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In case of emergency...

 

PCAs, WRITE DOWN KEY CONSUMER INFORMATION!

What if, while working as a PCA (Personal Care Assistant), you called a consumer, but no one answered the telephone? Or, what if you arrived at their residence but got no response when you rang their doorbell? Or, what if you found a consumer unconscious, unable to tell you what had happened?

In any of these circumstances, you’d need quick, easy access to information beyond the customary emergency contacts for family, friends, and doctors. For example, in the case of an unconscious consumer, the EMTs would want you to supply information that might shed light on the origins of the medical crisis.

Therefore, every PCA should write down the following facts about each of their consumers:

1. All of the consumer’s exact medical diagnoses  

2. Prescription and over-the-counter drugs and their dosages

3. The consumer’s allergies

4. Any special diet

5. Telephone number and address of at least one nearby friend or neighbor--preferably one possessing a key to the consumer’s residence

6. Location of the consumer’s medical insurance cards

It may seem awkward, even invasive, for a PCA to ask for these, but scrambling to search for them in a room crowded with an ambulance crew lugging a stretcher can “freeze” almost anyone. If that happens, you may forget a relevant diagnosis, medication, or allergy that could make the difference between saving or losing a life--at a time when minutes count.

So, getting this information early, while you and the consumer are becoming acquainted, will, ultimately, make everyone feel--and be--that much safer.

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