Miranda Zavala Hernández

Submitted 2022-11-01

Accidents, emergencies, and unexpected situations happen in our daily lives, so the need for medical support when we find ourselves in those situations is imperative. As healthcare workers or medical students, it’s extremely important for us to understand and give the best emergency medical care we can, and this not only includes knowing the procedures, but also knowing when to apply them, in which situations can we help; learning to work with the available material, as well as knowing our limits when performing in any given situation. When being a healthcare worker or a medical student, you will find yourself with the need of being a helper and someone with the capacity to solve any given problem. However, even with this desire we need to remind ourselves what is taught in any beginners BLS course, that is, you need to take care of yourself if you want to take care of others otherwise you might not be able to give the best care possible. Taking care of yourself does not only apply to physical health, but to the integral approach of what health is: a state that includes the well-being of people concerning their physical, mental, and social health. When preparing physically, habits of our daily lives are important, maintaining good eating, sleeping, and exercising habits. However, realistically speaking this may not be the easiest within this line of work. Time becomes really limited and complications to keep these habits often present themselves. The message here is not about having the perfect routine, but about choosing, whenever there is a chance, what is best for us and what will maintain us in a healthier lifestyle.

Preparing mentally refers to acquiring skills that will improve our performance, whether this means emotionally speaking or referring to our knowledge involved in this, knowing the procedures but most importantly practicing them will prevent mistakes. However, this does not exempt us from making them, and that is when our emotional abilities need to be trained in solving problems and facing unexpected situations without blocking our minds when we face an inconvenience. This can be done in many ways such as seeing the situation from different angles, remembering our previous knowledge or experience, and being able to ask for help whenever needed. This last one may be one of the most important, since being able to work as a team complementing each other rather than competing can make a huge difference when helping someone, improving the work rather than slowing it. As I already mentioned, in this line of work time is not something that we can spare, on the contrary, especially in emergencies, is something that we lack. Knowing this when mentally preparing is essential, not to stress ourselves but to know that time management is important. Prioritizing some of our tasks over others during work and in our personal lives can make a difference when making the most out of the time we have and, of course, mentally preparing to face stressful situations with limited time.

Being socially healthy can also refer to many things, some of which are basic skills you will learn throughout your preparation as a healthcare worker. This type of activities, by definition, include working with a lot of people whether they are your coworkers, patients, or anyone that may be involved during the performance of basic life support techniques. The way we behave towards another person can make the difference between successfully performing a maneuver or worsening the situation; the correct explanation of procedures can transmit in a better way the information without over-explaining and confusing others.

Having considered all those skills necessary for being well-prepared for a situation, it’s important not to forget a phrase that may sum it all up, not exclusively on this matter but for mostly anything in life “practice makes perfect”. Although simple, it holds a lot of truth in itself, for you can read an algorithm, memorize it to perfection, which is not something to neglect, but when the time comes for you to act, it all depends on your determination and your practice.

There is always a first time, that is inevitable. I remember mine vividly, finding myself in the face of an accident, where at the moment and surprisingly enough, I was the most prepared to deal with it. A million thoughts come rushing to your head, so you take a deep breath, focus, and put in practice everything you have learned, and after doing that, you analyze which were your mistakes, without fixating on them. Think about what you could have done better, recognize that you gave it your best, and continue studying, preparing, but mostly caring for others and for yourself, knowing that after all, what drove you here is your desire to help.

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