Teacher's Guide for ODYSSEYTM Emergency Room Science
Article / Page
"The Real ER," pg. 6
"Rescue! EMTs on the Job," pg. 12
- Join Dr. Thomas Scalea, chief of surgery and director of the only shock trauma center in the U.S., as he goes about his work. His team pursues a single mission: to treat the most critical cases as quickly as possible. A sidebar (pg. 8) defines the "Golden Hour" and explains its importance in emergency care.
- Vocabulary, Process Analysis
"Try These EMT Tactics" (Activity), pg. 16
- An Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) writes about her job and about life-saving situations she's been in. She explains how oxygen is supplied to the body and why it's the first priority in emergency medicine. A sidebar (pg. 14) describes how EMTs and paramedics train for their jobs.
- Process Analysis, Decision Making
"Getting to the Heart of the Matter," pg. 18
- EMTs use acronyms to remember important procedures. Unscramble key words, fill in the blanks, and discover the logic behind these memory tricks.
- Following Directions, Inductive Reasoning
"Try Triage!" (Activity), pg. 22
- When victims of trauma come to the ER, doctors - and EMTs before them - check to see if the heart is pumping oxygenated blood. While external CPR is often helpful, open cardiac massage saves lives in extreme cases. A sidebar (pgs. 20-21) describes the heart's electrical rhythms and the procedures doctors use to monitor and sometimes change them.
- Vocabulary, Decision Making
"Vet Alert: The Animal ER," pg. 24
- After an explanation of how nurses decide when and where patients should go for treatment, the reader is challenged to do the same. Take five minutes and evaluate six patients. A sidebar (pg. 23) explains the significance of changes in blood pressure, breathing, pulse, and temperature.
- Decision Making, Following Directions
"Bioterrorism Comes to the ER," pg. 28
- Although veterinary emergency rooms use the same technology as human hospitals, emergency vets rely heavily on pet owners' observations when making a diagnosis. Pet safety tips are included in a sidebar (pg. 27).
- Inductive Reasoning, Critical Thinking
"The Doctor's Dilemma" (Brain Strain), pg. 31
- Hospitals, local agencies, and the federal government must be prepared to meet the threat of an attack from bioterrorists. Simulations help personnel learn to act swiftly and effectively against chemical and biological weapons. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has identified the top six bioterrorist threats (sidebar, pg. 30).
- Vocabulary, Deductive Reasoning
"The Body Against Itself," pg. 32
- Bill rushes to the ER. He must push three buttons in the correct sequence or turn forever green. What are his chances of success?
- Following Directions, Inductive Reasoning
"Sports Emergency! Don't Let it Happen!" (Activity), pg. 35
- A young girl's allergy to peanuts brings her to an emergency room. Fast action by her mother, a police officer, and the ER team save her life.
- Inductive Reasoning, Vocabulary
"Medic! Medic!" pg. 36
- According to SAFE KIDS, a national organization dedicated to accident prevention, injuries claim more children's lives than illness. Arrange this list of kid-related sports injuries according to their frequency.
- Deductive Reasoning, Following Directions
"Capt. Roger Boutin: On Alert in Kosovo" (People to Discover), pg. 39
- Military medics provide immediate, on-the-spot emergency care in a war zone. Scientific research is helping develop armored ambulances, better bandages, and improved vaccines for use in future conflicts.
- Career Applications, Deductive Reasoning
"What's Up (including Planet Watch)" pg. 40
- ODYSSEYTM interviews a Massachusetts firefighter, paramedic, and registered nurse about medicine in a war zone.
- Career Applications
"Fantastic Journeys," pg. 46
- November skies bring the Leonid meteor shower on the 18th and a penumbral lunar eclipse the next night. A companion article (pg. 43) challenges readers to invent a constellation, name it, and tell a story about it.
- Observation, Following Directions
"Animal Angles: Saints to the Rescue!" pg. 49
- A senior at Miami University in Ohio relates his experiences working as an ER volunteer. His tasks were sometimes urgent and often mundane, but he believes that his efforts made a difference when people most needed help.
- Community Service
Think Tank (Discussion Starters to Use Before Reading the Magazine):
- Meet the renowned rescue dog, the Saint Bernard. Famous for helping travelers cross a mountain pass between Switzerland and Italy 1,000 years ago, this breed is today too heavy and too hairy for rescue work, but its legend lives on.
- Historical Connections
Classroom "Syzygy": Talk, Connect, Assess
- Ask class members to describe their personal experiences in the ER. What is the place like? What do the people who work there do? What equipment is used?
- Recall TV programs and movies that depict emergency rooms. Are they realistic? Why or why not? Make comparative lists of factual versus fictional aspects and add to them as you read the issue.
Pg. 6 - "The Real ER"
Far Out!: Moving Beyond the Magazine
pg. 28 - "Bioterrorism Comes to the ER"
- Talk It Over:
- Dr. Scalea's facility is one of a kind. What's special about it? How is it like other emergency medical facilities? How is it different? How could prevention reduce the need for the services of Scalea's shock trauma center
- What is the "Golden Hour" concept? Why is it important in emergency medicine?
- Language Arts: Look on page 8 for the history of the word "ambulance." Research the following common and uncommon words to find out their origins, their root words, and the use of any prefixes or suffixes: tracheotomy, noninvasive, angiography, helicopter, rehabilitation, paramedic.
- Graphic Design: Suppose you had been given the funds to build a shock trauma center for a major city. How would you design your center? What specialized rooms would you have, and where would you locate them? What equipment would you include, and where would you put it? Draw a floor plan for your trauma center, indicating the functions of the rooms and the locations of essential equipment.
- History: How have medical emergencies been treated in the past? In the library and on-line, research the emergency medical procedures in a past century of your choice. Present your findings as a poster or booklet, perhaps comparing past treatments with today's approaches.
- Student Assessment:
- For Dr. Scalea and other emergency medics, speed is critical. In an essay, explain how techniques and procedures employed at the R Adams Shock Trauma Center save lives by delivering the needed treatment as quickly as possible. Include an introductory paragraph explaining why quick medical response is important. Include three or more specific examples in the body of your essay.
- Pretend you are Dr. Scalea. You are offering a weeklong training workshop for emergency room doctors and medical personnel from the military. Write and deliver a brief opening speech to workshop participants, describing their goals for the week ahead and what they should expect to learn.
- Talk It Over:
- How do federal agencies prepare for the possibility of a bioterrorism attack? What about local organizations? How do the roles of federal and local government differ?
- How should people react to the threat of bioterrorism? We should be prepared and prudent, but we cannot let terrorists prevent us from living happy and productive lives. In what ways should we prepare? Once prepared, how can we best live our lives without succumbing to terrorist threats?
- Web Research: Log onto the CDC bioterrorism Web site mentioned on page 30. Also, log onto the Homeland Security site at www.whitehouse.gov/homeland. Study these sites and the connected links as background for a roundtable discussion of emergency preparedness. Invite doctors, police, and other professionals to participate in your discussion.
- Language Arts: The article begins with a narrative of a bioterrorism event - happily, only a simulation. Pick one of the CDC's top-priority bioterrorism threats (sidebar, pg. 30) and write a simulation of your own. Using information from the Web site www.bt.cdc.gov, make your story as factual as you can. Explain how the disease or toxin would act on the population and how local and federal agencies would respond.
- History: Select one of the top-priority bioterrorism threats from the list on page 30. Research the history of its outbreaks, identification, and control. Present your findings on a poster or in a brief speech.
- Student Assessment:
- Respond to the following writing prompt: "We as a people can't be totally prepared for all threats all the time, so we must make choices. We should concentrate our planning and our resources on the most likely and most severe forms of possible bioterrorist attack." Is this statement true or false? Support your opinion with information from the article, organized in a logical persuasive argument.
- Using information from the article and from the CDC Web site, create a short quiz on bioterrorism. Exchange quizzes and test your "Bio-Q."
"Emergency room TV shows"
Large-Group Collaborative Project: Organize the class into two teams. Ask each team to gather material for a pamphlet on safety designed for elementary schoolchildren. One group's pamphlet will focus on safety around the home and at play, offering tips, drawings, and a self-test quiz on safety IQ. The other group's pamphlet will focus on what young children can and should do in an emergency. Include emergency telephone numbers, other ways to get help, and what to do until help arrives. Photocopy the pamphlets and visit an elementary classroom to present them to younger students.
"Aren't as modern as they seem"
Community Connection: Invite an ER physician, paramedic, or EMT to visit the class to talk about his or her experiences. Perhaps the speaker can quiz the students on their knowledge of safety or emergency first aid.
"'Cause Clooney's just Ben Casey"
Small-Group Collaborative Project: The topic is "Emergency Medical Help in Times of War." Wartime often brings about innovations in medical treatment. Break the class into groups of three or four and assign each group a historical period, focusing on a major conflict. Challenge each team to research the kind of emergency medical facilities and treatments used during the time period. Each group should create a poster showing their results. Display the posters in chronological order to make a time line.
"On a color TV screen."
Whole-Class Project: What is your school's readiness for an emergency? Aside from fire drills, does your school have a plan for such emergencies as a severe storm, flood, explosion, or violent intruder? Find out how prepared your school is. Then call your health department to ask about emergency preparedness plans for your community.