Last week, the Oklahoma EMT Association hosted its annual meeting in Norman, Oklahoma. JenaLu Simpson, OEMTA President kicked off the conference on Wednesday morning by introducing OSDH EMS Director, Dale Adkerson for the State of EMS Address.
Many sessions are offered throughout the week ranging from trauma casualty, cerebral hemorrhage and EMS, infection control, Stop the Bleed, STEMI and many more.
A few highlights from day one included a representative from OU Medical Clinic, who spoke on the important role of EMS in human trafficking. EMS professionals were encouraged to do things differently if they suspect a human trafficking victim. The group is currently conducting research that will yield additional information for EMS professionals.
Robert Knight, RN, NRP, BSN, CEN, NRP, CCEMT/P, with Integris Health presented a session on transporting stroke patients with specialized medication. He provided some basic information about stroke along with signs to look for in a patient. Mr. Knight suggested that the goals for EMS provider care of stroke patients should consist of:
- Improving the knowledge of identification of stroke, different types of stroke signs and associated symptoms.
- Developing a rapid assessment process.
- Facilitating the transfer of stroke victims to primary stroke centers in the quickest and safest manner.
- Pre-notifying the stroke center: ‘Possible acute stroke en route.’
- Encouraging family members familiar with the patient to either ride with the transfer vehicle or drive to the stroke center ASAP to provide more patient information.
- Obtain reliable list of meds taken or bring bag of all medications taken.
- Obtain a set of vital signs and finger stick blood sugar at the site.
- Reliably identify family’s best estimation of when the patient was last seen without symptoms.
- Administer some form of an approved stroke scale.
- Provide the receiving facility with a quick, complete verbal report that incorporates this information obtained since arrival on scene.
More information can be found at the American Stroke Association’s website http://www.strokeassociation.org/STROKEORG/
Mechele Cruze, EMT-I of Muskogee County EMS, discussed public relations. Mechele’s main message was that PR is everybody’s job, not just the job of the community relations coordinator. She encouraged attendees to get involved with the public to increase their visibility and the public’s perception of the role of EMS in their community. Mechele highlighted several programs that have been very successful for Muskogee County EMS, including:
- Buckle Baby Car Seat Program
- First aid & CPR courses
- Sentimental Journey Program
- H.U.G.S. program (Hats Underwear, Gloves and Socks for the homeless)
- Drive-thru flu clinic
- Mock drunk driving events to help with prevention
Cruze reinforced the notion that a positive perception in the community can go a long way. Recently Muskogee County EMS received funding for their Body Armor Project that now equips all units with three vests and three helmets. JEMS recently featured this story here.
In addition to presentations, several vendors were on site to demonstrate their products.