Corrie Holton Submitted 2017-05-10
Basic life support (BLS) is a crucial skill in emergent patient care. Basic Life Support involved a combination of Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) and the use of an automated external defibrillator (AED). This two part process involved preforming chest compression and life breaths to an unconscious individual to restore oxygen flow in the body. The other part of basic life support is the use of the automated external defibrillator. The automated external defibrillator purpose is to send an electric shock to the heart of the unconscious individual in the hopes of restoring a normal rhythm to the heart. Basic life Support is absolutely a crucial medical skill to not only know how to do, but know how to do right. At the core basic life support is used to save a life so it is absolutely crucial that it is done properly. If an individual is doing compressions in the wrong area at the wrong force the chest will not be able to refill the chambers. By ensuring that every time you do compressions that the chest is recoiling you are able to ensure all of the chambers are refilling with blood properly. As someone who is aiming to one day be a nurse and is currently a Certified Nursing Assistant I understand the importance of utilizing my Basic life support license. I think the two main areas that medical personals should be doing regularly to ensure that basic life support goes smoothly is staying educated and practicing self-care. Keep your basic life support license up to do and refresh your skills as much as possible. The policies for basic life support is constantly changing as new research is being done. From life breaths being a crucial part of the system to now being labeled as less vital than chest compressions the world of Basic Life support is always changing and medical providers should be prepared for the change. By keeping up to date with a Basic Life support license you ensure that you are always up to date on the proper procedure of that time. Another crucial component in ensuring that basic life support is carried out properly is overall self-care. If a medical professional is not taking care of themselves it increases their chance of medical mishap. According to the American Association of Nurse Anesthetists did a study on the impact of patient safety in terms of medical personnel members sleep quality. It is recommended that Americans get eight to ten hours of sleep every single night. The average physician is currently getting around six and a half hours of sleep. It is important that medical professionals get adequate amounts of sleep not only to perform their daily task, but also to preform basic life support if the situation demands it. According to the Center of Disease Control lack of sleep led to difficulties with concentrating, remembering, driving, taking care of finances, and preforming at work. These side effects of sleep deprivation would greatly impact the quality of care of someone receiving Basic Life support. Making sure that if you are a medical personnel that you get the adequate amount of sleep is not only crucial to caring for yourself, but for your patients. According to the American Association of Nurse Anesthetists “Using computerized testing, O’Brien 34 demonstrated that orthopedic surgeons had a seventy-two percent increase in odds of making at least one error on tasks related to attention, concentration, and memory after only a single night of sleep deprivation” which is reason enough to make adequate sleep a crucial factor in self-care. Sleeping is important just for daily function and should be a crucial component of everyone’s self-care routine. Self-care is just not about sleep it is knowing your limits and knowing when you need a break to care of yourself. Another Study by the American Association of Nurse Anesthetists showed that individuals working constantly over forty-eight hours a week were thirteen percent more likely to be risky alcohol users. This increase in work and increase in unhealthy coping technique is a perfect example of an unhealthy coping technique over self-care. Avoiding long hours is not always an option, but should be an option whenever possible to ensure that medical personnel have the time to recuperate before their next shift. A few examples of healthy distressing techniques are taking a bath, going for a walk, stretching, and drinking water. Adequate self-care has been linked to an increase in mood and confidence. All medical personnel especially those responsible for Basic life support care should take time out of every day to practice self-care. For me taking good care of yourself and staying up to date on your education is the best way to ensure that Basic Life Support is always preformed correctly.