Health equity is when every person can have the full potential of his health and well-being, no matter his previous conditions or socio-cultural determinants. However, this is not commonly achievable, mainly in undeveloped countries, where are many families without money or a job with health insurance that used to avoid healthcare due to its cost. On the other hand, the Emergency Departments (EDs) of hospitals struggle to achieve equity in patient care because undeveloped countries such as Latinamerican ones lack access to medical units with a workforce provided with the resources and training needed to be socially accountable to each community’s needs. Besides, courses such as BLS/ACLS/PALS that focus on developing skills that will allow healthcare providers to save lives are not acquirable for everyone.
Those situations create the pillar of a health problem that affects every person, which is the lack of quality and healthcare service. Knowing the fundamentals and developing the skills of such courses provides every healthcare person in training relevant skillfulness, but this is not a situation where we should wait till the graduation of the health students to develop these abilities by taking these courses outside their health sciences schools. As the health faculties are training people to provide health services through primary health care centers, we should guarantee that students learn this by adding those competencies within their medical curriculums. This strategy will improve the quality of health systems since the future human resources for health. Also, this will increase the number of people that could provide these courses for the general population. In addition, it will impact the community because, in every place where a heart attack or any other life-threatening condition happens, will be a person that can provide resuscitation and save lives. This action will consequently increase health coverage in the most backward populations.
Nowadays, integrating these competencies within healthcare curriculums is accessible thanks to the promotion of simulation in medical education strategies. The problem-based learning strategy is an effective way to develop core competencies established by professors. This strategy implemented as a simulation scenario will prepare healthcare providers to develop the skills to deal with stressful situations that they will need to be mentally and physically prepared. Also, those scenarios are base-on the skills relevant to be developed by each student, which makes it efficient to prepare them for the most common situations in the emergency department. Besides, techniques that actively engage medical students through different tools can enhance this learning experience, such as peer support sessions between students from not the same career year, and increase interprofessional experiences.
These are innovative ideas that every medical school or health sciences faculty need to implement, not just to improve the quality of the education provided but also to train better human resources for health to be capable of enduring every challenge faced in the emergency department. From my opinion and experience as a Mexican medical student, I have had the pleasure of experiencing innovative ideas that make me part of a learning experience that will help me to develop skills to confront the most common situations in the ED of a hospital. Nevertheless, my experience as a medical education enthusiast helps me to reflect on opportunity areas of my medical education system and the others from other Latinamerican countries. My experiences are courses base-on the BLS and ACLS knowledge and skills, where we need to face scenarios from each of the competencies tackled within the courses offered by the American Heart Association. Also, we do not get the license provided by the AHA when we finish these topics.
Lastly, the opportunity of sharing my ideas and knowledge through the ACLS Scholarship for Healthcare Providers is relevant to me because I think the health workforce needs to be trained better from their first approach to healthcare, which is at the university. Besides, my perspective as a physician in training focused on Primary Health Care will help to integrate concepts such as Health Equity in medical areas that are not commonly considered, like emergency medicine. We need to consider new ideas in the learning process of health sciences students by increasing spaces for speaking up and analyzing their feedback to improve teaching methods. This essay works as a space to propose and start creating ideas that are not just beneficial for faculties and students but also for the community because they are the ones who need to have access to health everywhere they are, and the faculties and hospitals need to work on this.