We have all seen some version of the phrase “keep calm and carry on.” This phrase is actually fitting for health care workers who must keep calm in times of crisis or anticipated crises. According to a GOV.UK article by Dr. Henry Irving
‘Keep calm and carry on’ was coined by the shadow Ministry of Information (MOI) at some point between 27 June and 6 July 1939. It was produced as part of a series of three posters that would be issued in the event of war
The final design and poster for “keep calm and carry on” was never officially issued, nor was the poster used. There is a striking parallel that arises when comparing the phrase and it’s history with the attitudes and beliefs of health care students and workers toward their medical training: Preparation for chaotic times, even if they may never materialize, is always an underlying motivation.
Pacific Medical Training offers a medical scholarship every two years to medical students who submit an essay discussing how they will
prepare mentally and physically before performing life saving techniques on patients
Some of our students are returning to school after some time in the medical professions while others are still in training. Some of the students are in positions in which using life saving techniques is unlikely but still possible while others will regularly spend their time managing tense and emotional situations that mean the difference between life and death for their patients. All of them have offered their insights and we invite you to read on.
Nicole VanNoie has been a nurse for four years and plans to pursue her master’s in nursing. Her experience thus far has shown her that “There are predictable and unpredictable scenarios.” As the sole nurse in a rural health care setting, she especially realizes the importance of preparation through training: “I stay calm… remember I have the training…” read on to see more of Nicole’s thoughts on preparing for life saving situations.
Although Katelin Beyer says she was inspired as a youth to “do everything in my power to become someone who could save a life,” she has no illusions about the path that lay ahead of her. As a medical student she is well aware that “In an emergency situation, there will be chaos.” However, she also states “I have confidence that my training has prepared me for it.” Read Katelin’s essay
Rylee Apodaca relies on her training and her ability to respond logically when others may panic and react emotionally. She has learned through experience that “before anything else, preparation is the key to success.” Rylee believes that preparation not only means good training, but also means being proactive and taking in a healthy dose of reality: “With every compression, I remind myself that this patient has a family, friends, responsibilities, and to someone, this person means something.” Read more of Rylee’s essay
The last thing Matthew Brewer expected on his honeymoon was to be a hero. But he was thrust into that role when an Amtrak train collided with a minivan. Six passengers, including a baby, were pinned under the locomotive. Matthew’s preparation for this situation came one day and one emergency at a time during his seven years working in emergency medical services. Read Matthew’s essay to see how his transformation prepared him for what came next.
The essays highlighted above were the runners up for our 2017 scholarship essay contest; however, the following essays are honorable mentions. We encourage you to read them if you are either considering a career in health care or are an old hand looking for inspirational stories.