Organizational Change Removes Barrier to RT Participation
Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has been soliciting respiratory therapists to volunteer for a program aimed at providing health professionals to serve as temporary federal employees in the event of a national disaster.
The stumbling block derived from the fact that the National Disaster Medical System (NDMS), which includes this type of legal guarantee, has been housed in the Department of Homeland Security rather than in HHS. Now the problem is solved. The NDMS was transferred back to HHS from Homeland Security in January, which means RTs who volunteer for the program will now become members of the NDMS.
Disaster Help Wanted
Respiratory Therapists Still Sought for HHS Disaster Teams "With certain types of disasters, we anticipate the need for professionals who can administer complex respiratory therapy treatments to critically ill patients," says the letter from RADM W. Craig Vanderwagen, MD. "AARC provides a crucial communications link between HHS and the respiratory care community." The Assistant Secretary for Public Health Emergency Preparedness is asking for respiratory therapists to fill an important role in our nation's disaster response.
HHS would like to make it easier to take advantage of your skills and willingness to volunteer in future health emergencies, whether domestic or international. Please consider participation in two important disaster relief programs that would greatly benefit from your interest and expertise, the Emergency System for Advance Registration of Volunteer Health Professionals (ESAR-VHP) (firstname.lastname@example.org) and the Medical Reserve Corps. These programs allow you the opportunity to establish a relationship with your state or the federal government in advance of an event, so that you can be prepared, credentialed and ready to go before the need strikes.
Emergency System for Advance Registration of Volunteer Health Professionals (ESAR-VHP) is a federal program created to support states and territories in establishing standardized volunteer registration programs for disasters and public health and medical emergencies.
New Jersey Medical Reserve Corps
Become involved in the New Jersey Medical Reserve Corps. During a public health emergency, volunteers will be called upon to perform a variety of functions needed to protect the health of the citizens of New Jersey. Such duties might include direct patient care, administrative, secretarial, translation or reception duties. Volunteers need to be aware that they will need to participate in training and education in order to be adequately prepared should an event occur. Volunteers should be asked to perform duties in accord with their interests, training and experience. Guidelines for this recommended training will be outlined by the State Department of Health and Senior Services.