I mentioned during last week’s show that I had heard from several of you that I should cover some tips on how to survive as a new EMS provider and rather than do a whole tip of the week, I thought I would share some of my favorite EMS blogger’s point of view here on the show. This week, I found a great article on the Probie to Practitioner blog. She writes a great article on confidence in the field when dealing with patients.
Struggling with IV Sticks
Specifically, she talks about having some trouble recently getting successful IV sticks. Her preceptor points out that she’s psyching herself out and should just “fake it ’til you make it.” This is actually great advice. It’s a skill in and of itself for an EMS provider or any health professional. You need to act like you’re in charge of the situation, whatever the situation. Your patients are looking to you to know what to do when you show up for their emergency.
How you react will determine a lot of how the rest of the call will go. Belittle their over-reaction to a relatively minor health problem and you’ll make them clam up and perhaps forgo calling in the future when they really need an ambulance. Show indecision or fear and you’ll amp up their anxiety, perhaps worsening an already bad situation. So the advice, fake it ’til you make it is a good place to start. Act confident until you feel confident. Eventually, you’ll begin to feel more confident in your skills and training.
Never Let Them See You Sweat!
Don’t get me wrong, no matter how long you do this job, you’ll still run into those situations that puzzle you or cause a serious pucker reaction in you. The trick is that you keep going, fall back on the basics and push through until you find a solution or ask for one from medical control. Either way, you let the patient think you’ve got it all under control the whole time. That’s what she means in this article. To the patient, fake confidence is still confidence.
Check out this article and all of the other articles over at the Probie to Practitioner blog. Leave a comment there and let her know how much you like her writing and site. Blogging and podcasting is a lot like being a new EMS provider. You fake it until people tell you you’ve made it.
Make sure you check out the links to this news item and all of the additional resource links available for you over at the MedicCast site and in the show notes for this episode — EMS Hepatitis Review and Episode 319.