Posts made in January 2021

Virtually the Same

It’s been nearly a whole year since we all adopted new practices to accomplish even the most basic tasks. Remember when video conferencing was a cool alternative to in-person meetings? Remember how you never even once thought about toilet paper stocking levels or store stocking schedules? Until you did. A lot.

While we’re no longer experiencing extraordinary secondary effects of pandemic response activities there are some changes that have become completely normal. Virtual meetings are expected, easy, and now accessible to practically everyone. There are so many options available for organizations of all sizes and lots of free options that exist. Cost of this type of software is no longer a barrier like it once was. Virtual meetings have also reduced the amount of time we put into commuting. The physical paperwork we print has also decreased with virtual meetings. Unless, of course, participants elect to print out their materials. Overall, we’ve discovered a lot of positive outcomes with these changes.

We’ve heard for months now how much people actually miss meeting in-person. We miss it, too! There is definitely no substitute for the collegial atmosphere when mission-driven healthcare professionals come together. For now, we’ll continue to make it work. So remember to pick a cool virtual background, mute your mic if you’re not speaking, and get ready to participate. We look forward to the day when we’re all able to safely gather. 

The first series of appointments has already gone out for our first quarter meetings.

Face Masks Proven Effective

There has been so much information since these pandemic response activities began early one year ago. The last twelve months have offered a deluge of information. One of the more commonplace topics of this last year centers around mask-wearing. While masks were initially discouraged in order to preserve vital PPE for frontline healthcare workers, the guidance evolved and called on all individuals to do their part to reduce the risk of spreading SARS-CoV-2. It is believed that COVID-19 is spread through droplets we generate when we talk, breathe, cough, or sneeze. As a result, it makes perfect sense that if we interrupt the path the droplets take when we create them then there’s a good chance we can also interrupt the likelihood of spreading the infection. The level of protection offered by cloth face covering varies depending on many different variables such as material, how well it’s worn, proximity, and other variables.

Studies have shown that multi-layer masks can block nearly 80% of the droplets that a person generates. That’s nearly as effective as surgical masks that healthcare workers wear. This does not mean that they can be used interchangeably in the healthcare environment but it does show a great deal of promise for people in the community. If other individuals are wearing a mask then the protection is further enhanced by blocking some of the droplets that person might have otherwise breathed in. That means that each person has the capability of interrupting the spread of the virus!

There are so many examples where mask-wearing has proven effective, both in controlled studies and in real-world settings. To read more about the science behind these studies click here.


Challenge Coins

Challenge coins have been around for as long as anyone can remember. In fact, their origin is not entirely clear. There is evidence that challenge coins were used to demonstrate membership or affiliation with a specific organization, nation-state, or army. Achievements were also recognized using durable, and oftentimes valuable, coins. This was the case during the Roman empire. Today challenge coins are still used throughout each branch of the military but they have also made a large presence in other organizations and entities. Many organizations will generate challenge coins to reward meritorious work within the organization or even to exchange with a partner entity.

Challenge coins can be a great incentive or morale boost. The way in which they are given out today varies greatly between and among organizations. Be on the lookout for the Heart of Texas RAC challenge coins in our region. These coins feature our logo and name on one side and the region (Trauma Service Area M) on the other. The region is surrounded by the words “People”, “Service”, and “Community. These words illustrate what the RAC and its member organizations stand for, promote, and practice on a daily basis. The mission and vision guides each person’s resolve to continually serve the community in which we live and work.

No matter the use or cause for challenge coins, one this is for certain, they’re super cool!