We keep an emergency flip chart at the front desk of our ASC that’s filled with easy-to-follow emergency response protocols. We also conduct true-to-life safety drills to make sure our staff is ready for nearly any situation they might face, including bomb threats, active shooters and earthquakes. Practicing response protocols in realistic ways, instead of simply reading about what do to or sitting through in-services, helps our staff retain information and perform better under pressure during actual emergent events. For example, I try to coordinate earthquake preparedness with the annual Great ShakeOut Earthquake Drills (shakeout.org). According to the drills, during an earthquake you should move no more than a few steps and then drop, take cover under a sturdy desk or table and hold on until the shaking stops. According to guidelines from the American Red Cross, you should remove loose items from around bedridden patients and give them pillows to cover their face until the earthquake ends.
Wendy Wellott, RN, BSN
The Oregon Clinic Gastroenterology East at Gateway