An emergency medical team is often the first team that someone in crisis interacts with. When someone needs urgent medical attention, the only thing they’re thinking about is someone getting to them quickly and helping them. It is pivotal for the emergency medical team to get to them quickly, efficiently, and safely. How quickly the team responds can sometimes be the determinant of life and death for that individual. I have several experiences in healthcare and have found that every patient’s story starts with emergency medicine.
When the medical team responds, they obviously need to provide medical attention to whoever is in need. However, it is also important for them to provide emotional support for the individual as well. I learned the importance of this throughout my training as a Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA). Throughout this training I was taught how to provide competent medical care for those who need it, but also taught how to be there for them emotionally.
Often as a CNA I worked with people who were new to nursing homes, or only spending a few months in a rehabilitation facility. I found that this was an extremely stressful and challenging time for these patients, and they often needed someone to talk to. I would complete standard of care treatment with them at their pace and talk with them along the way. Throughout these conversations I learned a lot about the patient mindset and how to be an emotional support for them in their time of need. I also learned a great deal about myself and who I want to become during these conversations. I will forever be grateful for every patient I had the opportunity to learn from throughout my career as a CNA.
I worked as a CNA throughout most of my undergraduate career at the University of Wisconsin-Stout. After graduating college Magna Cum Laude, I decided to obtain my certification as an Emergency Medical Technician (EMT). I thought the course would be relatively easy since I already had experience as a CNA and had my bachelor’s degree. I quickly learned how wrong I was. The course was challenging in the fact I had never performed most of the procedures before and was expected to do them without any mistakes when becoming certified.
As an EMT, I am often the first sign of help the patient sees. Approaching the patient is often met with a sigh of relief, followed by a panicked explanation of their chief complaint. It is imperative for me not to become overwhelmed, take control of the situation, and be the calm voice in that patient’s crisis. Even though I must provide emotional support for the patient, my number one priority is to make sure they are safe, and to make sure they get to the hospital as quickly as possible. Sometimes the patient gets in the way of their own medical care, and I must be patient and empathetic with them. Patience is very important in these situations, and I must keep an understanding of the patient’s current situation. They are hurt physically and emotionally, and have countless things running through their mind. I have learned a lot of skills and medical knowledge as an EMT and know those skills will carry over into my future career.
For over half of my life I’ve known I want to be a health care provider, specifically a physician assistant. I have recently enrolled in Campbell University’s dual degree program and will graduate with two master’s degrees in clinical research and physician assistant practices. It is unknown what specialty I will choose to pursue after graduation, but I am excited at the possibility of being an emergency medicine physician assistant. The opportunity to be the reason a patient survives makes me ecstatic and is part of the reason I initially wanted to go into medicine. I find there is no greater responsibility than making a quick decision that can have an impact on the patient for the rest of their life.
In my opinion, emergency medicine is one of the most important aspects of medicine. Emergency medical teams are often the determinant of whether a patient lives or dies, and throughout recent years the practices of emergency medical teams have improved drastically. If I go into the field of emergency medicine with a dual degree of physician assistant practices and clinical research, I hope to improve the field of emergency medicine even further by carrying out research studies that show what the best practice in the emergency room truly is. I know that throughout my training as a CNA, EMT, clinical researcher, and physician assistant I will be equipped with the skills necessary to provide emergency medical care to those in need and advance the field of emergency medicine. Thank you for consideration of this scholarship.