Skip to main content

Medical Emergencies

The director of the student health center will supervise medical disaster emergencies occurring on campus. Relief measures are principally the responsibility of the student health center, even if the emergency reaches the point where it threatens to disrupt the operations of the university or cause temporary closure. This could include a wide range of situations, such as mass food poisoning or viral epidemics. The nature and timing of any given medical emergency may require coordination by public safety with Sibley Hospital.

 

Actions:

  • The director of the student health center will coordinate with the vice president of campus life in recommending to the president a declaration of disaster and implementation of this procedure.
  • The president or his designee will notify media relations and public safety of the declaration of emergency.
  • Media relations will coordinate with the president and the executive director of university communications and marketing to establish a media staging area and they will select a single spokesperson and prepare a statement.
  • During an emergency, media relations will provide timely updates to the campus and the media.
  • In accordance with directives received, the director of the student health center will obtain required assistance for lodging, feeding, transporting or protecting patients, their property and AU’s property.
  • All previous student health center appointments will be rescheduled; walk-in services will be suspended until the emergency is resolved.
  • In the event of a communicable disease outbreak/epidemic, the District of Columbia Health Department serves as the local authority. This entity would direct the student health center staff
    on matters of control and containment. Student health center staff will assist with reporting, identifying and notifying contacts, isolation practices, mass immunizations and updated advisories.
  • Where mass immunizations are indicated, the United States Public Health Service frequently absorbs the vaccine costs associated with mass immunizing at-risk individuals. Administrative costs, financial and otherwise, associated with mass vaccination, quarantine, hospitalizations and disruption of the academic and business functions of the university are impossible to predict and
    plan for as each possible scenario would require individual consideration.

Staff Roles and Responsibilities

Director

  • Initiate staff call tree.
  • Coordinate with the vice president of campus life in recommending to the president a declaration of disaster or public health emergency and implementation of this procedure.
  • Open and ensure SHC and Wellness Center are open and staffed for communications and assistance.
  • Work with Executive Director of housing to obtain required assistance for lodging, feeding,transporting or protecting patients, their property and AU’s property in accordance with directives
    received.
  • Coordinate and direct medical response to affected area while retaining coverage at the health center as needed.
  • Coordinate communication and updates to staff.
  • Coordinate an alternated worksite / health center if necessary.
  • Serve as the liaison with the DC department of Health. In the event of a communicable disease outbreak/epidemic, the District of Columbia Health Department serves as the local authority. This entity would direct the student health center staff on matters of control and containment. Student health center staff will assist with reporting, identifying and notifying contacts, isolation practices, mass immunizations and updated advisories.

Patient Service Manager

  • Supervise Patient Service Representatives to reschedule all previous student health center appointments; walk-in services will be suspended until the emergency is resolved.
  • Provide PSR’s with script for answering telephone inquiries.
  • Ensure that necessary medical records that are retrieved are safeguarded.
  • Documenting events that occur in the health center or (away from the health center) to ensure that student information, medical or first aid treatment performed, and additional details are recorded.
  • Contact locum tenens agencies for availability of additional medical assistance.
  • Coordinate Web and listserv updates.
  • Create appropriate signage for front doors.

Business Manager

  • Coordinate with purchasing, vendors, etc. the purchasing of additional supplies. In preparing for mass casualties, additional supplies will be obtained by purchasing. Medical supplies normally on hand should be adequate for minor injuries to a limited number of victims.
  • Ensure access to exams, storage closets, and laboratory is available to authorized personnel only.
  • Coordinate housekeeping and facilities management needs.
  • Provide Director with roster of students on the student health insurance plan and the tuition refund plan.
  • Coordinate work space needs for emergency personnel.
  • Ensure staff (physician, health practitioners, LPN, medical assistants) desk phones are transferred to main SHC phone extension x3380.

Staff Physician, Health Practitioners, LPN, Medical Assistant

  • Assist with triage and first aid to the extent possible while relying on community agencies and providers for primary care and transportation of victims.
  • Document first aid / treatments rendered to the extent possible.
  • Coordinate with the Counseling Center to assist with crisis intervention counseling.
  • Act as liaison (Staff Physician) with local medical authorities.
  • Coordinate need for additional medical supplies with Business Manager.
  • Report concerns to Director of SHC.

Patient Service Representatives

  • Assist direct supervisor with delegated responsibilities.
  • Assist in monitoring the waiting room and providing instructions to students.
  • Focus on verifying identity of all persons who may enter the SHC.
  • Notify supervisor of difficult students, others.
  • Deploy panic button if harm is imminent.
  • Ensure proper documentation is collected and becomes part of the medical record.
  • Retrieve requested medical records as soon as request is received.
  • Lock all offices and / or front doors of the SHC as directed.
  • Monitor fax machines and immediately distribute information to appropriate party.
  • Prepare additional supplies for pick-up if medical staff is assisting outside of health center.