Preventing, Diffusing and Handling Emergencies
Listed below are some of the topics covered in a recent workshop held at Grace Episcopal Church in Old Saybrook.
We discussed how to diffuse challenging behavior from our guests and prevention of the spread of disease. Please download the following PowerPoint slides we received from Dr. Stillson on diffusing potential mental emergencies.
Dr. Stillson slides: download 1; download 2; download 3; download 4.
We have been fortunate that we have not experienced much aggressive behavior at our sites, but it was great information "just in case". An extreme behavior should be handled by the police of course but this was good for "Before help arrives". Information about preventing the spread of disease centered around proper hand washing, how to properly cover sneezes and coughs (into your arm) and the handling of bodily fluids (vomit, blood, etc). If there is ever any bodily fluid issues, do not deal with it directly. Get the sexton from your site who is probably trained in the handling of these types of messes. If they are not available, the leader should call Service Master to take care of it. Use kitty litter (or if your site has a "Liquid containment Kit") to sprinkle on a liquid mess to contain the spread of disease before someone can clean it up. We learned that "If a bodily fluid is wet, warm and not yours - there should be a barrier between you and it". Hands should be washed well every time you change what you are doing in the kitchen even if you are wearing gloves. This is a good time to remind people that guests should never be allowed to touch food. A volunteer should always be serving each item. If you or your volunteers have not looked at our Volunteer Best Practices guide, I would highly recommend that you all do. It gives a great overview on how to handle many situations and provides excellent information.