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If you have an emergency on campus, call x6000 (713-348-6000) or pick up any blue-light phone. If you have an off-campus emergency, dial 9-1-1.

Knowing What to Do

No one ever expects an emergency, but it could happen at any moment and at any time. Medical emergencies can be extremely distressing experiences that do not always have an easy response. It is easy to panic and lose your calm; however, to provide a patient the best care they deserve, it is crucial to stay level-headed and run through a few easy steps that could save a life. Regardless of your clinical background, the following page will detail some things that everyone can follow to prepare for an emergency such that if the need ever arises, you will be prepared to help a member of your community, be that a student or faculty member.

  1. Rule #1 of all emergencies is this: stay calm. DO NOT panic! It is certainly easier said than done, but if you remind yourself of this golden rule in those stressful moments, you can call yourself back to reality to take lifesaving action.
  2. Recognize emergencies. The term “emergency” has no clear definition as is subject to discretion, and for that reason, it may be confusing when to treat a situation as an emergency. You should be aware of symptoms a person might experience which indicate an emergency, and knowing these symptoms will help you take proper action. The Emergency Page fully explains what qualifies as an emergency in thorough detail. However, when in doubt, always err on the side of caution and call for help.
  3. Call for help. In any emergency situation, it is imperative to get help. However, depending on where you are, the route to get help may differ.
    1. Know who to call: On Rice campus, you should call 731-348-6000 for RUPD/REMS (save this to your phone!). Even if you are off campus but close to Rice, you should call this number (as RUPD/REMS services a district larger than the physical boundaries of the campus). If you are further off campus you should call 911. If you yourself are unable to call for help, you should directly delegate the task to a bystander or someone close by to have them call while you provide emergency care.
    2. Know how to call: You can call by your cellphone, landline, or any of the Blue Light emergency poles on campus. When you reach dispatch, the operator at the end of the line will ask you a series of questions to gather information about your emergency to relay to RUPD/REMS or HFD, depending on who you called. For more information on what to say, visit the Emergency Page.
  4. Attend a First Aid or CPR Class. It is absolutely essential to have these lifesaving skills in your toolkit; many of us believe that we know exactly what to do in an emergency, however, these courses provide comprehensive coverage of all kinds of emergencies that cover nitty-gritty details we may not know until we attend these short 3-4 hour courses. To take these courses at Rice at low-cost for students and faculty, visit the CPR/First Aid Page.
  5. Familiarize yourself with Hands-Only CPR. While it is incredibly crucial to dedicate a few short hours to taking the above courses, many of us are too busy to find the time to take a full CPR/First Aid course. However, learning the motions of Hands-Only CPR is fortunately easy enough to cover in under five minutes! Click here to learn the two easy steps of Texas Two-Step’s Hands-Only CPR Campaign or click here to view the British Heart Foundation’s humorous yet informative clip on how to perform CPR!
  6. If possible, purchase a first aid/emergency kit. This is an essential aspect for preparing for an emergency. If you have taken a First Aid course or are familiar with basic first aid, these are the tools you’ll need to help in providing instant care whenever an emergency arises, and it could really go a long way!
  7. Be attentive to your patient(s) and surroundings. Medical emergencies are evolving situations with several moving parts that occur at a fast pace, not to mention that you’re nervous as well. Do your best to remember as many details as you can, and if possible, write down information (on paper or on your phone) about the emergency, e.g. when the patient fell or siezed, what stung them, how long they’ve been wheezing etc. as all of this information will help the EMTs that arrive on scene.

For more information and a different perspective on emergencies, this article explores the lessons a mother learned from her child’s trip to an ER and their subsequent hospitalization.