In 2002 in response to Federal and State initiatives to establish and improve the public health system’s response to Chemical, Biological, Radiation, Nuclear and Explosive events, Nebraska Health and Human Services commissioned the state’s two medical schools – University of NE Medical Center and Creighton University Med Center – to join forces to
form The Center for Preparedness Education. To help hospitals, The Center for Preparedness Education has developed decontamination trainings around the state that follow OSHA level guidelines.
Providence Medical Center hosted the Center for Preparedness Education’s Hospital First Receivers Course Thurs. Sept 27th and Fri. Sept 28th. This training helped hospital personnel prepare for and safely respond to hazardous incidents that result in contaminated victims being brought to or self-presenting to the hospital.
Disaster preparedness involves practice, but some disaster situations are harder to practice than others. Washing contaminated people, for example, requires running water and willing mock victims as well as standard decontamination equipment.
The Hospital First Receivers Course involved learning about different types of hazardous materials, how to recognize the signs and symptoms of contaminated patients presenting to the hospital, and what to do after they arrive. The students learned the importance of S-I-N, Safety, Identifying the contaminate and Notifying the proper people after a hazardous event. They also learned how to set up a decontamination tent, Bag & Stash, gross decontamination and the use of personal protective gear.
Mock victims, Marcus, Nicki and Drew Fertig, Colten Spahr, Jolene Lueth, Jared Heinen, Shelly Bausch, Mollie Spieker and Christine Bickerstaff, a student from the Nebraska Indian College in South Sioux City, went through the actual decontamination process as mock victims. They had chocolate and strawberry syrup squirted into their hair and onto their clothing. They were then directed through the decontamination process. Their clothing was cut off (swim suits underneath) and they were washed thoroughly in the decontamination showers by the decontamination teams. The mock victims gave the students the opportunity to practice decontamination procedures under conditions as close to real life as possible.
Students attending the training included staff from:
Providence Medical Center– 22
Thayer County Health Services, Hebron, NE - 1
Pender Community Hospital, Pender, NE -2
Faith Regional Health Services, Norfolk, NE - 1
Tilden Community Hospital, Tilden, NE - 3
Black River Memorial Hospital staff from Galesville, WI -1