Leigh Ann Smith Submitted 2015-07-17
As an Emergency Medical Services student, there is a lot to prepare for. Students have to prepare for the worst of even a simple situation. There are things that medical providers see that many other people do not.
Students learn that the basic life support saves many lives in the fields. Yes, the advanced life support techniques that are learned are great. They help many lives and save many too, but it can be the basic skills that save many lives.
Students have to be so used to the basic skills they do not think twice about preforming them. All basic skills are very important. Before most advanced skills basic skills are performed before even considering to begin advanced skills. When caring for a patient the care provider starts with the skills that they learned first then build when the need is there to. When a student or someone who has been practicing for a while forgets the basic skills they may over look something that would not have gone overlooked with the basic skill. CPR is a basic skill that saves many lives each year. There are other skills that are learned by advanced life support practitioners that do help with the basic skills. These basic skills are ones that need to be kept up. The basic life support skills are the ones that need to be so perfect that it is second nature to preform them. Practicing is the best ways to make sure these skills are perfect. They can be practiced when on a cardiac arrest call, on the patient, or when a student is sitting with a crew at an ambulance base. There are always ways to learn and practice a basic skill like CPR.
There are other things that students have to be prepared for. These things do not require skills. These are the mental preparations that have each and every student must think about. There are patients that cannot be saved and students have to prepare to deal with the trauma that is dealt to both the family and their own lives. There are also patients that have very serious injuries that need to be look after.
A student must know how to distance themselves, but at the same time remain empathic towards any situation. This is hard for most students to be able to do. This is also one of the most important things for a student to accomplish. If a student cannot do this it may result in a form of post-traumatic stress disorder or PTSD. PTSD can be treated with both counseling and medications. This can also cause what is called “burnout” in the medical field. The student may love working in this field, but they may have to give up the career they love. This is something that can happen to any student. It is not uncommon to have the heart for the career, but become burnt out very quickly.
Empathy is something that does not come easy to people. This is defiantly a mental skill that every person, not just medical professionals, need to acquire. This mental skill helps prevent the previously mentioned “burnout” and PTSD. Being empathic is not the same as being sad for the patient or the patient’s family. It is more about being able to relate to the emotions that the family or patient is feeling at that moment in time. Being empathic is a good way to know how to treat and talk to your patient and their families. It means that even though you may have seen this patient more than once for the same type of complaint that you still show a lot of concern for them. It means that no matter if you are on a first name basis or have just met this patient that they get the treatment of utmost importance.
Being physically prepared for the job is also a task that student must take on. A student has to be in shape to accomplish the lifting and moving that is required for this career. Physical limitations are hard to overcome, but with exercise and proper dieting it can be obtained. There are many injuries that a student can get. Not all of these injuries can be prevented, but some can with the help of daily exercise most of them can be. Not all professionals are the perfect model of physical health, many of them eat unhealthy and do not exercise as often as they should. This does not mean that a student should do this. A student should strive to be the best that they can be, both mentally and physically. Utilizing both of these aspects will help prolong the career.
With these aspects in check a student should have a long and healthy career ahead of them. This will make the student much happier and less stressed in their time as a student. A student has a very stressful time without having to worry about all these other factors in their lives.