PDA

View Full Version : Are your classes safe?



Rogier
9th October 2003, 08:57
Are your classes safe?

One of the important parts of the teacher course Iím following is Safe in Class. So how safe are your classes, how do you provide safety in them?

Simple things are important.

1. blood hygiene
2. overall hygiene
3. first aid kit
4. overview

1. Blood hygiene

Yes we live in times when we need to be safe around blood. Do you clean the mat with a disinfectant when blood has spilled on it? Do you clean your hands before and after taking care of wounds?

2. Overall hygiene

What do you expect of your students? It should be quite normal that you ask them to remove jewellery, clip finger and toenails. Their clothing should be clean the protection they use should be clean. At what point do you address as student when nails arenít clipped and clothing is unclean?

3. First aid kit

In the arts we teach accidents can happen. Do you have a first aid kit handy and do you know how to treat injuries and how to use the contents of the kit?

4. Overview

You need to be aware of what is happening in your class. What do you do, do you practice at the same time your students are practicing? How do you move about in class, do you move around in the middle of class between the practicing students?

Please take a look at these points and see what you do in your class. Once youíve done thatÖÖ well post it of course..

Amir
9th October 2003, 11:27
I would have thought the first item on the list would be
qualifying in first aid and repracticing every couple of years.

Here in Israel, it's one of the requirements of any sports "instructor" including M.A.


Having a first aid kit can help but mostly for minor cuts. learning the ABC of keeping a person alive until the medic arrives can save lives.


Amir

Rogier
9th October 2003, 11:43
of course... please don't think of this as 'the' list. These are just some small items...

I would think it quite logical that each teacher is trained in first aid

Chiburi
9th October 2003, 15:51
Originally posted by Amir
- - Here in Israel, it's [First Aid qualification] one of the requirements of any sports "instructor" including M.A. - -

Amir

Although I mostly hear negative things about Israel (and even more about their "pact" with the US..) every single day, I do think that the country has done many things right that should serve as examples to others. This is only one example of that.

Cheers,

Rogier
9th October 2003, 15:54
I can't imagine that someone would teach a class without knowing at least the basics of first aid, or having someone in each class that knows first aid.

bruceb
10th October 2003, 12:50
With the advent of infectious diseases ... you should know if a student, or teacher has some type of disease that can be transfers with spit, blood, or certain types of contacts, especially from an open wound.

We don't usually worry about wounds so much in Aikido as we used to in Karate class where there seemed to always be someone breaking the skin for some reason or other and blood was all too common, but in the 1990s the first concerns to be aware of transferable diseases became part of the training awareness to have a safe class also.

Just thought I would throw that in.

kage110
10th October 2003, 13:09
I can't imagine that someone would teach a class without knowing at least the basics of first aid, or having someone in each class that knows first aid.

Imagine it...:mad: Fairly frequently we have a senior student take the class as the sensei is not in the best of health. I doubt any of the students have undergone much in the way of first aid training. I have but nobody has ever raised the subject so I have never volunteered the information. Truth be told, having a senior student take the class probably invalidates the insurance...:(

However, being a certificated first aider does not always mean that you are compatent in an emergency as some courses are so easy even a monkey could pass them. How can you ever be sure that someone is entirely safe to train under?

pgsmith
10th October 2003, 18:19
One of the requirements for Shodan in our school (Japanese sword) is that you must have a valid certification in first aid and CPR training.

In answer to your questions Rogier ...

1. YES! Most emphatically yes. While it is standard procedure to ask about any infectious diseases when a student first joins, it is entirely possible for them to carry AIDS or Hepatitis C and not be aware of it. Any half decent first aid course will include protection methods for blood borne pathogens.

2. YES! That is generally expected. I have had to talk with students about poor hygiene before. The talk will usually occur after the class unless it is potentially dangerous.

3. YES! Everyone of Shodan rank or above is required to have a first aid kit. I stress that periodically, so most of the students (but not all) have their own.

4. YES! To both. A typical class will involve instruction, then the students working on what was instructed. I will practice myself for a while without watching so they have time to work on it. Then I'll have a couple of the senior students move around and offer needed corrections. THEN I'll walk through and watch how they are doing myself. I have the seniors do it first as when they try to teach or correct, it causes them to understand the techniques more thoroughly.
Movement is usually done in between practicing students. We aren't too crowded, but they are usually swinging bokken or iaito. I figure it keeps the senior students', as well as my own, senses awake and focused if you have to make sure you don't get whacked or impaled. It's good for your awareness, and has worked well so far. We've not had anyone accidentally whacked (at least not that way!) in seven years.

Cheers,

sistaninja
11th October 2003, 04:55
With the advent of infectious diseases ... you should know if a student, or teacher has some type of disease that can be transfers with spit, blood, or certain types of contacts, especially from an open wound.

sigh...

How are you going to know? Compulsory questions? complusory blood tests? Not feasible, not 'safe'. And, in many countries it would be discriminatory to ask for starters.

All dojos should have a universal safe blood policy. Period. This site gives some useful guidance.

http://www.bujindesign.com/newsletter/2001.3.vol14/training2.shtml

MarkF
11th October 2003, 08:31
Originally posted by sistaninja
sigh...

How are you going to know? Compulsory questions? complusory blood tests? Not feasible, not 'safe'. And, in many countries it would be discriminatory to ask for starters.

All dojos should have a universal safe blood policy. Period. This site gives some useful guidance.

http://www.bujindesign.com/newsletter/2001.3.vol14/training2.shtml

I've always thought if you wait a bit before posting someone will come along and say it for you.

Thank you, Frances.
***

Mark

Rogier
13th October 2003, 07:52
Originally posted by sistaninja
sigh...

How are you going to know? Compulsory questions? complusory blood tests? Not feasible, not 'safe'. And, in many countries it would be discriminatory to ask for starters.

All dojos should have a universal safe blood policy. Period. This site gives some useful guidance.

http://www.bujindesign.com/newsletter/2001.3.vol14/training2.shtml

I think that in today's society you have an obligation to ask the people who train in your school if they have any diseases that could be passed on to other persons, or which could possibly be a danger to themselves.

Why would it be discriminatory to ask? As a teacher of a physical "art" have the right/obligation to know if the people you are going to teach are a danger/liability to others or themselves.

You are always free to ask, if the person does not want to answer or does not want to answer truthfully that is up to them.


I do believe that we are slowly moving to a point where we will need to ask people for a note from their doctor saying that these persons are able to train in the art we teach. Just look at present day USA, lawsuits for the strangest things appear to be quite normal. In Europe we are very slowly moving to a similar system.

At the point where I start my own school I will certainly have people sign a contract in which among other things it will state that they must state any diseases or other things that could be a liability to themselves or others.


And yes I'm fully aware that not many will answer truthfully, simple example:

One of the teachers at the course I'm following had a very young student. His parents had not stated that there was anything special going on with this particular student. At some point the student was constantly complaining about his head hurting and several other problems. Just by accident the teacher saw (when another student had pulled open the boys jacket during practice) that the boy had a nice zip along his chest.

The boy had open heart surgery a while ago (I don't know how long ago) and his blood pressure was incredibely high (they found this out after they took him to the doctor). Apparantly they parents did not want their son to be treated differently from other children.

--------------------------------

so how is the situation in different countries right now, who has students sign an agreement like the one I hinted at and who has the students sign nothing at all?

sistaninja
13th October 2003, 10:19
As a teacher of a physical "art" have the right/obligation to know if the people you are going to teach are a danger/liability to others or themselves

Actually - depending on the laws in your country - you may not have that right.As a European I think you might find your anti-discrimination laws are quite robust.

I agree - you should ask about illnesses which affect someone's capacity to train. However, the example you gave was of someone who did not disclose something it was in his own interests to disclose. This is quite different to the infectious diseases issue. We are usually talking HIV/Aids, Hep C etc. Being a sufferer of Hep C for example, may not affect someone;s capacity to train. And the risk of discrimination upon disclosure is high.

The point is - if you are really seriously about safety - and this was the topic - you must have universal guidelines which are applied every time there is a blood injury etc - regardless of any other measure you 'think' you have in place.

If you have universal safety procedures - which are applied every time - you are covered whether a, you have asked about diseases or not or not b. you have been told or not c. there is some new disease you have not even thought of/heard of. d. many other random possibilities.

Just take one example where relying on asking is as protective as a leaky condom. You ask someone about their status on Wednesday. They truthfully say they are clear. They go out Friday night. Have uprotected sex. By Saturday morning they are infected. Next Wednesday they are training again. In a year they in the local tournament - no symptoms yet...You make a judgement call depending on your moral position - you think this is a nice person, they don't look funny etc etc, you never think to ask them again...you are kaput in every sense.

Having universal and objective guidelines objectively applied is called Risk Management. Ask your insurance company. Having proper risk management strategies Ė not questionnaires and subjective judgement calls - is what will offer you protection from any number of liabilities.

Furthermore, you are thinking of only one type of liability ie if someone catches something from someone in your class. What about the potential liability of being sued or prosecuted for infringing someone's rights. Depending on where you live - asking, excluding or discriminating could result in civil or even criminal liability. In my country, as in many others, you can be held liable for not having safety procedures AND for discriminating unlawfully. You need to give equal attention to both.

And the easiest way to do this - universal safety practices. Applied by everyone. All the time. This simple thing makes most of the problems you seem to worry about just go away.

But hey - don't take it from me. All major sports do it - including martial arts tournaments. The Olympics do it, soccer, boxing, all football codes, basketball, baseball, ice hockey. All modern hospitals do it. All modern heathcare workers do it.

But if you think martial artists have to reinvent the wheel go right ahead. I do know - relying on asking and being told - will not protect you or your students in reality - or in court.

Rogier
13th October 2003, 10:32
Originally posted by sistaninja
Actually - depending on the laws in your country - you may not have that right.As a European I think you might find your anti-discrimination laws are quite robust.

Well actually I've never heard of discrimination laws preventing you from asking if someone has an illness. The laws could prevent you from not allowing someone to train because something is wrong with them.



The point is - if you are really seriously about safety - and this was the topic - you must have universal guidelines which are applied every time there is a blood injury etc - regardless of any other measure you 'think' you have in place.

actually blood hygiene is the first thing I point out in the post. You can never be too carefull around blood these days.




Furthermore, you are thinking of only one type of liability ie if someone catches something from someone in your class. What about the potential liability of being sued or prosecuted for infringing someone's rights. Depending on where you live - asking, excluding or discriminating could result in civil or even criminal liability. In my country, as in many others, you can be held liable for not having safety procedures AND for discriminating unlawfully. You need to give equal attention to both.

I already touched the subject of lawsuits by mentioning todays practices in the USA and the direction Europe is going.

And I think that for some reason you have the idea that asking someone if he has a disease would mean I or anyone else would reject these persons. The only reason to ask persons if they have a disease is to:

1. be able to give them advice; is your art a good option for them
2. be able to prepare if something happens, if you know something is wrong can be extra careful




But if you think martial artists have to reinvent the wheel go right ahead. I do know - relying on asking and being told - will not protect you or your students in reality - or in court.

it would be really nice if you actually read my posts instead of replying after reading the first line

Claire Bartlett
15th October 2003, 14:29
Hi,
First aid training and kits seem like common sense but every student should be proactive and check with their school. Do you know where the first aid kit is? When is the last time you checked its contents?
Fortunately, I have yet to see a injury involving blood where the student was unable to care for their own wound and clean up afterwards. This eliminates the risk of exposure to others.
Questioning students about their health status, whether or not it is ethical or legal, will not provide 100% protection. It is possible, for example, to have hepatitis and be unaware of the condition until it presents in a more serious form such as liver cancer. Never assume. Always apply universal precautions.
Cheers,
Claire

elder999
15th October 2003, 16:49
I'm an EMT. I recommend that all instructors in the U.S. become EMT's, not just to cover their classes, but most especially if they attend tournaments and seminars, where the chances of injury are greater than in the more controlled environment of class, and the medical coverage or lack of it is unknown. As an EMT you not only have mnore in depth knowledge of emergency medical care than the standard Red Cross first responder training, but you are also covered by the "good samaritan" laws of the U.S. Don't know how it is in Europe, but first aid and CPR as a minimum seem like a good idea across the board.

As far as questionaires-for my classes we have a pretty in-depth medical questionairre with a statement of fitness that has to be signed by a physician-preferably the students' regular doctor.
It's not discrimination, it's just good sense to know if your student has a pacemaker or whatever. One of my students has scoliosis, and she has two steel rods in her back, something I needed to know as a jujutsu instructor, and really couldn't if she didn't tell me. If she and he doctor had chosen not to be truthful, well, I'd be protected against subsequent actions if she were injured, and I still am because of the steps we take in class.

As for not allowing someone to train,it's always at the instructor's disgression, even if you're a business, you don't have to do business with everyone-and have the right to withhold services at any time, especially in an instructional setting.

Rogier
16th October 2003, 06:28
could you explain a little what an EMT is?

Brian Owens
16th October 2003, 09:39
Originally posted by Rogier
could you explain a little what an EMT is?

Emergency Medical Technician.

The requirements and scope of practice vary from state to state, but essentially it's training in field managment of illness and injury to a higher degree than just "first aid."

Most ambulance attendants, firefighters, search-and-rescue volunteers, some police, etc. are EMTs.

In some places "paramedic" is a class of EMT, in others it's a seperate, higher, classification.

Brian Owens
16th October 2003, 09:50
Originally posted by elder999
As an EMT...you are also covered by the "good samaritan" laws of the U.S.

I don't know about New Mexico, but in Washington EMTs are not protected by Good Samaritan laws.

Unlike first-aiders, EMTs are considered to be professionals and face the same malpractice liabilities as physicians and nurses, thus the need for professional insurance (at the outrageous premiums our litigous society has neccesitated).

We have a certification above Red Cross Advanced First Aid, but below EMT/Paramedic, called First Responder that I think might be covered under GS laws, but I'm out of the medical field now, so I don't know for sure.

Rogier
16th October 2003, 09:54
as far as I know there aren't any extra things besides First Aid in the Netherlands. The following thing is a Advanced First Aid degree which you only get if your a paramedic or follow a medical university study.... (nurses to probably... not sure)

kage110
16th October 2003, 11:14
Well actually I've never heard of discrimination laws preventing you from asking if someone has an illness. The laws could prevent you from not allowing someone to train because something is wrong with them.

Rogier,

I think you will find that if you had asked a particular question (e.g. 'do you have HIV/AIDS?') on a questionnaire and then had subsequently decided that the person was not allowed to train with you on some other grounds then the person might be able to argue discrimination - even if you had not discriminated against them - and file a civil claim against you. You would have a hard time fighting it unless you had documented the real reasons why you had barred them from training (and a general 'feeling' would not be acceptable).

I work in human resources and I can tell you quite plainly that any statement or question that implies the potential for discrimination can be used to argue a case of 'discrimination' when it comes to offering employment opportunities. The basis of this is the EU Human Rights Convention and I can't see why your questionnarie would be viewed any differently.

Think about this for a second - you have already said that you do not expect to get truthful answers all of the time so what is the point of asking the question? Even Aaron's requirements for a form signed by a doctor does not guarantee you protection in the long-term (I am talking about the risk of infection here, not the legal implications). Perhaps what you need is a training contract which contains a statement to the effect that MAs are dangerous and can result in injury that can cause the loss of blood and that all students need to be aware of the implications of blood hygiene, whether it is for the care of fellow students or for their own good.

It should always be remembered that a student who comes to train while they have a cold or the flu could be a greater health risk to a student with HIV/AIDS than that student is to the rest of the class.

Rogier
16th October 2003, 11:17
good points... all of them.

But if even 1 person does decide to answer everything truthfully then from my point of view the whole excercise has been usefull. Because at that point you can make adjustments or keep an eye on the particular student.

elder999
16th October 2003, 14:21
I think it's absolutely necessary from a legal and practical standpoint to have some cognizance of your students medical history.
Excluding bloodborne pathogens for the moment, what about past injuries or other conditions that require special considerations? In addition to student with two steel rods in her spine, I have a young man with dan ranking in another style who is recovering from cancer and had almost no strength or aerobic capacity when he started with me, a gentleman with arthritis in his lower back, people with false teeth-a real danger, especially if you don't know that they are there-
and more than a few other things like broken bones, disclocations,etc., that one should be aware of in training.


As far as bloodborne pathogens go, you pretty much have to treat everyone's fluids as though they contain something, and treat and disinfect as though they do, and if someone does have a medical condition, you and they are almost obligated to let their training partners know, or you could be held liable by them in some instances.

As far as the EMT and good samaritan laws, while it may vary from jurisdiction to jurisdiction, I was under the impression that if one is serving in a volunteer capacity-ambulance corps, fire dept., etc.- one is covered by good samaritan laws.

Brian Owens
17th October 2003, 04:44
Originally posted by elder999
As far as the EMT and good samaritan laws, while it may vary from jurisdiction to jurisdiction, I was under the impression that if one is serving in a volunteer capacity-ambulance corps, fire dept., etc.- one is covered by good samaritan laws.

Yep. It does vary from place to place. I believe that if one is volunteering one should be protected, but the lawyers in some cases have argued otherwise and legislatures have acted accordingly.

Good Samaritan laws were put into place so that citizens wouldn't be afraid to help each other out of fear of lawsuits, but I guess, here in Washington at least, they figure that if you've had the training (not everyone can get EMT Certification here, you have to have a bona fide occupational qualification), then you're a professional not a Good Samaritan.

I do want to stress the importance of first-aid training, though. If nothing else it teaches you your limitations. All the Good Samaritan laws in the world won't protect you from gross negligence. No open heart surgery with a tanto, please!