HOW TO BE COMPOSED IN AN EMERGENCY
Imagine yourself on a road trip with some friends in a tourbus. At 1:30 AM, the brakes are hit as hard as possible! You had just fallen asleep in the back of the bus but you quickly brace yourself for impact! A couple seconds pass and there is no catastrophe that you can feel, but the bus does come to a screeching halt. It takes you a minute to gather yourself. You then walk towards the front of the bus to find everyone just stunned. You ask your friends what happened and they tell you that the bus hit someone. A person, not a car. You look around and find that everyone is reshuffling their bags and other things that moved in the stop. Being the courageous soul that you are, you run out into the scene, almost hoping that you don’t find anything until someone more qualified arrives. Nope. You have to face your fears. You see something in the distance–in the right lane. You start running towards it, but your body slows you down. The jitters, fear of being unqualified to help, weak stomach at the thought of blood, etc., all throw you off.
Now stop imagining. This is a true story.
How do you stay composed? Let’s talk about some takeaways.
3 THINGS YOU SHOULD KNOW BEFORE FACING EMERGENCIES
1. Prepare your mind/body/spirit. You can learn all the appropriate steps for rescue, but if you don’t prepare yourself for the involuntary fight/flight response, you might have feelings of guilt later. In the scenario we talked about above, it’s clear that the rescuer wanted to help, but as he was running out…that involuntary response kicked in for just a few seconds. That’s when you get a jolt of adrenaline that can serve as positive or negative energy. If you know to expect it, you will know how to deal with it in the moment. Just move on and do what you know.
2. Stick to the top priorities. There are a couple things that are truly imminently life-threatening. Everything else can wait just a minute. If you’ve already read the article about First Aid Basics, you’ll remember that we’re most concerned about getting the victim and yourself out of danger, checking a response, and checking breathing. Those are always the top priorities.
3. Do what you can. If you are not a trained medical provider, no one expects–or wants–you to be performing surgery on the scene of an accident or any other emergency. Just do whatever you have been trained to do and if you freeze, the dispatcher on the phone will walk you through it all until help arrives.
WHAT’S THE HARDEST PART FOR YOU?
Of these three points, what would throw your composure off the most? For me, when I first started working as a nurse, I’d have to say that sticking to the top priorities was the hardest. Less important injuries/conditions would distract me from focusing on the most important things. Great mentors simplified that for me and now I pass it on to you!
Share your thoughts below!
Photo Credit: Jen Kroll Photography