In a recent article in EMS World Barry Bachenheimer (EDD, FF/EMT) wrote about how the first 60 seconds of a call—and the impression you make on the people at the scene—has an enormous impact on how that call will proceed.
“A professional appearance,” Bachenheimer writes, “inspires confidence. If you have pride in your look, it is assumed you have pride in your skills and practice.”
Bachenheimer breaks this critical first impression into four major areas:
- Appearance—Do we look like we know what we’re doing? E.g., shirts tucked in, name badge visible, hair trimmed, good posture, and so on.
- Attitude—Do we bring the same level of professionalism to the first call of the day as the last call in a 12-hour shift?
- Approach—Are we moving in a way that matches the urgency of the situation without communicating panic or a situation spiraling out of control? Do we make our first contact one that communicates professionalism and confidence?
- Assessment—How do we proceed through the assessment so that we get all the information we need, making sure that everyone feels heard, even when the immediate environment is loud and chaotic, or the people we’re trying to help aren’t being their best selves?
Appearance is easily addressed, but Attitude, Approach, and Assessment are trickier.
Improved Communication Under Pressure with EMS Simulation
In order to address these vital and interconnected soft skills, FAAC developed Response, an immersive, interactive training system that we specifically designed for EMT/EMS paramedic personnel.
This EMS simulation solution comes with a library of scenarios that are designed to develop judgment, decision-making, and communications skills (and the tools to build your own custom scenarios).
“We have standard scenarios that involve medical assessment, differential diagnosis, ethical/emotional situations, as well as situational awareness, observation skills, and of course personal safety,” explains Chuck Deakins, lead subject matter specialist with FAAC’s Training Group. “Importantly, all the scenarios are designed for you to interact with. For example, when an EMT trainee gives an instruction or asks a question, the simulator has branching that is able to react to those questions. The actors within the scenario then might supply more information, so the trainee can practice assessment and make a more informed decision. Or the branching response might create a complication, like an uncooperative patient or distracting bystander.”
“By practicing all of this in advance in this safe, but emotionally intense, environment, EMTs can be confident they are ready to make the most of those first 60 seconds on the scene.”