What is ICE? Travel Nurses get informed!

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By The Gypsy Nurse Staff

July 4, 2017



What is ICE? Travel Nurses get informed!

What is ICE?

ICE is a concept that was originally conceived by British paramedic Bob Brotchie in may 2005. ICE stands for In Case of Emergency. ICE is a cell phone contact listing that is searched for via paramedics and more frequently by police or emergency room personnel when caring for a non-responsive patient.

As a travel nurse, we are most often away from home while traveling long distances (generally alone). If something were to happen and we became unresponsive, it would be nice to know that emergency personnel would have a contact person to inform. Many times, my company wouldn’t even know who to contact in case of an emergency and who would even know to contact my company?

It’s recommended that you add an ICE contact to your cell phone contact and add the name and relationship of the person to the ‘company’ section. In addition, it’s recommended that you also place any pertinent medical information in this contact as well. This would include: Allergies, Medical Conditions or any other information that would be pertinent in an emergency situation.

From my point of view, the concept is wonderful. I added an ICE1 and an ICE2 contact to my phone several years ago when I first heard of the concept. I figured if it works…great. If not…it was only a few minutes of my time to add the information.

Who is trained to look for an ICE contact in your cell phone?
Emergency responders in St Paul MN
Police Department Fergus Falls, MN
– Ready.gov  Recommends that you:

Program “In Case of Emergency” (ICE) contacts into your cell phone so emergency personnel can contact those people for you if you are unable to use your phone. Let your ICE contacts know that they are programmed into your phone and inform them of any medical issues or other special needs you may have.

– The LAFD encourages the following:

We tell people: Add ICE contact information in your cell phone only after you’ve affixed similar information to (or near) the official photo identification you routinely carry in your wallet.

Please encourage your interested friends and colleagues to make a free ICE entry in their cell phone, especially if it will give them peace of mind – but never at the expense of written emergency contact and medical information.

These are just a few of the organizations that I found that have ICE training for their emergency medical responders or that recommend that you include an ICE contact. It’s something that we all hope never to need but I recommend that you add your ICE contact today and encourage your friends and family to do the same.

I’m unsure how frequently the ICE contact information is attempted to be accessed. I would love to hear feedback from those that work as paramedics, police or ER. Do you have an ICE contact in your phone?  Have you ever accessed an ICE contact as a first responder?

An important reminder: This information would not be accessible if you have a lock on your phone. iPhone4s (and probably 5) have an easy work-around for this. If you have an iPhone check out the following information on how this information can be accessed.

1. Go into your contacts and create a new contact. The FIRST Name must only be the word “ICE”
2. DO NOT ENTER any words in the Surname field or the iPhone will automatically put it alphabetical order according to that word and not under “I” for ICE
3. Put the name and relationship of contact into the COMPANY FIELD. For example “Jon Doe (Partner)”. By putting your contact’s name and relationship in the Company Field, you eliminate the alphabetical order problem of surnames and keep ICE where it belongs
4. As we state in our instructions, enter all of the information and contacts you have for that person in the body of the contact so emergency personnel will be able to track down your contact person ASAP. Remember that you may be unconscious and unable to communicate that information for yourself. In fact if you do tend to pass code lock your phone, you should also put any vital medical information like allergies or chronic illnesses into that contact as well, just in case the ICE contact is the only one that medical personnel can access.
5. To access this information even when the iPhone is pass code locked, press and hold down the main key to access Siri. Then ask Siri ‘Contacts ICE’. Siri will then display all the information you have saved as ICE…
6. If you are in the medical or emergency field yourself, don’t forget this trick the next time you encounter an unconscious patient who has a locked iPhone4. Press and hold down the main key to access Siri and ask her “Contacts ICE” You might just save a life!

These instructions were obtained from: Get Your Stuff Together

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