How to read protocol protocol

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This protocol is a draft. It has not yet been accepted as protocol and may be incorrect or poorly cited. Please do not use this in your work until it has been accepted.

Please see #protocols on Slack to discuss this protocol further.

Protocol is specifically worded instructions on how to carry out specific tasks while working with QueerCare. It tells you how to do things safely and reliably. You should read it all before doing the task for the first time, and if it's got a note about needing to be trained on it, you should get trained.

Protocol recommendations are based on three key words:

must
If a protocol says you must do something, then you absolutely must do it. It's better not to do a task at all than to do it without following "must" instructions.
For example:

You must apply direct pressure to a massive haemorrhage.

These recommendations have clear medical consensus behind them, if they're medical, or are built on overwhelming organisational experience otherwise.
should
If a protocol says you should do something, then it's almost certainly the best course of action, but there may be exceptions.
For example:

If someone is having a mental health crisis, you should offer them food in almost all cases, except where someone has an eating disorder.

These recommendations generally have significant medical consensus behind them, or are build on significant organisational experience.
can
If a protocol says you can do something, you should apply your judgement and consider whether it applies under your particular circumstances. Can is used for:
  • methods which have worked for a few people, but have not yet been tested enough to become a should or a must
  • medical recommendations with less research behind them, for example one or two small studies
  • medical recommendations with contradictory evidence behind them
  • recommendations which are very contextual or circumstantial

Should recommendations are often accompanied by can recommendations, to provide other options, all framed within a must. For example:

You must do one of the following, and you should do X, but can do Y or Z