Writing protocol protocol

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This protocol is under review, and has not been accepted.

We are currently gathering feedback and editing this protocol, and there may be errors or bad wording. Please only use this protocol with caution, and if other organisations have definitive protocol, use that instead.

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

This page describes protocol, or, how to do things with QueerCare. You should check how to read protocol well if you're new to QueerCare.

QueerCare (QC) uses a system of principles, policies, and protocol. For a description of what these mean and how they relate to each other, please see the resource Structure of QueerCare Documentation.

Protocol in QC describes how to do a task. These can be aimed externally, such as most of the care, advocacy and First Aid protocol (eg. Activated Charcoal Protocol), or more about how to carry out a task within QueerCare, such as the How Safeguarding Leads and Deputy Leads Respond To Safeguarding Concerns Protocol.

In QC, protocol is stored on the QC Wiki.

When to Write Protocol

New protocol should be written when information about how to do a task needs to be recorded. This is especially true of protocol describing tasks that are done frequently and which should be done the same or similarly by everyone working in or as QC (eg. First Aid) and protocol describing tasks that relate to how QC functions internally (eg. dispatch, safeguarding).

What to do Before Writing New Protocol

You must check if the protocol has been written or if you're duplicating a protocol that can be reused first. Check Category:Protocol, Category:Review protocol, Category:Draft protocol to do this.

You should also check Category:Resources, Category:Review resources, and Category:Draft resources in case the protocol you're planning to write is already written and has been classed as a resource.

How to Write New Protocol

  1. To write new protocol you will need an account on the QC Wiki. To do this you will need a QC email address (name@queercare.network).
      • If you don't have a QC email, please message Ada or Alex (if you are aged 20+) or Willow (if you are aged 13-19) to have one set up for you.
  2. Log on to the Wiki.
  3. Decide what your new page will be titled.
    • Protocol titles should end in the word 'protocol'. For example, if you are writing a protocol on resurrecting the dead, you would title it Resurrecting the dead protocol and not Protocol for resurrecting the dead.
  4. Create a new Wiki page with the title you have chosen:
    • Type the title into the search bar and click the red link that comes up when you search it, or follow an existing red link from another page.
    • Click the 'create' button on the empty page.
  5. Paste the protocol template below into the page you just created, and fill it out.
{{draft protocol}}

[Describe the protocol you're writing]

== When to [do thing]==

[Describe the circumstances where you would do the thing, and reasons you should not do this]

== What to [do before doing thing]==

[Describe what to do before you do the thing]

== How to [do thing] ==

[Describe how to do the thing]

== What to do after [doing thing] ==

[Describe what to do after doing the thing]
You can also use the simplified template:
{{draft protocol}}

[Describe the protocol you're writing]

== How to [do thing] ==

[Describe how to do the thing]

Categories

Categories are coloured textboxes at the top of pages that display a short message and group pages on similar topics together. You can find the full list of categories currently in use on the QC Wiki here.

To add a category that has already been created to a Wiki page, find the name of the category on the list of templates and add it in curly brackets at the top of the Wiki page.

Common categories are:

  • If the protocol relates to the COVID-19 pandemic, you should use the COVID template: {{covid}}.
  • If the protocol is relates to work done that is not specific for the COVID-19 pandemic, but useful during this period, you should use the Useful for COVID template: {{Useful for COVID}}.
  • If the protocol is to do with First Aid, you should use the First Aid Protocol template: {{first aid protocol}
  • If the protocol is relates to work done in QueerCare Young Folk, you should use the QCYF template: {{QCYF}}.

Must, Should and Can

In protocol, 'must', 'should' and 'can' have specific meanings.

Must

Use must sparingly - it must only be used for strongly evidenced recommendations.

Must statements are recommendations that are built from overwhelming organisational experience or clear medical consensus.

Must statements mean:

  • A task cannot done without doing this step.
  • If you do a task without doing this step you are not able to call it QC work.
  • Not doing this step would cause harm and/or Bad Care.

If it is possible to do the task well without doing something described with a must statement, you must use 'should' instead.

Eg. You must put on gloves when approaching a scene.

You can use must to specify using one member of a list.

Eg. You must either wear gloves and remove them after handling the object or wash your hands thoroughly after touching the object if gloves are not available.

Should

Use should to describe actions that are strongly recommended. Most actions outside of immediate First Aid should be should statements..

Should statements are recommendations that are built from significant organisational experience or significant medical consensus.

They may not be universally relevant, may be helpful only in some situations or may be an additional step that can help or improve the task but which the task can be done without.

Eg. You should get you, your buddy and the person you're caring for something to drink/eat whilst preparing for the appointment.

Can

Use can for suggestions, learned from one or two times carrying out the task, which you think may help but which the task can be done very well without or which only apply in some circumstances and contexts.

Can statements are recommendations that are built from some organisational experience or some medical consensus.

Can is used for:

  • Additional steps which can help or improve the task but which the task can be done perfectly well without.
  • Recommendations that are applicable only in some contexts or circumstances
  • 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, or with contradictory evidence behind them.

Eg. You can arrange for you and your buddy to support the person at their next appointment.

Style Guide

This wiki runs on MediaWiki software, which uses a markup language called WikiText. Text formatting is described on the MediaWiki website, with subpages on links and lists.

A draft protocol does not have to be perfectly spelled and formatted. We can fix this while the protocol is undergoing review.

Generally speaking, you should write protocol:

  • In the second person (address yourself to the reader using the word 'you')
  • in short sentences, without too many clauses
    • if a sentence is (roughly) longer than two lines, you should consider splitting it.
    • if the clauses of a sentence are only loosely related, you should split it.
  • using modal verbs (this includes the keywords must, should and can)
  • using bullet point lists
    • bullet points should be short and make only one point
    • you should put the main instruction on a top-level bullet *, and clarifications, conditions, caveats and other notes on a lower level **
    • if you are defining a term, you should use the definition environment: ;term: definition

You should also judiciously use '''bold text''' to draw the eye to important parts of the protocol. This helps a reader who is skimming a protocol to see the most important parts.

= Citing Sources

If you need to cite sources, you should use the cite utility described in citing sources protocol.

= Red Flag

Use the red flag template {{Redflag|[Describe the red flag]}} for lines in the protocol which require urgent escalation, such as calling an ambulance.


Review System

=

After you have written a new protocol and saved it, it will appear in the draft protocols category. Post a link into the #protocols] or [#covid-protocols] channel of Slack, and ask for feedback and help editing it. Use Slack threads to keep discussion of it in the channel, without sending unnecessary notifications. Protocol passes through three stages:

  • Draft protocol is non-authoritative, generally being worked on by two or three people actively, to produce a definitive suggestion.
  • Review protocol is under review- if it contains medical information, this means passing it to healthcare professionals for review, and is always being looked at by everyone in the QueerCare slack, and edited for clarity, specificity, and accuracy. Protocol in this stage is best used unless other, definitive protocols exist from other organisations.
  • Live protocol has undergone review and is considered canonical. It outlines exactly how to do something in QueerCare.

How to comment on protocol in draft or review

Post your comments in the #protocol channel as a comment on the thread for the protocol. Try to find something positive in the protocol to comment on, rather than just making solely negative remarks. A good mnemonic is "shit sandwich", i.e.:

  1. First say something positive (a slice of wholesome "bread"). Make sure it's sincere and specific.
  2. Then make your constructive point (some "shit" you think could be better). Be as precise as you can about what the problem is and how it could be fixed.
  3. Finish with something positive (another slice of wholesome "bread"). Again, aim for sincerity and specificity.

This is to ensure that the people working on the protocol are not simply bombarded with its flaws, but are also praised for their efforts.

What to do after writing new protocol, and you think it should go to review

When everyone working on the initial draft of the protocol thinks it can be moved out of draft and into review, replace the {{draft protocol}} tag with a {{review protocol}} tag.

If it's in need of medical review,, add the {{medical review}} tag at the top of it as well. (Ask for :glove: emoji reacts if it's OK, and :no_entry: if it should be held.)

What to do when you think protocol is ready to move out of review

When you think protocol is ready to move out of review, comment in the thread of that protocol and also send that message to the slack channel in question (using the checkbox to the bottom left of the compose box). Then:

  • Ask whether people think it's good to move out of review. (Ask for :glove: emoji reacts if it's ok, and :no_entry: if it should be held.)
    • The list of protocols in review should be included in the daily digest, with links to the relevant slack discussion. If the protocol was announced in the digest and it's been at least 24 hours since then, you can assume that everyone has had an opportunity to raise objections if they have any.
  • Check all doctors and nurses who commented have had their feedback incorporated,
  • If it has had medical review, check with one of the following people that it's good to go:
    • Ada

If that's all passed, change the {{review protocol}} tag to a {{protocol}} tag.