Eris Swanzy Submitted 2017-08-20 00:00:00 -0400
Basic life support, although it is considered to be “basic,” can be one of, if not the most stressful, trying, rewarding, or devastating thing a healthcare worker can ever do in his or her life. In saying this, basic life support can be the same for onlookers and especially the person in need of the help. Basic life support is one of the necessities one must take when in the health profession, not just to come in handy in the workplace, but also on the street where more than likely, not many people know CPR. Basic life support has saved many lives. In fact, it saved mine. When I was an infant, I found and swallowed a penny. Luckily, my mother immediately recognized that I could not breathe and that my lips were turning blue and instantly took action. Since CPR is not strictly for choking victims or infants, one must be aware of their surroundings at all times for victims in need of basic life support. Though basic life support doesn’t always save patients, their family and friends can at least know that everything possible was done to try and save their loved one. Though it might seem frightening or too stressful, one must prepare mentally and physically before performing these life saving techniques.
Studies have shown that if basic life support is administered immediately or at least relatively quickly, then the chance of the victim surviving is very high as opposed to just waiting for licensed medical professionals to arrive at the scene to perform basic life support. Basic life support can be used in many instances; from a choking victim to someone who’s heart has stopped. Both circumstances can happen to anyone, young or old, at anytime. At the time of the incident, the victim probably does not care if the person potentially saving his or her life is a licensed professional or just a student; they just want you to save their life. Although, as I said previously, this can lead to a lot of stress on the student trying to save the victim’s life, once the student has taken the basic life support class, the student must trust themselves that he or she knows exactly what to do in the situation.
In order to prepare mentally, I will understand that as long as I do what I am supposed to do and follow the procedure, I will have done the best that I could and whatever the outcome is, doesn’t reflect on me as a person, the fact that I at least tried my best to save the patient is what reflects on me. I will also know that I have been trained for this instance and that this is why I was trained, for when instances like this happen out of the blue. I also will have to prepare myself that I may not actually be able to save the patient, and it will not have been my fault as long as I tried my best and that it’s not because I didn’t try my best nor was it because I didn’t do the procedure just perfectly. However, that is not to say that I definitely will not save the patient’s life. I have to prepare for that mentally as well by also thinking about what else I can do to help the patient or who else to call to better help the patient as well.
In order to prepare physically, I must first be sure that I practice basic life support every so often to ensure that I am still physically capable of the procedure. Basic life support also takes a lot of endurance, so I must prepare and keep myself fit in order to do the procedure for several minutes on end. Also, in times of stress, one’s body sometimes becomes anxious and shaky or weak. I must prepare in this way physically by learning to control my anxiety in order to not get nervous and insecure when someone’s life is on the line.
All in all, there is no need to doubt one’s own abilities when it comes to basic life support. As long as the person has been certified (even if someone is not certified but has seen the procedure being done or been taught how to do the procedure), the person should trust their own abilities and must not wait for someone “more capable” to come along to help. One must know that they are the only chance of possible survival of the victim at this time and must do everything in their power to try to help the victim. Although the procedure can be stressful for both the victim and the person giving CPR, it is literally a matter of life and death and can be rewarding, knowing that the person did their best using their basic life support skills.