Students who aspire to delve into the healthcare field often dream of helping others and saving lives, - myself included - but what they often do not consider is if they are truly prepared for being responsible over someone’s life. Medical emergencies can occur at any moment and on any person, whether we are having a good day or a bad day. Being prepared mentally and physically for all emergencies can be the difference between someone living or dying. There are many ways to be prepared for performing life saving techniques, but all preparation begins by being responsible for and caring for oneself.
The ACLS Scholarship for Healthcare Providers particularly appeals to me because of the experiences and lessons that I have obtained throughout my time in the workforce. I became a lifeguard at the age of fourteen because it was the most “healthcare” related job that I could find for my age, and two years later I became the Lead Lifeguard of an entire water park/campground. My four years spent there were incredibly valuable, as I was able to experience a true medical emergency in which one victim’s heart stopped. I have known that I have wanted to go into the medical field since I was in elementary school, but being directly responsible for another’s life opened my eyes to what the healthcare profession is truly like: it is the most difficult, yet rewarding career that someone could choose.
I am currently in the Nursing Assistant program at Western Technical College, and throughout my time as a lifeguard and my time in this program, I have learned the importance of empathy and selflessness. Possessing these two attributes creates a healthcare provider that prioritizes the needs of others, and the needs of themselves. People often say that you have to sacrifice your own needs for the needs of others when working in the healthcare field, but I do not believe that to be true. Being selfless means more than being concerned only about the needs of others: being selfless means that you work hard to take care of yourself in order to be further prepared when helping others. Putting complete effort in oneself creates a healthcare provider that is even more capable of helping those in need. Because I value being as qualified as possible for helping those in need, keeping my mind and my body in shape are primary ways that I have prepared myself for performing life saving techniques.
By keeping my body and mind active through working out, eating healthy, and continuous learning, I am able to remain observant and focused, which increases my ability to practice preventive and holistic care. Investing intense effort into myself has allowed me to efficiently attain myriads of goals. It is significantly easier to perform life saving techniques when you have incessantly prioritized your education, eating habits, physical activity, and breaks for your mental health. Before one can effectively prioritize others, one must prioritize themselves because it creates a well rounded person who can perform life saving techniques while simultaneously having a sturdy support system to make them prepared to do so.
Not only has staying mentally and physically active sharpened my focus, but it has also strengthened my abilities to perform preventative care. Bad days are bound to happen, but they are much more infrequent when one takes complete advantage of self care. Having a bad day when working in the healthcare field causes one to lose focus. This loss of complete attention could lead to an injury of a patient. Because of this, I know that I must remain attentive because people immensely rely on me to keep them safe. I need to be ready to perform CPR and provide basic life support at any moment, so by practicing preventative measures, I am ready for when a medical emergency could happen.
Acquiring the confidence, ability, education, and preparedness to provide BLS and CPR starts by taking care of yourself. No matter how well you have been trained, nothing will truly prepare you for medical emergencies, and you certainly do not need to be perfect: no one can ever be 100% prepared for providing BLS and CPR because they happen unexpectedly, but making certain that you have done everything in your power to be well prepared will give your patient the best chance at survival. Choosing the healthcare field as a career is a selfless act, so you must learn the best way to maintain your own health in order to maintain that of others. A strong physical and mental health works together to create a person who is completely prepared to give basic life support and CPR for those who are in need.