Suggested Volunteer Activities for Anesthesia Interest Groups
Host a volunteering event in your local community educating others about the opioid epidemic, warning signs, and overdose treatment with naloxone. This program can help students better learn the mechanism of action of a commonly used drug in the perioperative setting in addition to its implications in the community.
Time Commitment: High. The most time-consuming elements of this project will be finding the location to host, obtaining volunteers from the club, organizing resources/stations/handouts available for participants, promotional materials to promote the event in the community, and hosting the event itself.
Contacts Needed: minimal. This would be a great event to work with other interest groups at your school to develop and make an annual event in your local community.
Structure: utilize these resources to educate the local populations about opioid use and Narcan administration. Set up stations around the room. For example: one table demonstrating the signs of an opioid overdose, one table training on the administration of naloxone, one table documenting the use of opioids in the local community, one table for resources to give to those who people may identify as abusing opioids etc. This way, the event can be casual and interactive with participants flowing through different stations.
High School Opioid Education
This session would be a great way to get into the community and educate high school students on the risks/dangers of opioid medication. As the opioid epidemic is still a growing concern across the US, we can use our knowledge as medical students to present to high school students the mechanism of action of opioids, what causes them to become addicting, and how to treat and overdose.
Time Commitment: High. This will take some time to reach out to different high school teachers in your area. We recommend that you start with science teachers, social work teachers, or health teachers to go into their classes as guest lecturers. It may also take some time to be entered as a volunteer into the school system so keep this in mind when planning.
Contacts needed: variety of schoolteachers in your community.
Structure: Present a brief presentation on opioids, their functions, their dangers, and the history of the opioid epidemic to a class of high school students.
Present a case to students of a patient that comes into the ED with pinpoint pupils and a RR of 8. Allow them to work through the diagnosis of an opioid overdose and ask them to provide suggestions on what to do next (administer Narcan). Do not get too complex as these are high school students, but equip them with the knowledge on how to manage a patient with an opioid overdose during your presentation.
This case presentation will also give students the feel of working in the ED and making healthcare decisions, potentially sparking the interest in medical school. Encourage this and answer any questions related to medical school/application process as well while you are there!
Green Anesthesia Initiative - Week of Service (ASA)
The ASA Medical Student Component is working to raise awareness of the impact of anesthesia on the environment. Join in by organizing an environmental health community service event or participate at a Project C.U.R.E. site to repackage and redistribute medical supplies to resource limited communities across the world.
Time Commitment: Moderate.
Contacts needed: None
Structure: Sign up to volunteer with Project C.U.R.E or come up with your own sustainable community service event! These can include greenhouse gas awareness, encouraging recycling in your local hospital or more. Get creative!