- OSHA Healthcare Advisor - http://blogs.hcpro.com/osha -

How do you have fun while doing emergency drills?

Hi folks –

One of the things I love about my job covering hospital and clinic safety is talking to the different people involved, and listening to the creative things they do every day to get their staff involved in maintaining a safe environment.

I used to work as a fifth grade teacher, and I can tell you that unless you keep the classroom fun and entertaining, a lot of times the lesson gets lost on a room full of people who don’t really want to be there.

The same can be said for your emergency drills. We all know emergency exercises are part of the job when it comes to making sure your staff is ready, and making sure the Joint Commission, CMS, and OSHA are happy.

I had one safety officer tell me about an instance where a possum got loose in the hospital – they turned it into an on-the-spot drill that practiced what they would do for an intruder in the hospital.¬†Another did a triage drill for Halloween, which featured 50 life-like zombies (they were made up professionally) that swarmed the ER with a disease called “Zombthrax.”¬† The public health department set up their decontamination tents outside, M&Ms were given to the victims as antidote pills, and staff members practiced triaging and working together to help practice for real life.

I’m very interested in hearing other stories of fun drills and exercises you have done with your facilities. Please drop me a line, along with a few paragraphs detailing what you did at jpalmer@hcpro.com. I would love to use your experiences in a fun and informative upcoming story.

Happy Holidays!

John Palmer