How to Cope with Stress for First aider
Even for the most experienced First Aider, an emergency situation can be upsetting. It is natural to feel stressed whenever you are called upon to administer first aid, and to be very emotional once you have finished treating the casualty.
It is likely that the incident will affect you afterwards, so it is important to face up to how you feel and what has happened. In extreme cases, you may experience the more serious condition. Post -traumatic Stress Disorder.
Coping During an Emergency
Many First Aiders worry that they might not be able to cope in a real-life situation, but in fact your body has a natural mechanism that prompts you to act quickly in an emergency. In the "fight or flight "response, your body is prepared for physical exertion. So the stress you will feel is your body's way of getting you through a difficult situation.
Although the "fight or flight" response is beneficial, sometimes too great a rush of adrenaline may effect your ability to cope. Taking slow, deep breaths will help you to calm down, leaving you better able to remember your first-aid procedures.
Fight or Flight response
When faced with any stressful situation, the body will automatically respond by releasing the hormones, adrenaline, noradrenaline, and cortisol, which prepare the body to fight or flee. This response occurs in all animals as a reaction to a threatening or stressful situation, but in the human body signs include:
> a pounding heart
> deep, fast breathing
> pupils widening to let in more light
> increase sweeting
> alertness of mind
> greater blood flow to the muscles
> a rise in blood sugar level for energy
Feelings after the Incident
After you have treated the casualty, depending on the type of incident and the outcome, you might experience;
- satisfaction and pleasure-it is natural to feel good about yourself if the treatment has gone well;
- confusion and doubt-you might question your actions and feel you could have done more, especially if the outcome is unclear;
- anger and sadness-being upset is normal, especially in major incidents; releasing these feelings at the time will help you get over the event more quickly.