Sitting on the rail of the metal fencing that encloses the dirt arena, I am ready at moments notice to jump into action. With every stomp that the bull makes, I feel my own heart beat with nerve and excitement. The bull rider is hanging on for life in order to win that sweet prize. A few more seconds…
He falls. However, he doesn’t just fall, he gets flung off by the bull and smushed into the metal bars. Head makes contact first and then the rest of the body. The patient is lying still on the ground, while the other cowboys rush onto the arena and try to control the bull. Two of my fellow peers run off into the arena to make contact with the bull rider and soon call me over once the scene is safe. Jumping off of the bar, I grab the med bag, and backboard, prepping for what could await. I run over, and notice that the cowboys left ear is missing, his face has contusions and bleeding, and there are no other signs of immediate bleeding or deformity. The man is talking and scared, he is not sure what is going on at the moment. After ruling out a spinal cord injury, wrapping the wounds and applying pressure, and ensuring that the patient was stable enough to walk over to the ambulance, we began our assessment in the back of the rig.
This to me is what being a medical provider is all about. The excitement of never knowing what you are going to see and do. There is so much potential to grow and do great things, not only for yourself, but for others as well. At any point in time, I am always mentally preparing myself for any situation or scenario. Basic life support is an essential aspect of health care and no matter the skill level of a provider, it is always important to remember the basics. For the call mentioned above, this is just one example of how beneficial basic life support is. Depending on the situation, a higher level of care is needed, yet having people that are trained in this skill level is just as important because they have the capability and the understanding of what is called for and what needs to occur.
Yet knowing the procedures, the protocols, the doses, and etc, is just half of the job. The other half of the job is mentally preparing yourself for any situation. As an Emergency Medical Technician with an IV certification, I have the opportunity to be a first responder. Through my career and still to this day, I get nervous before every call. What do I do to calm myself down? I breathe, and remember that this isn’t my emergency, it’s the patients. I am here to help them and if I am nervous, then they won’t get the best quality care that they need. Instead I focus on what I am presented with, what is going on, and what needs to be done. At the end of the day, our patients are just people who need help, and we have gone, and continue to go through the training necessary to aid them in their time of need. I am not saying that it is easy to work through your emotions easily, and that is ok. After a situation that may make you feel nervous or scared, it helps to look back on that and debrief. What was so nerve wracking? What could you have done differently or better? Was everything that needed to be done accomplished? It’s a learning process and it always will be. That is what is so fascinating about the medical field. Not to mention the opportunities presented within the field itself! Take the pediatric population for example. If you speak with a certain percentage of the people in the medical field, you will find that not many are fond of working with the pediatric population because of the complexity of situations that can arise with them. However, that only helps weed out who are the ones that truly desire to expand their scope of practice and become the best providers that they can be. I have the opportunity to help people from various different backgrounds and age groups and I can say with complete confidence that it has not only helped me as a medical student trying to obtain a higher level of care in the medical field, but also as a person. My advice to anyone with the desire to help others, with the passion to learn and do great things, to join the medical field and try it out. There are many benefits in an emotional sense, as well as financial and educational sense as well. It is all a matter of how much work and dedication one is willing to put into their goals. It’s a handful sometimes, and the stress is high, but it is an interesting ride that will for sure keep you going for a lifetime. Or until you retire.