Submitted 2017-08-19 00:00:00 -0400
Life; one simple word that holds so much meaning. Between the first heartbeats that a parent hears when their baby is in the womb to the last heartbeat before a soul reaches eternity, life is everything in the middle. Those in the medical field have an amazing opportunity to do what is in their power to perform life saving techniques on their patients, attempting to prolong and improve the LIFE of those that they serve.
My husband is a paramedic/firefighter with Sacramento and I have heard countless stories about calls he and his crew have been on. My husband, along with many others in his field, will tell you that as much as you study and try to prepare in school, nothing fully prepares you for all that you will encounter as a medical provider except experiencing real world situations. Therefore, as studious and meticulous as one may be with their studies, being prepared, both mentally and physically, is many layers deep.
One of the biggest ways to prepare mentally is to remember that the people entrusted in your care are human beings, many who are very vulnerable and completely reliant on your knowledge and care. It’s easy to look through Anatomy and Physiology books and see cadaver pictures of kidneys and brains and human body parts and not give credit to the fact that those were once living, breathing humans; people that were once someone’s son or daughter, mother or father. Keeping the “human perspective” in mind while working in the medial field will greatly benefit those that are in your care, as well as keep the medical provider focused on providing the best care for each patient.
Years ago, my husband and I lost our little girl who was born stillborn. The experience in the hospital forever changed me. During the heartbreaking time that we were in the hospital, we had a doctor that had forgotten to have the “human perspective.” I can only imagine that years of working with patients had hardened him. In the midst of our painful loss of our baby, the doctor was indifferent and uncaring. His attitude stuck with me and I told myself that when I become a nurse, I would strive to never treat my patients like that. It is too easy to start out in a medial career ready to take on the world and solve every problem, and after years of working, to become hardened to all the pain and suffering that has been seen. However, my personal experience stirred in me the desire to be “that” nurse who is empathetic and understanding, even years into the job!
Another aspect of preparing medical students to perform life saving techniques on patients is to become physically ready. That means making sure that your body is fully prepared to take on all that the days shift has to offer. The best way to prepare is to get a good night sleep. Forgoing the late night movie or evening out with friends might be called for in order to be alert and responsive the next morning. Equally important is to consider how you are fueling your body. Our body is a machine and we need to fill it with the nutrient dense foods that will sustain it adequately throughout the day. Filling up on junk food and caffeine will give quick highs and lows and hinder the performance needed to meet the demands of the day. When medical providers become busy, it is easy to forget to drink water. Staying hydrated is critical!
Another key component to being physically prepared is to take time on the days off to truly relax. Working in the medical field can be stressful and it is important to take opportunities to unwind and regroup. That may involve setting aside time for a walk, listening to music, or taking a nap. And speaking of a walk, exercise is also a tremendous way to release stress and have more clarity in the mind.
Face it; medical providers have a wonderful but stressful job! There are a lot of big pills to swallow in the healthcare field but it is so important to remember that there is much to be thankful for! A thankful heart will remind medical providers why they are in the medical field and will keep them strong on the days that feel defeated.
Preparing mentally and physically before performing life saving techniques on patients is not only useful but also necessary! The benefits are innumerable to both the medical provider and the patient, allowing the LIFE we each lead to be meaningful and fulfilling.