Sometimes, the material and medical personnel shortage is way more common than we would like to admit. In my personal context, we get through shifts as EMT staff in which being able to have a laryngoscope, or an endotracheal cannula becomes a privilege. The monitors and the AEDs are unique tools that we couldn’t easily replace. Under these circumstances we as health providers learn to work under stress, and with a significant lack of diagnostic equipment, that’s when we trust our eyes, hands, and ears. We acquire our clinical expertise with continuous preparation, such as analyzing hypothetical scenarios, simulators with dummies, physical and mental training or reading the manuals, and all this preparation is what allows us to proceed. If I had to somehow describe the reality on the streets, I would certainly say it’s like an asphalt jungle. Therefore, the ACLS Scholarship for Healthcare Providers allows us to share our advice and perspectives, so all those who would like to become health providers in such a fascinating area as medical emergencies could have a real vision about it.
We, as healthcare providers, must have the best training, understanding that our healthcare system might be demanding, and that our circumstances might be changing. We are the ones who must stand up for our patients, and having that opportunity is such a privilege, that makes a call on us to make our best effort and personal improvement. In our EMT training, we have an early knowledge about BLS/ALS, and after a demanding training with simulators, we learn to provide a quality compression, we get to know our tools, that will accompany us throughout our preparation, we learn to use rapid response equipment such as DEA, or even we learn to understand algorithms and being able to put order into our thinking as we operate. This might be confusing in certain situations, but overall, we understand how essential is having a proper response on our healthcare emergency system. Even if we had adequate preparation, it wouldn’t make any sense if we don’t have access to the emergency service. We are not alone, we have a team that supports us, and that’s the base we should take to start assisting.
One of the most important lessons we learn in our training is knowing that teamwork is fundamental, and this team becomes our support network. I can even consider my team as my family, they will be an important part of our lives, and they will cherish us even on the hardest shifts. That’s why I strongly recommend forming strong bonds with our fellow health providers and sharing experiences with each other, because they’ll watch our back, and we will take care of them too.
A well-developed emotional intelligence is fundamental to coordinate our labor, we need to positively influence our team and generate confidence with our patients and coworkers. I recommend developing a problem-solving mentality, on several occasions we will deal with difficulties, such as assisting a patient in a rural area, or performing BLS/ACLS/PALS with limited equipment, and this mentality must be acquired before attending real patients. This should start from the moment we have a good preparation with simulator training, so we can be able to mentally rethink the routes, from managing a good diet that can provide the energetic requirement so we can stay alert the whole shift or having a good emotional management if we really want to succeed.
In my personal experience, for improving my emotional intelligence I’m quite honest with my emotions, I try to understand my limits, and that’s what allows me to keep improving in certain areas I’m not good at all. For example, at first it was quite difficult for me to make a proper EKG interpretation, or remembering the ACLS algorithms, but having a problem-solving and resilient mentality allows us to enhance our skills. Also, I consider that knowing how to take breaks is fundamental, as well as not mixing work with friends and family.
There are many other factors that will influence our success as EMT providers, such as having an appropriate self-education. Something that has helped me a lot in learning the BLS/ALS techniques has been to have clarity in my notes, as well as using flashcards to memorize in short and long term my recently acquired skills, I also enjoy teaching what I’ve learn, it helps me to reinforce my knowledge and I can also help my teammates to understand new topics at the same time.
My life totally changed since I’m a prehospital health provider, and after four years in the ambulance service, I decided to apply for medical school. I wanted to follow my biggest passion, and I’m currently in my third semester. I believe this is the main purpose of our lives, to learn the path and strive for our dreams.
Currently, one of my goals is being able to provide BLS/ALS to my classmates, and to adapt the preparation for citizenship. For me, it’s essential for my community to have a deeper understanding of first aid, because I learned from my own experience that a prepared community is a healthy community, and I proved it with a personal situation, at the beginning of 2022. When I arrived home at night, my grandfather told me that he had a severe headache. As soon as I saw him, I observed his deviated labial commissure, and using the Cincinnati Scale that I learned at ACLS, I was able to diagnose his stroke quickly. I was prepared to act, and my goal would be to be able to prepare everyone for those kinds of unexpected situations in life.
I go through my education with the understanding that I am part of something bigger than myself, that my actions have a direct impact on my patients. That gives me a lot of emotional strength to continue reading and deepening my knowledge. It’s the first time in my life that knowledge excites and terrifies me.