The Importance of having completed medical forms and what to do with the information once you receive it.
So in my previous post I learned a lesson about getting Medical Forms back before starting Trampoline Classes with new children. This week I wanted to cover what to do with the information once you’ve got it.
First and most obvious I suppose is to read it… But you’d be surprised how many times I’ve been around coaches that have worked with a participant for months without ever finding out about something. Sometimes it’s because the Head Coach knows the information, and therefore doesn’t feel the need to pass on to everyone – information that might make you treat the participant differently. (I’ll let you make your own mind up about whether that’s a good idea, but you can see the broken logic there, I’m sure! It is an individual sport where coaches are encouraged to adapt their teaching style to the person they’re teaching after all!
Not all that long ago I was a ‘body’ for a level 2 course, (yes I was able to do all the skills… use the ‘courses’ keyword to read more about my thoughts on that) I knew some of the performers, having coached them before, but was baffled to discover that the guy taking the course wasn’t aware that one of the children was deaf in one ear, and therefore as she was facing the wrong way had no idea she was being spoken to! This is a shame because as we were in a group, it could have been very embarrassing for the performer, appearing as though the performer wasn’t listening to the group discussion. I was further back, so silently indicated that they couldn’t hear in that ear. The course leader changed tack and by moving round was able to gain the performer’s attention without further difficulty.
Second on my list, which probably should really be the most important consideration, is to ensure you store the information you are collecting properly. In the UK this information is protected by the Data Protection Act 1998 which outlines ‘data protection principles’ everyone with data has to abide by. This states the information must be:
- used fairly and lawfully for limited, specific purposes only
- used in a way that is adequate, accurate, relevant and not excessive
- kept safe and secure, for no longer than is absolutely necessary and handled according to people’s data protection rights
- Read More on the Gov.uk site.
So in a nutshell, if you’re collecting Medical and or Emergency Contact details, keep it strictly relevant to trampolining i.e. Do you need to know their parent’s place of work, or is a contact number for them sufficient? Keep the information private and safe, and don’t keep old medical forms longer than is necessary.
Lastly, remember that keeping the data in a secure database on a computer, for example is fantastic – as long as you can access that information when you need it most. Emergency Contact details are for emergencies, and should one arise, the last thing you want is to be hunting around for mum’s phone number or unable to give the full name of the child! So in summary, there’s 3 main things to remember:
- Protect that data!
- Read it!!
- Keep it accessible
– Bella 😉