Alva Press, Inc.
Wednesday, December 8, 2010
Medical Reserve Corps Participate in 1st Responders Flu Clinic
Last Thursday the Dutchess County Medical Reserve Corps provided
support services for the Dutchess County Health Department's free flu shot clinic in Millbrook, New York. While Millbrook
has on the one hand an aspect of being out there in the middle of no where, on the other, it is located more or less centrally
in Dutchess County. As a result, both volunteers and flu shot applicants came from places as dispersed as Pine Plains, Poughkeepsie,
and Wappingers Falls.
9:55 am est
Typical of larger emergency response events, only the organizing person or committee
really understands how it all comes together--an underlying theme worth stressing when conceptualizing an organized response
to any major disaster or event. Consider especially that not only the care recipients need care, also the providers need
care, in particular, food and water. So in sleepy old Millbrook, housed as the flu clinic was at the Farm and Home
Center in Millbrook, for a novice such as I, their was a magical quality about how the clinic so quickly appeared--and disappeared.
Each participant wore a picture ID with name and area of specialization on it. MRC Medical wore clearly marked
blue vests, nurses in white, and volunteers such as I, blue MRC T-shirts and jackets. Although I'd been through at least three
other larger training drills of in Washington, D.C.; Bethesda, MD; and here in Poughkeepsie in the Civic Center, each different
event required and will always require its own specific set of skills. An awareness of the importance of consistency,
accuracy, and infection control is generally useful. Beyond that, however, it is likely each volunteer participant will
need some training.
The role of the trainer is to stay with you until you've got the task down. The best
way to learn the task is to simply do as one is told. Questions as to why may sometimes be useful but often are
not necessary or required. One just does as one is told until such time as the trainee can do as needed independently,
at which time he or she is on his or her own.
Once one has mastered the task, it's not unusual to at shift change
become the next trainer.Training is broken down into readily absorbed chunks and each trainee is coached as to how
to carry out his or her responsibilities on site, on the job. Effective communications skills are essential.
As for me, it was my first time as a participant in a flu clinic. I needed training. Luckily my trainer was thorough,
gentle, and persistent.
The task was pretty straight forward. After people had registered
and been cleared to receive the shot, they came to our table. On the outer side were the nurses who stood beside the
chairs where incoming patients would sit.
The flu shot recipients came with their registration papers already
having been completed under the supervision of other volunteers at a nearby table. Each of two nurses at adjacent
but separate flu shot stations took the registration papers from the flu shot recipients and handed them to me. I then stamped
them with the time of arrival, removed two batch number stickers from the sheets available, and put one on the paper
for the nurse to complete for the Dutchess County DOH records and the second on the shot recipient's documentation sheet that
he or she would take with them for their personal records. After this, I handed the papers back to the nurse.
By this time, assuming the recipient did not have too many layers and protective vests to remove first, the nurse would
have already given the recipient his or her shot. The nurse then signed the papers and returned two to me, having
already given the recipient his or her own signed and stickered one. I then stamped the top sheet with the time completed,
separated the time sheet from the record and placed it in the Quality Control pile. The second sheet with the shot documentation
on it went in the records pile for review and storage by the Dutchess County DOH.
The process at our table averaged
three minutes per flu shot recipient. This included time for the troopers and men and women from the sheriff's office
to remove impeding layers of clothing, including any protective vests they were wearing.
The flu shot clinic
was held in an open room the size of a small gym. When asked to expose their arms and, in some cases, part of their upper
bodies, each shot recipient did so without hesitancy in order to accommodate the nurse's need for access to the upper arm. Even
private citizens who came alone or in couples from around the county evidenced no useless coyness. It was all very
business-like, and evidence of an attitude that needs be part of the mindset of anyone unlucky enough to be
caught in a mass event requiring medical treatment and/or decontamination as part of the response. I make a point of
this here because discarding the notion of unecessary modesty is at times key to citizens helping not only
themselves but each other. Better to spend ones energy saving lives than rigging privacy areas. With that said and
to take it a bit further, if in another situation, one is asked to shower to decontaminate, one showers. And if the showers
are not private, one ditches his or her clothes and takes the shower anyway.
Of particular interest to
me was that fact that, in general, no commands were given. People had been trained. They knew their jobs. Everything just
happened. Even the tear down required only the quiet statement at 7:20 that we would be closing at 7:30.
there for the set up, but if it was anything like the tear down, it all took place in well under a half hour: chairs stacked,
room arranged, food units wheeled out, supplies and equipment closed into large black silver-cornered cases and wheeled
And so with MRC vests and shirts covered by coats, off we went into the night, no better nor worse
But hey there! Let's see: Three minutes per person. Twenty persons per nurse per hour. Twenty-four
hours in the day. 480 people per day per station. One thousand people per day per two stations. 20,000 people per twenty-four
hour period for twenty stations. Six nurses per station in four hour shifts times twenty stations. Sixty nurses volunteering
four hours each in one day could provide 20,000 shots. 120 nurses volunteering in four hour shifts over two days
could provide 40,000 shots.
Then, assuming a registrant, a vaccination paper process facilitator,
a supplies facilitator, and a nurse, 480 volunteers in four hour shifts over the course of two twenty-four hour periods
could innoculate or vaccinate 40,000 people in 48 hours.
And that my friend is more people than live in the whole
city of Poughkeepsie--but only a sixth of the population that live in Poughkeepsie and the ajacent areas.
Have you become a Medical Reserve Corps Volunteer yet?
Roberta in Po-Town, Doin' the numbers
Roberta M. Roy incorporated Alva Press www.alvapressinc.com on October 5, 2004. The express purpose of Alva Press, Inc., was to ensure a safe venue for
the publication of her works and those with similar focus. As such, upon the completion of the science
fiction novel Jolt: a rural noir, Alva would immediately publish it. Further Alva Press, Inc., would offer a
venue for Roy to publish her children's books, including Yell'n'Tell. (At this point Yell'n'Tell needs
only design as the watercolor illustrations by Dan Dyen are complete and the text fully edited. But then there is also Wedding
Ready, complete, but in need of an illustrator talented in the art of drawing forest animals. But all that anon.)
Currently, until the soft cover version of Jolt's Library of Congress Number
is in, Jolt waits to go to press. Usually the LCN takes but a few days after which will become available in hard cover
at $24.95 and Trade paper at $14.95 (plus $5.50 mailing).
was some five years in the writing; its research took longer. It's scientific basis for nuclear survival has been
carefully reviewed by oncologists and experts in the effects of ionizing radiation for accuracy of representation. Jolt
is a fast-paced novel that spans two years in the lives of a group of diverse urban, suburban, and rural residents brought
together in an imaginary part of the northern United States. There in Locklee, the small town to which those who are forced
emigrants flee, they become mutually caught up in the necessities associated with post-nuclear survival.
Check www.alvapressinc.com for a more thorough review of Jolt as well as the most recent updates on its publication
and availability. And should you be so inclined and care to help defray the last payment of its first printing, a check
in the mail to Alva Press for your very own pre-publication autographed copy of Jolt: a rural noir would be a
Thinking of self-publishing? Emergency response?
Send your questions, comments or ideas to RobertaMRoy@alvapressinc.com
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1) If you walk out uninjured from a nuclear event, you probably will survive.
bywords to survival from
a nuclear event are TDS: Time,
3) Use regular soap and water to decontaminate from fallout.Strip and shower or cleanse as best you can. Use bread.
4) Nuclear fallout contaminates open water and plants.If there is fallout (ashes),use bottled water and canned goods.
5) Babies as well as adults can take Potassium Iodide (KI) to protectthe thyroid against ionizing radiation.
6) There is no plume with a nuclear power plant meltdown.
7) A large event may seem ‘over there’ if you can’t define its impact.Ionizing radiation is invisible.
8) A family needs an escape plan.
9) A community can respond as a team to mass events.
10) After a mass event, a communitymay heal changed but well.
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