For the first time I came to know about the importance of emergency medicine was at the cost of my father’s life. I belong to a developing country and my father met a road traffic accident in a remote area and sustained multiple injuries with a significant skull fracture, ENT bleed, fracture of left femur and fracture left wrist. An initial trauma life support protocol was followed but without the presence of ventilator and emergency surgical intervention my father died after 11 hours and as a child I had to witness all of this and I wished if I could do something to save him, he would have been with us today. That was the first time, I realized what is the role of emergency physician and then I made my efforts to study hard and get admission in the best medical college with best teaching hospitals so that I could save lives of many persons and the happiness of many families.
As a medical student, I have worked in emergency department where we give the initial treatments under the supervision of a physician. Due to lack of first aid knowledge in general population, many persons are brought in dead when the critical time for resuscitation has passed or the person goes into the state of irreversible damage. Fortunately, some health services have been initiated and are working efficiently to rescue and give first aid before reaching the hospital. They are well equipped. Whenever, I see an emergency case I prepare myself mentally to do anything possible to save the person so that his family doesn’t suffer the loss that I had gone through as a child.
You need to understand what is needed most at the moment so quick primary survey of the patient, efficient management, diligence and team work are the key to save his life. In a poor resource country where patient load is maximum sometimes you might need to work for 36 to 48 hours without breaks in an emergency department because someone’s life depends on how efficiently you are able to manage them. Despite of the hard work and lack of rest when you see those nearly dying, are able to walk out of the hospital, this is the moment that keeps you going through this drill. You will forget how much time you haven’t slept or taken rest, and will only remember that one life has been saved because of you. This will bring most of the satisfaction to you.
But this is not always the case. You will have to face failures too. Despite of efficient management and utmost efforts some patients are going to die because they would have suffered irreversible and major damage so they won’t be saved at any cost. This will save you from going into miserable state and blaming yourself for the loss. Some lives can be saved within time but some deaths are inevitable and there comes the communication part when you have to communicate to their families about death of their near and dear ones. This is the area where most of the complications arise when the relatives of the deceased show a spectrum of feelings ranging from mourns, cries, anger and verbal and physical threats in the moment of despair. So you need to be mentally prepared for these kind of reactions and how to efficiently prevent and handle such situations.
Being empathetic is the key to manage efficiently, feeling the loss of others, seeing how much important is the life of the person without the discrimination of color, race, ethnicity or religion it is your moral duty to treat each and every person individually. You need to bear it in your mind that even if you give the best of your services some might not like you or complain about you because they think that you have not done good job, that’s where your outlook, your personality and your communication skills apply. You have to understand the requirements of your patient and you need to make them understand in the way they can understand.
Then comes the perks of medical profession with a handsome salary and mental satisfaction because you are the reason for someone to be alive. So much hard work gives you a good return and you are respected for your work. Your work is going to be an important aspect of your life. It will fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied with your work is to do what you believe is a great work. And the only way to do great work is by doing what you love. And always remember this for yourself while working in the field that in the last moments of someone’s life you are the one thing standing between that person and his grave.