At some point, nearly everyone will need the assistance of a health care professional at some point in their lives. Even the healthiest of people will have experiences that require the help of a trained person in the healthcare field. Proper training and adequate preparation are key to helping someone who may need medical help or who may even be experiencing a medical crisis. Being able to provide essential life support or healthcare skills is a key component of being a valued healthcare worker.
As an Exercise Science major with a minor in Allied Health, I have had to take numerous courses to study and understand the body and how it works. I’ve also had to take courses such as First Aid/CPR. Courses such as these provide guidance in areas that are often not stressed enough. As a person who may be working with people who may experience moments of physical distress, it is imperative that I am knowledgeable of how to perform basic life support and CPR skills. In order to provide proper care, there are certain steps I would need to take to make sure I am prepared, both mentally and physically, to offer the care that may be needed.
Mental and physical preparation are key when becoming comfortable to provide life saving techniques on individuals that may need help. One way to prepare mentally is to get the knowledge needed first. If you are educated and informed, you will be much more comfortable when performing different techniques in certain situations. Knowledge is key. No one wants an uninformed or unknowledgeable person performing a life-saving technique on them. In addition, mental preparation includes practicing self-control and calming techniques that can be used on yourself as well as the person needing assistance. As a healthcare provider, if we appear frantic or stressed, these emotions can easily pass on to the person we are helping. We do not want to complicate the situation by increasing their stress levels. We have to be skilled at remaining calm while also providing comfort and calming techniques to those we are helping.
As for physical preparation, I believe that actual hands-on training is crucial. It’s hard to only read a book and feel confident that you can provide the actually hands-on care when needed. Whether you take an actual class or practice certain techniques on friends of family, I think it’s good for healthcare workers to have a good understanding of the physical demands that will be placed on them while trying to perform certain medical techniques. It’s easy to assume that you will know how to respond to a medical emergency, but if you are only 150 pounds and you have to assist someone who is having a medical emergency and they are 300 pounds, physical aptitude and strength will become an issue. As a fitness and nutrition buff myself, I feel that I would be able to handle the physical demands with ease, but everyone has not undergone the physical preparation that I have experienced. I have powerlifted since 9th grade and can easily bench press over 350 pounds, but this is not the norm. I believe as healthcare providers, we have to keep our own bodies physically ready to handle challenges as they arise. Good nutrition and physical stamina are essential components to be able to provide the assistance we may need to use if called upon.
Providing crucial care to someone needing assistance can be a very rewarding experience. By preparing ourselves and being able to assist when needed, healthcare providers can be key to making sure the public has people available who can assist if needed. There are levels of preparation that we must take, however. Again, no one would want to have someone “experimenting” on them if they were having a medical crisis. As healthcare workers, we can hold the lives of others in ours hands. We need to take this seriously. If things go well, we will feel overjoyed and accomplished. However, if things do not go well, we may feel unqualified and guilty. Sometimes, things my not go well, even if we have done everything correctly, but the is peace and comfort in knowing that we gave proper and adequate medical care. It is so important that we get the schooling, training, and hands-on experience we need in order to trust that we will be able to step up and provide needed care and assistance whenever we are called on. It is an honor and a privilege to be able to help others. I do not take the duty lightly and hope that I will be ready and able to help others if the need ever arises.