So I actually wrote the following post a week ago and had “blogger” problems, so am just now posting it…..
I’m writing this from my hotel room in downtown Mobile. I’m here for a week of “on site” work. (as opposed to the weeks of “from home” work I’ve been doing for the past few months)
The 2 day event I’ve been planning for the past few months is this week, and thus far, everything is going well. Of course the event doesn’t start until Thursday, and there will be many a fire to put out between now and then!
This event is such a cool thing. I will definitely post pictures later in the week. We will have a mock disaster staged in the parking lot of the Civic Center. (I have a towing company bringing 2 wrecked cars tomorrow and they will put them together as if they were just in a car crash) Both days, the Fire Truck and Ambulance will be on hand, just to add to the drama of the scene.
As the busloads of students get to the event, I will put them into groups and place them in a staging area where they will hear speakers from area hospitals while they wait their turn.
Then they will be taken one group at a time, first to an area where there is a tape player set up. There they will hear a 911 call. (I played the role of the 911 Dispatcher…) Once they’ve heard the mock call, they will go to the scene of the accident. (kind of gruesome, with a body lying on the concrete by the cars…he is portraying a drunk driver)
Then they will go with the EMTs and actually learn what they would do for the victims. (in this case, it will include CPR, intubating, and delivering a baby!) The students actually do this hands on, working on special mannequins. In exactly 10 minutes, a siren will sound and the students will take their “patients” into the ER. (every 10 minutes, a new group moves into the exhibit.)
In the ER, students will learn to start an IV and other things that would go on in there. From there, they go to radiology/lab, where they look at x-rays with a radiologist and check out the patient’s labwork with a lab tech. From there, they go to surgery where they have to amputate a leg, among other things! Then they go to the patient’s room, where the nurses will teach them to give a shot and listen to the baby’s heartbeat. (the baby they delivered earlier at the accident scene) Then it’s on to respiratory therapy for some breathing treatments for the asthmatic boy who was in the wreck, as well as a stop at the Pharmacy to learn how the Pharmacist plays a role in the treatment. After that, they go to Rehab, where they learn to do Physical Therapy, Occupational Therapy, and Exercise Physiology. Finally, they stop at the discharge nurse/case manager, to learn what the orders will be upon the patient’s discharge from the hospital.
As you might’ve guessed, this event is meant to introduce students to various healthcare careers, but in a very cool and exciting way. The students who attend (I’m expecting 1000!) will be hands on through the whole process, from getting the “patients” out of the ambulance, all the way to discharging them.
This is my 4th year to plan and coordinate the event, and it is always a nervewracking time. Over the course of the 2 days, I will have around 300 volunteers, as well as 1000 students and around 75-100 counselors and teachers who will all be relying on me to make sure everything runs smoothly. It’s a high pressure couple of days, especially working out the inevitable kinks on Thursday morning. My favorite part will be Friday afternoon, when things are running on their own and I will actually have a chance to go through all the exhibits and watch the event in action. But there is a long road ahead of me between now and then!
Beginning at 8am on Thursday, we will have a new school group every 10 minutes for several hours. Ditto on Friday. Between parking buses, making sure the food and drinks for volunteers are replenished, and directing the numerous volunteers to their spots, it is quite a hectic couple of days.
But still a great event! See below for a few pictures!