Old Dominion EMS Alliance
 May 2015 Newsletter

  
Serving the Residents, EMS Agencies, Hospitals, and Local Governments in Planning Districts 13, 14, 15, and 19

 

EMS Week 2015: EMS Strong
The week of May 17-23 has been designated as EMS Week for 2015. Did you know that the first EMS week was declared in November 1974 by President Gerald Ford to recognize EMS providers and the important work that they do? This continued until 1978, and was then restarted by the ACEP in 1982 and moved to September. In 1992, EMS week was moved to its present date of the third week in May. A list of EMS week events across the region will soon be posted on the ODEMSA website. Have fun!

This year, the NAEMT has partnered with the ACEP to bring you "EMS Strong." This program is focusing on how EMS providers can find the balance between the superhuman uniform and the human inside the uniform. With increasing numbers of EMS providers turning to unhealthy outlets for stress and sometimes committing suicide, the mental health of EMS providers is in the spotlight on nearly a daily basis. That's why this month's newsletter is dedicated to mental health in both our patients and ourselves.

Don't forget!
Exchanging a drug kit can sound like a laborious process, but hospital employees and EMS providers can work together to make the process quick and pain-free. You mus t include a copy of your call sheet or a MIVT (with a physician or other provider signature if controlled substances were used) with every drug kit exchange so that the pharmacy can account for the medications.

The other key part of the exchange is the Drug Kit Exchange Card, as seen to the right. Fill out the top section every time you exchange a box, even if it's an expired box. You and the hospital employee doing the exchange will then check the controlled substances together, even in expired boxes, and then you both will initial the drug kit exchange card. These cards help complete the history of the drug kits and are often used in the case of a drug kit discrepancy.
Clinical Tip of the Month
Psychiatric patients can be some of the most difficult patients we encounter, whether in the pre-hospital or hospital setting. We often spend the most time on scene with these patients and these situations sometimes put us in the greatest amount of danger. Try one of these tips to see if they help facilitate building rapport during your patient assessment:
  • Avoid standing over your patient; get down to his or her level physically whenever possible.
  • Learn and practice therapeutic communication techniques.
  • Watch your body language; crossed arms or stiff posture can be viewed as hostile.
  • Always treat your patients with respect, and be honest with them.
  • Listen without judgement.
  • Try not to get frustrated with your patient, and do not argue with them.
  • You may have to obtain most of your history from a family member or friend.

You might not "click" with every patient, but hopefully these tips will help you safely assess, treat, and transport your psychiatric patients. 

Health and Safety Tip of the Month 
May is Mental Health Awareness Month. While the mental health crisis is widespread, it has only recently reached national attention. Stress and suicide among EMS and other healthcare providers, however, has been prevalent in the news for an even shorter time.

It is hard to be struggling mentally when we are so used to caring for patients with similar conditions. Please remember that asking for help is not a sign of weakness. It does not mean that you are a bad provider, not does it mean that you cannot continue to work in your chosen field. It simply means that you realize that you need to take care of yourself as well as you take care of others.

There are lots of resources available; the following is by no means a comprehensive list. You can use them for yourself or for a coworker, family member, or friend about whom you are concerned.

Employee Assistance Program (EAP): Contact your HR manager
National Alliance on Mental Health Helpline: 1-800-950-6264
National Helpline (aka Treatment Referral Routing Service): 1-800-622-HELP (4357)
Richmond Behavioral Health Crisis Services: 804-819-4100
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-TALK (8255)

May Meetings

All meetings are open to the public.   

 

Date

Time

Event

Location

05/01/15
0900
Performance Improvement Committees
ODEMSA Office

05/07/15

1800

CISM Team

ODEMSA Office

05/14/15

0800

Medical Control Committee  

ODEMSA Office 

05/22/15
1100
MCI Committee
ODEMSA Office
05/22/15
1300
Diversion Committee
ODEMSA Office
May Classes and Other Educational Events

Need a class not listed below? Click here for an extended list of upcoming classes.  

 

Date

Time

Class

Location

Registration

05/11-12/15
0800-1700
ACLS
ODEMSA Office
Click here
05/12/15
1900-2100
PD15 South Montly CEU
ODEMSA Office
None needed
05/13/15
1900-2100
PD19 North Monthly CEU
Southside Virginia Emergency Crew
None needed

05/26/15

1900-2100  

PD 15 North Monthly CEU 

Henrico Fire Training Center  

None needed
05/27/15
1900-2100
PD 19 South Monthly CEU
Greensville Vol. Rescue Squad
None needed
05/28/15
1900-2100
PD14 Monthly CEU
Amelia Vol. Fire and EMS
None needed
05/30/15
0800-1600
Day of Ops
Amelia Emergency Squad
Click here
06/06-07/15
0800-1700
PHTLS
Tuckahoe Vol. Rescue Squad
Click here
06/13/15
0800-1700
Super 8 CE Day
Halifax County Rescue Squad
Click here
May Testing
Register for CTS Testing - Registration closes 2 weeks prior to test date.

Register for National Registry Psychomotor exam (ALS Levels) - Registration closes May 29, 2015. No refunds will be issued after May 30.  

 

Date

Time

Event

Location

05/07/15

1800

CTS Testing

Watkins Elementary School
05/14/15
1800
CTS Testing
Colonial Heights Tech Center
05/21/15
1800
CTS Testing
Watkins Elementary School
05/28/15
1800
CTS Testing
Hermitage Tech Center
06/04/15
1800
CTS Testing
Halifax Middle School
06/11/15
1800
CTS Testing
Colonial Heights Tech Center
06/20/15
0800
National Registry Psychomotor Exam
John Tyler Community College  Chester Campus
Did you know?
ODEMSA doesn't just provide protocols, drug kits, and educational opportunities for the region. We also maintain a Critical Incident Stress Management (CISM) team. This team is made up of mental health professionals and EMS peers from across the region that are specially trained to debrief EMS providers after particularly stressful calls. To activate the team, call the Virginia Emergency Operation Center (EOC) at 1-804-674-2400 or 1-800-468-8892.
Regional EMS Award Nominations
Nominations for the 2015 Regional EMS Awards are being accepted through June 5, 2015 at 1700. More information and the application packet are available on the ODEMSA website. The date for the annual EMS awards ceremony and picnic will be announced soon - stay tuned for details!
 
Questions? Contact the ODEMSA office at
(804) 560-3300.