Katelin G. Beyer submitted 2017-05-26

As a child, I sat alone on the floor of a room full of strangers in funny outfits. I was compliant and quiet as my mother taught Advanced Cardiac Life Support to rooms full of people both aspiring to be in healthcare and those who had done it for years. I remember being wide-eyed at the buzz and life and emotion that existed in the room, even though the mannequin had just gone down and the students were swarming. Since that day, I knew that I had to do everything in my power to become someone who could save a life.

Now, as a student in nursing school, I feel the pressure to do everything in my power to absorb information that could save someone’s life. I have never experienced an emergency support situation, and I have mixed feelings about it. I would like the confidence, strength and willpower to enter the situation as if this was a normal occurrence in my life. However, imagining it, I feel as if my mind would be screaming the multitude of facts that I know, straining to remember every last detail while my hands would be busy just attempting to get the shirt off of the patient. I imagine the buzz, my adrenaline pumping and my heart in my ears. This person’s life is in my hands. I know that I would do anything I could to save this person. A stranger, who does not deserve to die. I would feel the pressure. I would almost be able to taste my own fear at losing this person. I know that I would be nervous, this person might have a family and even if they did not, the pressure to keep them alive just because they had a beating heart one second ago was enough. I know that tears would strain to escape my eyes, a concoction of love, fear, adrenaline and security for this stanger. But I have had training, I know that I could keep them alive long enough until more trained healthcare professionals arrived.

Preparing mentally and physically for this situation is difficult. That is why I devote much of my time to my studies. Healthcare demands that one is knowledgeable and secure. It is stressful learning the abilities that I need to save a life. In my mind, every detail counts. Every detail could be the difference between life and death. Mentally, healthcare professionals need to be prepared for an emergency situation wherever they go. In the span of a single moment, they need to be able to clear their minds, let their gut instincts drive their actions and perform to the best of their abilities. In an emergency situation, there will be chaos. It takes incredible amounts of discipline and respect to control everything and everyone that is going on around them, for the safety of others in the area. On top of that, their attention cannot be diverted from the patient until a result is achieved. I have the highest respect for people of this nature, and I strive to achieve the levels of confidence and discipline that they have, starting with my studies. In a way, I have started along this path. I have learned mental discipline, complete and utter focus and indomitable perseverance in my goal to achieving my black belt in taekwondo.

Mental knowledge and discipline is a key factor in producing a positive result from an emergency situation. However, the physical attributes that healthcare providers have is astounding. The profession demands that one has the ability to react. Seconds count in healthcare. One needs to have sharp reflexes, speedy feet and a quick brain. A healthcare provider needs to be strong and physically fit to help others. In an emergency situation, someone providing life support needs to have the ability to perform compressions until another provider is able to take over. This could mean that one does compressions for two minutes, alone. Every second counts in healthcare. That is why I require myself to exercise weekly. I feel the need to better my physical condition because it is crucial to the lives of others. Taekwondo has also impacted me in this way. Like healthcare, it demands quick reflexes, excellent physical condition and the ability to make quick decisions.

In conclusion, at an early age I learned that there are many demands to healthcare, both mental and physical. As a nursing student, I feel the pressure to maintain up-to-date knowledge and an excellent physical condition. I am not afraid of an emergency situation, I have confidence that my training has prepared me for it, until a more experienced provider is able to take over. I feel the need to become smarter, faster and better in everything that I put my mind to, and the pressure increases with my education. I strive to be the most effective health care provider that I can be.