Hospital Trains Decontamination Teams
Posted on Tuesday, November 14th, 2006
Mercy Health/Love County Hospital and Clinic trained two dozen nurses and emergency medical technicians as “first receivers” Thursday.
They will be equipped to handle persons who arrive at the hospital after being exposed to decontaminants.
The training took place outside the emergency room, where the hospital had previously installed a decontamination shower.
The workers formed three-person teams and practiced donning and moving around in the protective gear they will need in the event of an actual emergency.
Although the underlying grant that paid for the training was from the Homeland Security Agency, the knowledge and protective measures apply to patients exposed as a result of any peaceful or hostile intent.
“This training is to equip the hospital to receive patients exposed to chemical warfare agents, but it also meets OSHA regulations for other decontaminants, such as chemical spills resulting from a truck accident on I-35 or a train derailment in the county,” said instructor Kevin Jaynes, who is a specialist in hazardous materials and Homeland Security training.
The outdoor treatment is intended to decontaminate incoming patients while protecting other hospital patients and visitors, as well as other coworkers from exposure, said Richard Barker, hospital administrator.