Emergency Preparedness: What We Learned from Specialist Paul Mikita

The University of Applied R&D Emergency Response and Risk Management had the opportunity to interview ERRM specialist Paul Mikita on their videocast. Paul is currently working at Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital in North Brunswick, New Jersey. In this article, we will be highlighting what we learned from the ERRM professional regarding his role and experience in the field. We are delighted that Paul is a Contributing Faculty member for UARD.

Role

Paul has the primary responsibility of training employees for emergencies, making sure they have the necessary tools and equipment. His job also requires him to assist the hospital administration with decision making. He has incident command in situations such as decontamination of the hospital or overall emergency evacuation. All of these emergency situations require preparedness in the first place. Planning procedures and schemes to tackle the situation with the lowest amount of risk possible is a part of Paul’s job.

Experience

In terms of experience, there is no doubt that Paul has developed professional-level skills in his line of work. Having 20+ years of experience in healthcare and emergency management, he has made a reputable career out of it. Paul has a master’s degree in emergency management. He told us that he also has worked as an EMT and a paramedic. Paul stated that he always feels honored to be working with professionals of other fields such as police and rescue departments. Leading them in preparedness for the worst-case scenario and coordinating with them helps in growing his expertise.

Working in the Current Pandemic

The current Covid-19 pandemic has affected every field in the world. Paul’s job currently is to plan operations through the command center of the hospital. His work now consists mostly of focusing on response to the task given at hand. Preparedness for emergencies is not currently his top priority. Securing the safety of staff and visitors is a tough job that involves almost all healthcare departments. The families of patients also need to be educated on how they need to ensure their safety by taking precautionary measures.

Paul talked about how the command center has to make new rules for the ongoing crisis such as limiting visitors and their visit hours. Implementing these rules is essential to minimize the spread of Covid-19.

Advice & Guidance

Paul’s advice to people looking to step in his line of work is to not wait for opportunities to knock on your door. Rather go out there and volunteer in the ERRM field yourself. Having firsthand experience in medical institutes is what will help one in becoming a professional of emergency response. He further talked about how much of a significant role education plays alongside training. Assessment of general concepts and principles that will help in emergency situations is just as important. Paul believes polishing skills such as strategic planning, leadership, and critical thinking would be most beneficial for individuals passionate about this career. 

To follow Paul Mikita and connect with him you can check out Paul’s LinkedIn profile here: https://www.linkedin.com/in/paul-mikita-48929215/

Watch the interview on our Youtube channel:

 -recovery and response

 -crisis management and communications

 –communication in disaster management

 – emergency preparedness

 – disaster management

 For more information about gaining a Bachelor of Emergency Response & Risk Management or the Masters in Emergency Response & Risk Management, visit us at  www.uard.university or our exclusive delivery partners at www.wggacademy.org

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