Essential Attributes In Emergency Medicine Service – Do You Have What It Takes?
Emergency medicine is one of the fastest-paced medical specialties. It is also the most wide-ranging, covering a whole spectrum of medicine from wound management and resuscitation to dealing vascular or neurological emergencies, head injuries, traumas and infectious diseases. To succeed in this specialty, all first responders such as paramedics and emergency medical technicians must have certain attributes, both individually and as a team.
Outstanding Assessment Skills
The ability to quickly review the situation on arrival at the scene and administer the appropriate treatment is crucial. In an emergency situation, a few minutes delay can make the difference between life and death. A good paramedic should be able to immediately assess the patient’s vital signs, wound severity and level of consciousness in order to determine the likely cause of the emergency and decide on the appropriate treatment.
How good are you at analysing situations and making quick decisions under pressure?
Thorough Knowledge Of Emergency Medicine Science
Considering the wide range of situations you are likely to encounter as an emergency medical professional, you will need to have a thorough knowledge of emergency medicine science. This includes an understanding of causes and symptoms of various conditions as well as knowing what interventions yield the best outcomes for patients under different circumstances.
Can you handle the extra academics involved in specialising in emergency medicine?
The Ability To Work As Part Of A Team
Professionals who work in EMS do not usually work alone. More often than not, it takes more than one person to keep a person alive if they have suffered a traumatic injury. Emergency medical service personnel work together as a team, coordinating their efforts with the dispatch service as well as the medical team that will be taking over the care of the patient at the hospital. Within the team, the paramedic and emergency medical technician work together to stabilise the patient, perform CPR when necessary, administer the right medications, physically transport the patient and record the interaction.
Do you work well as a team member? Can you give or follow instructions as and when required?
Above Average Physical Fitness
There is a certain degree of physical ability that every member of the emergency medical service team should have. First responders frequently work way beyond their shift in responding to emergencies. There is no way to anticipate what may be required at the scene. It may involve climbing, running, performing CPR or lifting a patient, all of which can be physically exerting. Very often patients are completely immobilised and need to be physically transported to the ambulance. Having the ability to do what is necessary in each specific situation is crucial.
Can you handle the physical requirements that this specialty demands?
Emotional Intelligence and Resilience
As a paramedic, you will likely interact with patients and their families in highly emotionally charged situations. The ability to stay calm while taking charge of a chaotic scene and reassuring anxious onlookers is an invaluable skill. Witnessing trauma on a regular basis can also take an emotional toll on the EMS team members themselves, so being emotionally resilient and able to stay objective and do whatever is necessary when others might break down is a critical requirement.
Can you be compassionate, empathetic and objective at the same time?
Those who have the necessary attributes to work in Emergency Medical Services find it very rewarding as their services make the difference between life and death.