My name is Ankur Patel, and I am currently in my 2nd-year the collaborative nursing program with UNBC. I grew up in Kitimat, BC, where I was allotted the rare opportunity of being employed as an overnight paramedic/firefighter dispatcher in high school. This experience has heavily shaped how I have grown and developed in my healthcare career.
Emergency medical care plays a critical role in saving lives and providing timely medical intervention during urgent situations. In this essay, we will explore the perspectives of a medical student and a paramedic dispatcher in the context of emergency medical care, focusing on their roles, experiences, challenges, and the importance of teamwork in delivering effective emergency medical care. As a nursing student, my experience with emergency medical care has been both challenging and rewarding. One of the key roles of a nursing student in the emergency department is to assist in the initial assessment and management of patients who present with acute medical conditions. Throughout my medical training, I have had the opportunity to participate in various medicine rotations, working alongside experienced physicians and other healthcare professionals.
During medicine rotations, I have encountered patients with a wide range of medical emergencies, including trauma cases, respiratory distress, and neurological emergencies. As a nursing student, I have been responsible for obtaining medical histories, performing physical examinations, interpreting diagnostic tests, and assisting with various procedures, such as intramuscular injections, intravenous medication administration and tube feeding.
In addition to the clinical responsibilities, one of the most significant aspects of emergency medical care from a medical student’s perspective is the opportunity to develop critical thinking and decision-making skills. The fast-paced and high-stress environment of the emergency department requires quick thinking, prioritization, and effective communication with the healthcare team. I have learned to assess and manage patients rapidly, make clinical judgments based on limited information, and adapt to changing situations.
Moreover, emergency medical care has taught me the importance of teamwork and interdisciplinary collaboration. In the emergency department, healthcare professionals from various specialties work together as a cohesive team to provide timely and appropriate care to patients. As a medical student, I have worked closely respiratory therapists, pharmacists, and other members of the healthcare team to ensure efficient and coordinated care delivery. Teamwork is critical in emergency medical care as it enables healthcare professionals to communicate effectively, share information, and work together to make critical decisions in time-sensitive situations.
However, working in the emergency department as a medical student also comes with its challenges. The high-stress environment, unpredictable patient presentations, and the need to make quick decisions with limited information can be overwhelming. Managing emotions and coping with the pressures of emergency medical care can be demanding, both physically and mentally. It requires resilience, adaptability, and the ability to function effectively under pressure.
I would prepare for these long shifts by spending time in short solitude and engaging in activities that I enjoy such as biking or running. I found that these activities gave me a period of silence and self-reflection that I seldom found going through my busy days. Taking this time helped both my physical endurance and mental fortitude. allowing me to be fully engaged in my upcoming shift.
On the other hand, as a paramedic dispatcher, my perspective on emergency medical care has been unique. As a paramedic dispatcher, I am responsible for coordinating and dispatching emergency medical services to the scene of the emergency. my role is critical in ensuring that emergency medical services are delivered promptly and efficiently. I must rapidly dispatch our firefighters/paramedics to aid with the situation and allocate appropriate resources accordingly.
One of the key challenges of being a paramedic dispatcher is managing the stress and pressure of handling emergency calls. Through time, I have received news of many deaths during my calls. It never got easier hearing that a caller lost their life, especially as a high school student in that situation. Sometimes I would go to bed silently tearing up, thinking that if I had been faster with dispatching and calling in off-duty workers, I could have prevented an unnecessary death. I had many late-night chats with my fellow emergency workers where we discussed topics like these, which became one of the pillars of my coping process. By spending time sharing my experiences and listening to others, I gained a sense of peace within myself, understanding that I, and others, have done all that was possible to deliver these emergency services.
Despite the challenges, being a paramedic dispatcher has been immensely rewarding. Knowing that I play a crucial role in coordinating emergency medical services and ensuring that patients receive timely care is fulfilling. Being able to provide calm reassurance to callers in distress, and supporting paramedics in the field, gives me a sense of purpose and satisfaction. Witnessing patients receiving the care they need and potentially saving lives through effective emergency medical care is incredibly gratifying.
In conclusion, emergency medical care is a critical aspect of healthcare that requires teamwork, critical thinking, and ethical decision-making. As a medical student, I have gained valuable experience in managing acute medical conditions, developing critical thinking skills, and working as part of a healthcare team in a fast-paced environment. I have also faced challenges such as managing emotions and coping with the pressures of emergency care while upholding ethical principles. As a paramedic dispatcher, I have been responsible for coordinating and dispatching emergency medical services, which has come with its own unique set of challenges and rewards. Despite the challenges, the opportunity to provide timely care and potentially save lives has been immensely fulfilling. Overall, emergency medical care is a complex and dynamic field that requires a multidisciplinary approach and a strong commitment to professionalism, ethics, and empathy to deliver effective care to those in need.