Scott McConnell, RN, BSN, CEN, NRP, EMS-I, shares some quick tips on staying clean in the field.
In this edition of EMS tips and trick, Scott went over three interesting concepts he’s used throughout is EMS career. All three of these tips deal with EMS safety in some way, whether it’s keeping yourself clean on a call or ensuring the scene is safe before you head in to administer care. Let’s go over them in a little more detail!
EMS tip 1: when you’re responding to a trauma call, always wear two or three sets of gloves. Why? When you’re on a call, you’re going to have to take notes or otherwise touch equipment that you don’t want to get dirty. And, more than likely, since you’re on a trauma call your gloves will have blood, dirt, or some other unsanitary substance on them. So, when you need to touch a clean surface or object (and keep it clean!) simply peel off the top layer of gloves and you have clean PPE ready to go. Plus, have you ever tried putting on latex gloves after you’ve begun sweating? Not easy or quick. For more on this, Scott has created a quick video tutorial on safely removing gloves in the field.
EMS tip 2: always keep a few pieces of tape on your leg. As we mentioned above, you will need to take notes in the field. But constantly having to dig through your pockets for a notebook can take more time than you have. Plus, you run a pretty good chance of getting an unsanitary substance on your notebook; and you’re notes won’t do you any good if you have to throw them away! So, just keep some strips of tape on your leg that you can easily write on and dispose of when you’ve finished with them.
EMS tip 3: when you arrive on a scene, take a minute to breath and take in the scene. Is the scene safe? Do you need to wait for law enforcement to arrive before heading into the scene? Make sure you take a breath and assess. Those few seconds won’t hurt your patient, but help keep you, the provider, safe.