Practice, Practice, Practice

Guest post by Kirsty Winner, Director of Corporate Communications

A plane filled with radioactive material crashes into the middle of a kids’ soccer tournament – what do you do? We faced that scenario at Nationwide Children’s Hospital recently and the answer is we activate our “Code Yellow Major” and “Code Orange” disaster response plans. Thankfully, this was only a drill. The “wounds” on the “victims” washed right off and their exposure to radiation vanished at the end of the drill. However, we responded as we would to a real disaster – involving teams around the hospital from the emergency department, nursing and pharmacy, to HR, the poison center, social work, marketing and PR, and many more. All told, several hundred employees were actively part of the drill while several thousand employees were on notification stand-by. Throughout Franklin County, there were 229 actor victims and family members, along with several hundred first responders and 11other hospitals who participated in this event.

We hope we will never see anything like the scenario we ran through, but we know the best way to prepare is to practice, practice, practice. The hospital has an Emergency Preparedness staff of two along with 39 Emergency Preparedness Committee members who work year-round on making sure we have plans and training to respond to everything from a terrorist attack and fires, to tornadoes and floods. We put many hours of work and practice into plans that we hope we will never have to use in real-life. But rest assured, if there is a disaster, we are ready to respond. Check out our gallery on flickr for more images.

Donna Teach
Donna Teach is Chief Marketing & Communication Officer at Nationwide Children's. Her job is to help the hospital feel "connected" – Connected to each other, connected to our patients and their families, referring physicians, the community and the world.

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