I was introduced to a college age friend during my junior year of high school. I learned his university program was in the medical field, which is what I aspire to go into. He had gotten his EMT license and was working for our local ambulance service to help pay his way through college and get practical experience in the field. This past summer he was on the EMT rotation at our local nightly rodeo. He invited me to join him on the rotation one night. The first time I went one of the bull riders got tweaked in the chute. I got to be a part of the EMT assessment and documentation. The rider needed more medical attention but did not want to be transported by ambulance to the ER. I volunteered to take him myself and gave the appropriate information to the ER staff. I stayed with him until he was discharged and got him back to the rodeo grounds. This experience gave me a chance to know what it feels like to help from a medical standpoint. It confirmed for me that I wanted to pursue a career in the medical field.
Toward the end of the summer I was looking into what courses I should take in my senior year. My goal was to dual enroll at our local community college. Even though I am 17-years old, I did not want to wait to take the first steps to work in the medical field. I was not even sure they would let me take the Basic EMT class at my age, but when I found out they would I enrolled. Even though I only needed a 3-credit hour science course this year for my graduation requirements, I am taking the 8-credit hour Basic EMT and can test for my license in December. This EMT course is just my first step in pursuing a career in the health sciences field.
Just after I started my class, my EMT friend shared that his crew had a rough call, and they lost a patient. He told me the neighboring small town where it happened and described the disturbing details of the case, but he never told me who it was. I realized that I would have to deal with severe cases as well, and when I got home I shared his story with my mom. We used to live in that neighboring small town and came to find out it was my old neighbor. Her passing had already become public. I share this story with you because even though I am only 17, I have already begun pondering the trauma that will happen when I am working in the medical field. Learning through my teachers and books, I know there is a healthy way to take care of these tough situations.
In the starting chapters of the course there was a mass amount of information explaining the challenges but also the benefits of Emergency Medical Care. Even though there will be some downsides to this work, there are also a lot of benefits. I am preparing myself mentally by considering the different ways I may need to debrief after tough situations. In general, I plan to talk with my co-workers or family to be able to be 100% in performing my job. When that is not enough, I will consider counseling or taking a break. I know that when I have time off it will be crucial for me to spend time outdoors, get plenty of sleep, eat healthy, and workout.
I will be physically prepared for my job by practicing bodily awareness and knowing my surroundings. I practice this in rock climbing and see how it is crucial in EMT. Some examples are knowing where things are in the ambulance and assessing the safety of the scene. I will also need to be able to lift heavy objects, so I will work out to prepare for this. The most important part is knowing what to do skill wise, so I am not just practicing these in our lab times, but also with my EMT friend.
Having this older EMT friend mentor me has been a key in my learning and preparing to be an EMT. He can help me find my flaws and work on them. This has been a great addition to my EMT course. I highly recommend a mentoring program where more experienced medical providers are matched with beginners. I believe this kind of personal support can help better prepare beginning medical providers.
There is a need for medical providers everywhere. I am choosing this path because I feel called to help people medically. I am committed to learn and do my due diligence to keep myself prepared mentally and physically before performing life saving techniques. I plan to do my best to help others by providing health care when they need it.