Working During a Disaster (Excerpt From Steps to Becoming a Medical Secretary)

Sometimes there will be situations when something tragic will happen, and our job is to be prepared. Whether it is a tornado that pops up in the Midwest or a train that derails in your town, you need to be ready.

 Your hospital will have a code for situations like this, and if you are there when it is called, this is the time when you jump into action. 

 After first making sure that you will not be needed somewhere else in the hospital, the next thing you need to do is make sure that the printers are filled with paper because there may be a ton of discharges for the patients who are “well enough” to go home so that the hospital can use those rooms for the injured patients. 

Next, go get empty charts that are lying around in case you need them because you never know if the “single room” will soon become a “double room” (so instead of 20 patients on your unit, you now have 40). 

Next, make sure that there are plenty of physician order sheets and progress notes for the doctors to use. They may not have time to log into the computer and may need to write the orders on a physician order sheet. 

Next, be prepared to stay longer than expected. Your shift may not end at the scheduled time. Your replacement may not be able to get there in time, or leaving may not be an option.

You will probably be required to do things outside of being a medical secretary, such as helping the discharged patients gather their belongings and wheeling them down to the main entrance. You may be required to go to another floor and help them out.

Hey, you may even be required to run down to the cafeteria. And grab some food for the nurses.

        The point is you must be ready!


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