairs can be used in the nursery to acommodate several infants at a time. For older children who can sit up, you can use pediatric evacuation chairs, which are designed to better negotioate stairs and obstacles while keeping younger children safely in the seats. You’ll also want to equip your staff with medical backpacks to carry portable oxygen tanks and other medical equipment for your youngest patients. Practice Evacuation Drills Once you have your equipment purchased and a plan in place, be sure to do regular evacuation drills with your staff. Practice using the equipment and coordinating care for children during the mock disaster. Have a staff member supervise each drill to assess the weak spots in the plan so you can revise it as you go along. You should consider practicing for each type of emergency evacuation you might face and don’t forget to include an evacuation plan for parents who are staying with their children in the hospital. Keep a copy of your emergency evacuation plan in every nurse’s station, and include information about the plan on the back of each hospital room door so parents and visitors can familiarize themselves with where they will need to go. With research and planning, you can care for your youngest patients in virtually any situation. For more information, contact local professionals like Advanced Egress...read more
Do you need to visit the doctor, but you don’t have a primary care physician? Are you trying to decide whether to pick a name at random from your insurance company’s authorized providers or to visit the emergency room? Because of various myths or misconceptions, walk in clinics may be overlooked by people who require medical attention. Here are some rumors you may have heard before, as well as the truth behind them: Myth: Walk in clinics are only for emergencies. Truth: Walk in clinics actually provide a variety of services. While they can and do treat emergency situations like bone fractures or minor burns, they also do preventative treatments. You can visit a walk in clinic and get updated on your vaccines or get nutritional counseling. The exact services provided can vary by location or by available staff, so be sure to call ahead if you think your situation is strange or unusual. Myth: It’s hard to decide whether to visit an urgent care clinic or the emergency room. Truth: If you are facing a life threatening situation, you should obviously dial 911 to obtain help as soon as possible. If the situation is less serious and you’re not sure where to go, a call to your local clinic can help clear up any confusion. For example, if you accidentally cut your finger while making lunch, your local walk in clinic can let you know whether to visit them for a few stitches or to visit the emergency room for more thorough treatment. Myth: Walk in clinics aren’t covered by health insurance. Truth: It depends on your insurance company. Emergency room treatment can be expensive, so many insurance companies would like to avoid these high bills. Your insurance plan may cover part or even all of the cost of a visit to your local walk in clinic. Your local clinic should have a list of accepted health care providers on their website or you can call and ask if they accept your health plan. You can also call the number provided by your insurance company, in order to find out exactly how much of your clinic visit will be covered. Myth: If you have no insurance, it’s better to visit an emergency room. Truth: Just an ambulance ride to the emergency room can cost anywhere from a few hundred to tens of thousands of dollars. Once you arrive at the emergency room, even basic care can cost several thousand dollars. If you’re making just above minimum wage, a single emergency room visit could take you months to pay off. In contrast, a bill for your walk in clinic visit may cost less than a hundred dollars. As a result, you should be able to easily pay for your visit to the walk in clinic by simply skipping just a few take out meals or fancy...read more