How Employers Can Help Build Health Care Surge Capacity
Supporting Oregon’s Disaster Preparedness
As health professional employers, hospitals, clinics, and private practices, you are in the unique position to offer key resources in times of disasters and public health emergencies. Physicians, nurses, technicians, counselors and the many other licensed health care professions all provide desperately needed services and can provide critical aid if they have the flexibility to respond to an emergency quickly.
Encouraging Pre-registration with SERV-OR
By encouraging your employees to register with SERV-OR, you are helping to ensure qualified medical assistance is available in times of crisis. Whether your facility is managing the crisis, or you are helping to provide key personnel to an incident, you can help enable all health professionals to serve in their highest capability.
Requesting SERV-OR Support
If you are in the position of staffing an emergency, your organization may be able to request the help and specific skill sets you need to better serve the people in your community. SERV-OR volunteer managers can then match the best volunteer candidate for the volunteer position. Specifically authorized personnel can review volunteers’ identity and contact information, licensing information and other credentials. Emergency requests need to be made according to the plans and procedures that have been developed for your organization and jurisdiction.
Championing Your Volunteers
Health professionals often say they wish they could volunteer more to help their community and lend their expertise in a crisis. One of the things holding them back, however, is concern about leaving their colleagues behind with extra work. Another barrier is simply not being verified in advance of an emergency situation.
While it is difficult to manage an average day's workload when you are short-staffed, the positive experience for employees who are encouraged to volunteer is invaluable – both to the employee and the employer. Health professional volunteers say they come back to their job re-energized and focused on their broader mission of helping people. They feel more loyal to their employer and thankful for their day jobs. You can help to foster that kind of sentiment by encouraging your employees to register with SERV-OR.
Verifying Volunteer Employment and Privileges
Some requests for health care volunteers in a disaster may prefer volunteers that are experienced working in a hospital or in a specific health care facility setting. If you help manage such a setting, and SERV-OR volunteers are employed or practice there, we could use your help verifying their employment or privileges. That lets us know now, before an emergency happens, who is verified to have experience in a hospital or specific health care facility setting.
In addition, when a health professional registers with SERV-OR, they are positioning themselves for immediate deployment, should they be needed. As with any volunteer opportunity, they are not required to participate in a response if contacted. It is optional, so volunteers will have a chance to speak with their employers before accepting a deployment. However, your involvement and support is a critically important part of this program.
Hosting a SERV-OR Training
State and local volunteer managers are often in need of potential new recruits and training venues. Many training events are provided free of charge, provide CEU credits and are open to both current and potential volunteers. If you might be interested in hosting a class such as Basic or Advanced Disaster Life Support, please contact us. It could be a great resource for your personnel’s preparedness, help current SERV-OR volunteers by providing the training space, and help us expose potential new volunteers among your staff to SERV-OR and how they can be part of a coordinate disaster response system.
For more information on championing potential volunteers in your workplace, contact SERV-OR at SERV.OR@state.or.us
or call 877-343-5767.