Jemal Bashic - unveiling stories of med scholarship

Submitted 2022-04-11

Being in the medical field is the most rewarding profession ever. Working with the mentally ill population is even more rewarding. With so much mental illness now with this pandemic, I can relate to this field and population so much more. Working with all sorts of people is rewarding and knowing how to perform basic CPR is even more of a plus. The mental preparation technique helps you reduces your stress. Whether it be for a sporting event, performing live on stage, or maybe taking a very important exam. Being prepared also enables you to regulate your emotions well.  Preparedness has a lot to do with teaching your brain how to stay focused. Stress is one of the biggest obstacles to focusing. I have witnessed many situations where nurses have performed CPR on patients successfully although they appeared stressed, they still managed to revive the patient. Also, I can’t stress the importance of continued education in our field. Continuing education has been shown to improve patient outcomes. By staying up to date on the latest in-patient care, you can be better equipped to help your patients.

As my experience as a Behavioral Specialist in a mental illness hospital, I have seen many nurses that request “mental health” days off. From time to time, everyone needs what many have coined a “mental health day.” It’s a day off from work or a little time to escape the pressures and frustrations of everyday life. Even before the COVID-19 pandemic, many healthcare professionals despite working hard needed that one extra day to just recharge. Depression and burn out are common feelings that a nurse may experience today especially during COVID-19 pandemic. Over the past twelve months, many nurses have been redeployed to work long hours in unfamiliar environments in which there is a high risk of exposure to COVID-19. Nurses have had to deal with demanding workloads, long shifts, PPE shortages, and the fear of catching the virus and passing it to loved ones. Additionally, nurses have been being attacked for working with COVID-19 patients, heckled, spat on, and verbally abused by family members of those they are trying to care for.  I have watched many nurses performing CPR to patients that arrived on the unit with bilateral pneumonia due to COVID-19 diagnosis. While there is currently no specific data on COVID-19 transmission while performing CPR or giving first aid, it is reasonable to conclude that chest compressions have the potential to generate respiratory droplets or aerosols and close contact needed for some aspects of first aid may have risk of transmission. While CPR with breaths has been shown to be beneficial when compared to compression-only CPR, during the COVID-19 outbreak, it is currently recommended that no rescue breaths be performed for adult cardiac arrest patients with confirmed or suspected COVID-19, due to the risk of disease transmission. I have seen during the surge of the pandemic that the staff were not delivering rescue breaths because they were afraid. I have seen many staff watching videos and being prepared by the education department at the job to know how to perform life saving techniques on patients. Because there is always a change, it is important to have a strong education staff that is kept up to date and shares with staff routinely the new guidelines. Emergency medical care can be stressful if you aren’t prepared. Basic life support is a critical skill for all healthcare providers where they are working. When used quickly in response to a sudden event like a heart attack or drowning, CPR can be lifesaving. Preparing the patient mentally and physically always helps. Emergencies not only happen in the hospital. We can come across a medical emergency in the supermarket. Someone can start choking on a piece of candy and suddenly falls to the ground. Someone can have heart attack waiting on line to pay for their items. It is important for not only the staff but for people to be aware how to react in case you are in a situation like this. If you are prepared mentally and physically, you can help save someone’s life. Remaining calm is always the first way to start. Reassuring the person that they are not alone and help is on its way is effective. Having a phone nearby is important so emergency personal can be contacted. And of course, if the person is unconscious and unresponsive then you can begin chest compressions until 911 arrives.

I call myself one of the lucky ones. I am CPR trained and work in an organization where training is crucial. Staff are always educated and kept up to date. Spouses, parents, adults, should consider taking even the most basic CPR certification course in preparation for any dire situation. Accidents can happen anytime and anywhere. Right when you least expect it and probably at the worst possible time. Without someone with proper knowledge in giving immediate medical attention or CPR, lives could be lost. I hope that through educating and training we are able to prevent mistakes and save more lives. If selected for this scholarship, I will continue to apply the same diligence to m y studies as I have at this point, making education and service to others my top priority. Thank you in advance for your consideration.