Working in healthcare may seem like a big ticket towards moving up social classes or a title to use to flaunt, but no one actually truly talks about the mental health of healthcare workers who perform live-saving techniques that saves a human life. The morality is not the focal point here, but it does have a huge impact in the way I will perform these steps because by the end of the day, this is a fellow human being.
Since I aim to work in a clinic (studying to be a physician assistant) there wouldn’t necessarily be any major situations like the ones surgeons encounter but we are the first step for a patient to take to learn about their health issues. As a physician assistant, I believe sleep is the upmost important aspect that a healthcare provider should have to be able to perform well in any situation. No one wants a sleep deprived healthcare provider who can mess up due to that lack of sleep. I had instances in Emergency Services where a relative’s health issue was overlooked due to a nurse who had multiple shifts and didn’t get much rest. Now this is definitely not the nurse’s fault but more of a systematic issue. That’s one of the stressful parts of being a healthcare provider in hospital and even clinical settings, yet one of the most important that can be beneficial on improving patient care. Now with the rest put aside, it’s always good to keep learning even after graduating from medical school as there will be new information, new techniques to help patients. It will strengthen my mental capacity to help my patients in emergency situations, and boost my confidence. Confidence is key in being able to help a patient, once a healthcare provider doubts himself/herself not only the diagnosis but the execution will become flawed and be detrimental to a patient. Most importantly of all, for the sake of my mental health I believe having empathy and logic at an equilibrium is most helpful when seeing patients. I truly believe humanity and empathy is a required characteristic that all healthcare providers should have but logical thinking should also be as important since sometimes emotions can sway our work. Physically, I always believe in getting a good stretch in and doing quick jogs to pump up the body and brain. When we’re more alert, we can notice more things, especially since our working hours start earlier and end later than other career paths (also can be unpredictable). Keeping ourselves healthy will be able to help improve/maintain our performance. Also, the most important of all, have good communication with my patient. A common issue people in every societal relationships have is communication, it applies in the healthcare setting as well. There is no way for me to know exactly what the patient is suffering from if I cannot have good communication. I have to be able to listen well, and voice out my thoughts well to be able to pinpoint whether the patient is actively in a emergency health situation or not–this will be able to help me know what steps to take if so. If the patient is experiencing such a issue I always make a note of what to do like administering CPR, AEDs, administering needed first aid (depending on severity), and knowing about FAST, recognizing signs of stroke (basics but common issues patients could have in a clinical setting).
All in all, being prepared to save lives starts from ourselves and our will to do so. Continuously educating ourselves, continuously emotionally prepping ourselves, actively communicating with patients is a must to deter any life-threatening situations. Having empathy and logical thinking is a mindset I believe is the key to being able to execute these steps. So I want to keep such mindset in any case of emergency situations to achieve the best outcome for my patient. Healthcare providers are the backbone of human life, and through the past, present and future healthcare heroes, humans have been and will continue to grow healthier.