Importance of BLS as a future Medical Practitioner
As I young teen, I experienced first-hand the importance of having Basic life support skills and how it came into play in saving someone’s life. My younger sister wouldn’t be here today if it weren’t for BLS. Years ago, we were at a family gathering in which my little sister started turning blue and gagging. Lucky for us, my uncle was a retired Medical Doctor from Mexico and realized she was choking. He initiated the Heimlich maneuver but got no response. My sister was starting to fade away. He then checked her airway and found launched in the back of her throat was a piece of steak with fatty tissue that was preventing her from passing it. He knew he wasn’t supposed to reach for it as this can launch it further down, but he feared it was the only way to save her. So, he reached back as far as he could and pulled out a 6 in piece of tattered steak with his fingers. My family was shook but my sister survived that day thanks to my uncles BLS /PALS skills.
I knew that saving lives is what I wanted to be part of even if it wasn’t directly. I have since become a medical assistant and have been in the field for 10 years. I am CPR certified and have acquired my very own BLS/PALS skills not only at work in a clinical setting, but also at home. I have now decided to become more involved with my “lifesaving” role and gone back to school to get a degree as a Physician Associate. As I have grown my outlook on life and medical emergencies has evolved. When I first started in the medical field, I would get anxious or nervous when a medical emergency or event would occur. We would have monthly crash cart or mock drills in which we had to put our skills into play among our coworkers and peers. Sometimes it would go smoothly and sometimes it would be a little hectic. However, when a real event took place, we were ready to respond.
My role has always been in a supporting role. I know to look for the RN or the MD/PA/NP for guidance or further instruction. I’ve never been in a position where I’m in charge. Now that I’m on track to becoming a Medical Provider myself, I need to start mentally preparing my self for when the day comes where I will have to be the person to take over and control the situation. I have to be able to make quick responsible yet crucial decisions. These decisions can be the difference between saving someone’s life or ending it. Being a Medical professional is not an easy task. There’s a lot that goes into the role that you don’t learn in school or from your parents. Just like there’s “street smart” there’s “med smart”. You have to do a lot of self-meditation and really determine where you stand when it comes to life and death. It’s not all medical terms and science. There has to be empathy and as a medical provider you need to be a well-rounded individual to assure you are being the best caregiver you can be.
I have worked as a Medical Assistant in all types of clinics and facilities, anywhere from hospitals, outpatient, specialty, low income, and military. I have seen a lot in my time there as well both in and out the exam room. The way you treat a patient speaks a lot about a provider so I feel that empathy is very important to the outcome of treatment. Empathy not only is emotional understanding but also collaboration and being able to identify needs of a patient. During an emergency situation, having empathy can also establish a sense of trust like with emergency surgery. Always keep the patient informed of everything going on. Even when the person is not stable, always keep the family informed as well in the process. In the event that I am not able to save a life, at least I know I cared and did the most I could for the person. This will help guide me into a great future Physician Assistant mentally.
As far as the physical aspects, I must make sure that my heart health and endurance is up to speed. For someone that has to perform quickly, it is only natural that the physical is important as well. I can do this by staying away from using any drugs, alcohol, or substances. Having a healthy diet and trying to get a good nights sleep would be ideal. I can make this doable by picking a specialty that is right for my schedule. I hope to work in Dermatology or Geriatrics one day! Thank you for allowing me this opportunity and helping our healthcare providers.