Arianna Bastian submitted 2020-10-01

A life-saving technique can be defined as an activity that involves saving a life. In the ninth grade, I took a class that resulted in me receiving certification in CPR but it wasn’t until a near-death experience at the age of 17 that I realized the importance of these life-saving techniques. I understand that no matter how many articles you read or the tests you take, none can readily prepare you for a job as well as experience can. In my opinion, experience is the number one teacher. For example: If you need a craniotomy surgical procedure done, who would you choose to perform that procedure? Would you choose a Medical doctor who has spent 15 years studying with just one year of on-the-job experience? Or would you choose a medical doctor who has spent 7 years studying and has had 8 years of on-the-job experience? My choice would be the latter option. The reason for this is, in order to be most prepared for situations that you are faced with, you would need past experiences to allow you to know what you should and should not do. Knowledge gained by studying is valuable but so is the knowledge gained by personal experience. This is evident in the way that most Basic Life Support courses are taught. When learning these skills, there are mostly practical tasks to perform. At times, there will be books to read or assignments to complete by reading an article but most of the course consists of practical work. The knowledge gained from experience most definitely lasts a lifetime. As a medical student, I am quite aware that one of the busiest parts of the hospital is the Emergency room. I’m sure that ending up in the emergency room is never a task on anyone’s to-do list but on occasions, this is the place that we end up. We may have visited the emergency room as a result of injuries we’ve had but we have due to assisting a family member of ours who is in need of receiving urgent medical care.

In the medical field, it is often the mental preparation that can make a difference in situations of medical emergencies. There are a number of ways in which I can prepare yourself before performing life-saving techniques on patients in your career. Firstly, I can train myself to always take a deep breath before involving myself in any situation. If I don’t practice taking deep breaths, I’ll overwhelm myself and I cannot afford for that to take place as someone who is performing a life-saving technique. A deep breath isn’t something that takes hours or months to complete, it takes 2-3 quick seconds, and then I can move on to complete the task at hand. Another way that I will prepare myself mentally is to repeat a phrase in my head. This phrase will not only help me to relax but it will also give me a boost in confidence. This phrase can be as simple as “Ari…You’ve got this!” or even a simple, funny phrase like “On today’s episode of ‘Ari takes on the world’”. This phrase would serve me as a mental anchor. Firstly, the deep breath would be my boat to take on the storm, and secondly, my phrase would be the anchor. With these two mental assists in place, I will be very prepared mentally before performing life-saving techniques on patients in my career.

In order to physically prepare myself, there are a number of things that I can do. Firstly, I can visualize certain situations and perform those acts with an imaginary person. This will help me to prepare myself for certain situations. Although I do not have control over everything, I do know that I have control of what I decide to do in those moments to help that person. So, practicing certain situations beforehand can help very much with acting speedily and effectively in those scenarios. As healthcare providers, it is essential to act quickly. One thing that I can physically do to prepare myself before performing life-saving techniques on patients in my career is teaching myself to act quickly in daily life situations. For example, if a friend of mine says that they want me to get something for them from across the room, I’ll try to respond and do so as quickly as possible. When you begin to train yourself to act quickly in small situations such as these, you will be able to do so in situations that will save someone’s life.

Lastly, as a medical student, I will encourage other students entering the medical field to remember your passion. It is so easy to lose sight of the goal you had set sometimes. In life, situations can begin to make you question your reasoning for deciding your career path but you must continue to remind yourself of your passion. This quote sums up my point of view, “When you feel like giving up, think about why you started. It’s a tough process but giving up won’t make it any easier” - Author Unknown