Emergency Medical Dispatcher and How to Get an Emergency Medical Dispatcher Job

Sometimes referred to as 911 operators even though they can be found in many other work environments, emergency medical dispatchers form an important link between persons in need of emergency medical attention and paramedics and other healthcare professionals. Their work will typically entail receiving crisis calls from the scene of a medical emergency.

It is their responsibility to gather key information, quickly access the scenario, give lifesaving medical instructions and then dispatch appropriate emergency personnel to manage the emergency on site or evacuate the victim. Given the nature of the calls they receive, emergency medical dispatcher must be tactful in how he or she talks to the caller so that they can calm them down sufficiently to get an accurate picture of the extent of emergency, nature of injury suffered or illness experienced and the victim’s location.

EMDs work in a broad array of job sectors. They may be employed at a fire station, police station, a county level emergency response unit or a hospital dispatch center. As one would expect from a crisis-driven work place, the role is fast paced and the dispatcher has to cope with high stress levels. An emergency medical dispatchers sometimes must work for long and odd hours with their role often not enjoying the privilege of rest during weekends or public holidays.

For one to be an emergency medical dispatcher, they must develop ways of handling high pressure situations and managing stress. The job calls for one to make correct decisions quickly that will help stem the danger presented by the problem at hand. Since the dispatcher notifies and deploys personnel to deal with the issue on site, they must be effective team players who can coordinate rescue teams and provide additional support even when the team is already on site.

A medical dispatcher will often be called upon to provide basic life saving medical instructions over the phone. Such instructions could include essential first aid tips, cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR), steps to calm down the victim and the procedure of safely delivering a baby outside a medical facility.

All these are meant to keep the victim stable before the arrival of the rescue team and paramedics. This means that the dispatcher’s interpersonal and communication skills must be exceptional – any ambiguity in their communication may worsen a life threatening situation.

Like any other job in the world today, the role of technology in the day to day execution of the emergency medical dispatcher’s duties is on the increase. Therefore, the emergency medical dispatcher’s computer, internet and telecommunication literacy levels must be up to date with the most frequently used technology in the market.

In order for one to increase the probability of being called up for an EMD job interview and later hired, he or she must demonstrate proficiency in algebra, medical terminology, first aid, computer skills, psychology, biology, English, telephone communication and public speaking. The ability to speak one or more foreign languages is usually an added advantage.

One must have successfully completed a training specializing in Emergency Medical Dispatcher and that meets the standards set out by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). Emergency Medical Dispatchers should also obtain a National Academies of Emergency Dispatch (NAED) certificate which licenses them to work as qualified medical practitioners.

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Preparedness – The Importance of Having Emergency Medical Supplies

In the event of a disaster, whether it is natural or caused by man, being having the right tools to handle the situation can be a matter of life and death. Regardless of your medical training and background it’s important for professionals, as well as everyday citizens to have the emergency medical supplies necessary to treat injuries. If you are concerned about being able to properly handle a medical emergency in the event of a disaster, here is a brief guide to ensure you have what it takes to handle almost anything that comes your way.

1) Having medical information on hand can save lives. If an accident happens and someone needs treatment, will you know what to do? If you’re already trained in how to use EMS gear or EMT supplies, this may not be a big concern. But for the average citizen, being confronted with situations they don’t know how to handle can cause panic. You might think that your instincts will take over and you’ll handle any situation effectively, but what if someone needs stitches? Do you know how to suture a wound properly? What about dental emergencies? This is where having medical information readily available can come into play. There is a wealth of emergency medical information at bookstores, Red Cross organizations, and on the internet. This includes information on how to use emergency medical supplies correctly, and efficiently. It’s important to have a wide array of sources for medical information so you are prepared for many different types of situations.

2) Get familiar with the solutions. If you get faint at the sight of blood, you will have to get over that if you want to help save a life in medical emergency. If someone is bleeding and needs help, hesitation can cost them their life. For some people who would be administering aid, seeing the process of what is involved in treatment can help them adjust to seeing things that they can’t handle, as well as provide further training in how the treatment is done. It’s also a good idea to study a list of possible medical emergency and read about what tools are used to treat each. Emergency medical supplies are useless if you don’t know when and how to use them.

3) Be Stocked Up on EMS Gear. If you’re preparing a first aid kit, do a little research on what the more advanced kits have. Many retailers of EMT supplies sell fully stocked medical first aid kits that range from small, home kits to immediate response professional kits.

4) Look into emergency response medicines. Many EMT professionals are carrying solutions like Celox and Lidocaine for first response situations. Celox is good for open wound and can instantly clot and stop bleeding in 30 seconds. When dealing with a majorly painful injury, Lidocaine may be useful as it can dull the area around the wound so it can be properly treated. It comes is cream, gel, spray and powder form.

3 Ways to Organize Your Medical Information

You get a bad infection and the doctor wants to know if you are allergic to any types of medicines. You cut your skin with a sharp instrument and the nurse wants to know your blood type. You keep switching doctors due to changes in your health insurance plan.

Having organized, easily accessible medical records can be the difference between life and death. Sounds dramatic, but it can be true. So let’s look at some of the ways you can organize your medical data.

Idea #1 Expanding Folders with a Flap: One expanding folder per family member. This folder comes with dividers that you can label by doctor name, medical specialty, system within the body (circulatory, etc.) or some other way that works for you. You may want to have a piece of paper at the front of each section for basic information. If you have any test results or notes from an appointment they can be put behind the appropriate divider. By having records in an expandable folder, you can easily take the entire folder to an appointment and have all pertinent information with you.

Idea #2 Binders: One binder per family member with subject dividers. Similar to the expandable folders, these dividers can be named by doctor name, medical specialty, system within the body or some other way that works for you. You may want to have a piece of paper at the front of each section for basic information. If you have any test results or notes from an appointment they can be put behind the appropriate divider. If you have extensive medical history, it may either take a big binder or multiple binders. If more than one binder is necessary, then you have to make a decision about which information goes into each binder.

Idea #3 Electronic: Electronic refers to two different concepts:

• Electronic copies of information you also have in hard copy. The best way to organize these is to set up files within your computer that are parallel to the structure of your paper files. This is a whole article unto itself, so I won’t give additional information on this at this time.

• Websites or software that allows you to manage your medical records online or on your computer.

Products for purchase: As you can imagine, there are some products on the market that can help you organize your medical records. Some of them are listed below. These resources are for reference purpose only and not intended to be an endorsement for any specific product.

• Jakoter Health Organizers has several different products available including a pre-made binder to sort and organize your medical records and “health tag” to house your records on a special flash drive. They have additional resources including free downloadable forms and links to related websites.

• MedicTag is a USB medic alert tag designed for emergency medical information and alerts. It is an easy way to have access to all of your health records. It is especially useful in unexpected medical situations.

• My Pro Medical Health Records Organizer is a combination electronic and hard copy way to save your medical information. Detailed binder includes places to organize your medical records, an instruction guide, tracking forms, and method for organizing contact information for medical professionals. CD with forms allows you to save medical information electronically or print out forms you have filled in.

• Quicken Medical Expense Manager helps you make sense of your medical bills and expenses by organizing your medical history and expenses on your computer. This program keeps your medical information in one easy-to-access place and works on many health plans.

Cheat sheet: If you want to have a document that is easily carried with you at all times, I have found one that I like. It is called Pocket.doc. It is the size of a credit card which then unfolds into a series of forms for specific information. In one small “package,” you can keep local and out-of-state contacts, blood type, primary physician, insurance, current medications, immunization and allergies.

Your well-being is everything. Don’t jeopardize your health because you can’t locate vital information.