Please explain how you will prepare mentally and physically before performing life-saving techniques on patients in your career. Working as a healthcare provider can be a stressful and rewarding career. We are looking for your insight and advice for other students entering the field.
Preparing mentally and physically for performing life-saving techniques on patients is an everyday standard for an emergency room nurse. Fresh out of nursing school the structure of protocols and routine was something that I focused on to help me prepare for trauma situations. Being full of knowledge and trying to follow these lifesaving regiments was highly valued. It was the routine and order of things that I respected the most in the beginning. But, with time comes wisdom and perspective. My daily preparation now is not one of running through critical care regimens and algorithms, although this is still good practice, it’s a personal lifestyle conducive to staying healthy both mentally and physically. This is what I’ve learned that will obtain the best outcomes for both the nurse and the patient, “the basics.”
There is no substitution for “basic” self-care and it is mandatory in maintaining a healthy stress level, a sober mind, a compassionate heart, and a giving spirit. Exercise, eating properly, and maintaining healthy sleeping habits are the best advice one can give.
Although these are fundamental concepts, it is the first thing we often compromise on in times of stress. “Never forget the basics”, something I always tell myself. Throughout the process of being a nurse, it always amazes me how grounding basic critical skills can be. Assess the situation, always use your gut feelings, go back to your fundamental skills, start the process, evaluate and re-evaluate. This is both true for self-care and in all BLS, ACLS, and PALS situations.
There will always be new information and best practices, forever changing in the healthcare field. Remaining true to the core concepts of why you became a medical professional and going back to “the basics” is always helpful. So never overlook the simple changes we can make in our daily lives, the standards of self-care that we preach to our patients, and practice what you preach! Live the example for yourself and your patients. There is nothing more powerful than a testimony of one who has walked the walk! Be mindful of your stress levels, exercise, eat healthy, sleep enough, meditate.