Growing up everyone wants to be the hero but not everyone has what it takes to save someone’s life. Working in a high stressed environment where each move you make determines whether someone lives or dies is a hard situation to handle and you have to understand how to go into that situation ready to do what it takes to save someone but also remembering that if it doesn’t work out how you planned you did the best that you could do as a human being that does not have super powers.
To work in a healthcare profession you have to first train your mental state and understand that you are a human being and you can only do so much to save someone until there is nothing left. You can, as an EMT for instance, give someone an oxygen mask to help them breath or start an IV to give someone medication if they can not take it orally. But once you have established that you have done what you could and that person has reached the hospital you have to know in yourself that you did all you could do and that whether they live or die you took precautions to help them the best you were able to. You have to understand that working in the healthcare profession and in this case as an EMT, that first and foremost your priority is taking care of the person in front of you, whether they are sick, drunk, or critically injured, you are required to set your full attention on that person or persons and help them the best way you know how.
When you go to school, no one prepares you for the first initial task you must handle when you get your first experience of saving someone’s life. That is your responsibility and your responsibility alone. For myself, realizing that I can only do so much and cannot work miracles is what has helped me in preparing for my experience after I finish up EMT school. I have come to terms with the fact that what I am going to school for is not easy and will never be easy because someone’s life will consistently be in my hands but what I can count on is the hope in making the world a better place, from each person that I will encounter in the back of the ambulance, to the person I see walking down the street just to say “hello and thank you for your service”. I know that as a human being I am limited and at the end of the day there will be bad calls and there will be good calls, someone or a few people may die under my care and knowing that I did what I could and that I used up every last bit of knowledge I had in order to help this person is what will keep my head above water and my mental state strong.
Working in emergency medical care will never be easy and as a student going into this field I think that is the most important thing someone can understand. It is not a walk in the park, you will not have the easy task of taking someone’s order working as a waitress for instance or giving someone the right pair of pants to try on working at a retail store. You will have the life of someone in your hands, making sure their vital signs are correct or that they can make it to the hospital in time so they do not die in the back of your ambulance truck. In emergency medicine everyone has to prepare their mental state differently but understanding that you have the power to make the world a better place by each person you encounter everyday whether it’s saving their life or fixing a broken leg, also helps in preparing myself and other students for a career in this field.
Not only does your mental state have to be strong, your physical state has to be strong as well. You cannot work emergency medicine if you cannot stand for long periods of time or if you cannot lift a good amount of weight, for instance. There could be times when you must transfer a patient who is unconsciousness into the back of your ambulance truck with just you and your partner having to move the patient and if you cannot lift at least half the weight of the patient then that could pose a problem for your daily job tasks. Or you could have a instance where someone all of sudden has a heart attack in their hospital bed and you must run from one end of the hospital to the other to get to the patient to help them and if you have problems breathing or have problems running this could pose a threat to your job as well.
In choosing a profession in emergency medical care one must think way beyond the surface when preparing for this field because it takes not only caring about other people but also caring for yourself as well. You must prepare yourself in every aspect possible because you will come across situations that a normal person could not handle on a daily basis and though you are not superhuman you must be able to handle every aspect of this field with poise, precision, and an unwavering act of composer. This career field could go from a calm sunny day to a raging thunderstorm really fast and you must be able to handle each change that comes your way because there is not a happy medium and you could go from someone blaming you for the death of their family member to the hug from a smiling child in an instance and you have to know how to step back, refocus yourself and remember why you chose this career field in the first place.