Can Emergency Management Training Help Healthcare Workers?

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A career in healthcare invariably means working in fast-paced and sometimes chaotic situations. While first responders and Emergency Room personnel routinely deal with medical emergencies, they aren’t the only healthcare professionals who need to respond to urgent, evolving situations.

In fact, the vast majority of healthcare workers are faced with high pressure scenarios on a regular basis. From nurses caring for post-op patients to clinicians treating patients with acute medical issues, the unexpected nature of the job means emergencies can arise at any time. 

Given the demands of a career in a healthcare, it’s easy to see why increasing numbers of medical workers are undertaking emergency management training. While courses may not always relate specifically to emergency medicine, they do enable healthcare workers to function effectively when disaster strikes.

Training in emergency preparedness can help students to develop a number of important skills, including:

  • Flexibility
  • Effective communication
  • Risk analysis
  • Collaboration
  • Flexibility
  • Organisation
  • Creativity
  • Resilience

If you’re a healthcare worker or you’re thinking of entering the profession, enhancing your skills with emergency preparedness training could be advantageous. To learn more, take a look at some of the following benefits associated with emergency management training for healthcare workers.

Risk Reduction

Studying emergency management involves assessing risk and subsequently minimising it. As any healthcare worker knows, risk analysis is a critical element of working in the medical profession. Whether you’re based in a hospital setting, a clinical office or visiting patients at home, you will continually be assessing risk in relation to the patient’s welfare. 

Effective risk assessment requires a nuanced approach. While some people are naturally more risk adverse than others, these natural inclinations must be set aside in a professional environment. Instead, healthcare workers must select the appropriate risk factors to consider, evaluate them comprehensively and arrive at the safest solution. Possible risks and hazards can include:

  • Violence or aggressive behaviour
  • Slips and falls
  • Burns/scalds for those with reduced mobility/mental capacity
  • Poor moving and handling practices

However, healthcare risk management is not a static process. Numerous factors can change in an instant, which is why risk assessments must be carried out continually. Responding to an evolving situation is one of the day-to-day requirements of working in healthcare and being able to risk assess a developing scenario is vital.

For healthcare workers who want to deliver the best care, furthering their understanding of risk reduction via emergency management training is important. When you can successfully assess and reduce risks for your patients, you can ensure they benefit from the best treatments and outcomes.

Interagency Collaboration

The medical field is comprised of a variety of different professionals. While workers have their own specific area of expertise, they must work collaboratively in order to treat their patients. Rarely is a patient treated by just one medical professional, particularly if their health issue is serious or complex. 

Instead, healthcare workers collaborate to ensure the patient receives:

  • an accurate diagnosis
  • effective treatment
  • successful management

To achieve this, careful interdepartmental communication is required. If communication between personnel, departments or agencies is lost, it could have catastrophic consequences for the individual patient, as well as for the healthcare organisation treating them. 

Fortunately, training in emergency management can help medical professionals to enhance interagency collaboration. When undertaking an emergency management program, for example, healthcare workers will have the opportunity to learn how to work in conjunction with other departments more effectively. Being able to coordinate patient care across different settings is critical and the enhanced skills developed via emergency preparedness training will assist healthcare workers in any environment.  

Resilience 

Working in healthcare is one of the most rewarding careers you can choose, but it’s also one of the toughest. No matter what your role or your specialty, you will face long hours, undertake physically demanding tasks, and deal with highly emotional situations. 

Burnout is one of the primary reasons people leave the medical profession. With increased demands on healthcare workers, many feel compelled to work increasing amounts of overtime. This means less time off to rest, recuperate, and process the difficult situations you’ve dealt with at work. Furthermore, healthcare professionals rarely have the opportunity to seek help for the emotional impact their work has on them. 

Due to the fast-paced and frenetic nature of some healthcare environments, medical professionals may be forced to move from one traumatic situation to another in order to deliver the best level of care to their patients. Even after this, however, a relatively low number of workers are able to utilise any of the support that’s available to them. Due to a combination of limited time and a lack of resources, healthcare professionals are prevented from accessing the assistance they need.

With emergency management training, medical workers can learn how to incorporate increased resilience into their day-to-day roles. Whether the student’s role involves dealing with accidents outside of a medical environment, surgical interventions, or in-office consultations, emergency management training will give them the skills they need to manage the emotional impact of the job. 

In addition to this, emergency management training can help healthcare workers to be more proactive in seeking help for themselves, as and when they need it. This can drastically reduce the risk of burnout and enable healthcare workers to pursue a longer and more rewarding career in the medical industry. 

Developing a Career in Healthcare

Pursuing a career in medicine or healthcare gives you a range of different job options. With emergency management training, however, you can broaden the scope of your career prospects even further. Combining your medical knowledge with your emergency management skills, you can follow a number of career paths, including:

  • Health and safety advisor
  • Disaster reduction
  • Response co-ordinator
  • Healthcare management
  • Front-line response to epidemics and healthcare crises
  • Environmental disaster response
  • Public safety officer
  • Strategic planner

As well as diversifying and pursuing a career related to emergency management, you can use the skills you’ve developed to enhance your work as a healthcare professional. No matter what your medical specialty, knowing how to avoid or minimise the risk of disasters, respond to dynamic situations, and deal effectively with emergencies will help you to excel in your chosen role.