When a person decides on going into a career in healthcare especially on the clinical side there are certain characteristics a person should possess to not only make it in a healthcare career, but to also thrive in this career. Characteristics such as compassion, empathy, bedside manners, critical thinking, good communication skills, dealing stressful situations, multitasking, adaptation, and responsibility. However, you should also be prepared mentally and physically in order to perform lifesaving techniques. I have worked in healthcare since the age of 16. My first job was as a dietary aide in a local Hospital where I live, and it was there that I knew I wanted to work with patients and help people in need. It was then that I realized my love and passion for helping others especially when they are most vulnerable. What really pushed me into pursuing Nursing and applying to school was when the COVID 19 pandemic hit. I currently work at Mass general Hospital as a patient service coordinator in an Echocardiogram laboratory. When COVID 19 hit us, I was surrounded daily by the front-line heroes of the nurses, doctors, CNAS, and EMTS, that it made me feel I wanted to be able to do more to help the Covid patients and help the frontline staff. I got to witness firsthand how these wonderful nurses, doctors, and all other clinical staff were able to treat and save patients from this terrible disease by administering live saving techniques both physically and mentally, including getting patient hooked up to ventilators and round the care clock.
As much as I enjoy helping patients and being able to interact with them in their stable conditions, I am also fully aware and prepared to be able to perform life saving techniques to help and care for patients. I am aware this includes mental and physical preparation. The way I plan on being able to physically prepare life saving techniques on patients is by first making sure I myself am healthy. I plan to eat well balanced meals, and exercise regularly on days off, and to make sure I am well rested before shifts. It is important to stay active physically because as a nurse I will be straining my body by lifting patients, extending my body in positions that may cause strain, and being on my feet for long hours. Another way I plan to be physically prepared for providing life saving techniques is to ensure I will be wearing the appropriate personal protective equipment and footwear during an emergency. It is important to wear the correct PPE and have it ready, so as a nurse I can jump in and treat patients. Not having PPE on and ready will slow me down and that could waste valuable time in an emergency and could affect the outcome of the patient I am treating. Wearing PPE during lifesaving situation will also protect me from receiving any bacterial or viral infections from patients coming in with open wounds, sores, or transmissible illnesses. It will also protect my patients from me spreading any infections to them. Proper footwear is also an important aspect for being physically prepared because as a nurse you are on your feet for long periods of time and you are also using equipment such as IV stands, stretchers, and computers on wheels, it is important to protect your feet from injury while using these types of equipment. That’s why it will be best if I wear comfortable closed toed shoes.
Being physically prepared is not the only part of being prepared to performing life saving techniques on patients, it also includes being mentally prepared as well. The first way I plan on being mentally prepared is by training my mind to being in the right mindset when reacting to situations and remembering the steps to take during an emergency. I plan on using all the information I will learn during school on giving life saving care, during emergency situations and applying it. I plan on having to be quick on my feet and use critical thinking while in school I will already be thinking in this way and I can start adapting my brain now to get ready. Another way I plan on being mentally prepared will be by again exercising regularly on my days off to reduce any stress, anxiety, or depression I may get as working as an RN. As a healthcare provider and especially as a nurse I will be on the front lines of emergency situations such as in the ED, on a hospital floor, pandemics, or just out in daily life. Working in this type of environment can lead to high stress, anxiety, and depression. Exercise has shown to significantly decrease these. A third way I am preparing mentally to give lifesaving techniques is by acknowledging now that I may not always get the outcome I would like from a patient when you administer lifesaving care.
Mentally I am prepared that a patient may not always get better or survive when you administer life saving techniques. It is important to process these emotions and situations in a healthy way. As an RN it’s important to be mentally healthy, so you can be focused on caring for your patient’s and providing the best care while being the best nurse.
In conclusion when it comes to working in healthcare there are many skills/characteristics one should have before going into healthcare. Two of those important skills are being physically and mentally prepared to give life saving techniques on a patient. This includes being physically and mentally healthy, by wearing protective personal equipment, taking what you learned in school and applying to real world situations, managing stress, anxiety, and depression, and being able to accept that even though you give all your effort into treating and or saving a patient sometimes you don’t get the outcome you wanted and you have to accept you did everything in your power to save them.