Recently there was a book published by neuro surgeon who stated that he had an NDE or Near Death Experience. After his experience and as he tells it, his amazing journey, he found himself sifting through the details of how this ever happened and what possibilities were really there for him to prove that he was in another dimension while his brain was “completely inactive.”
How would it be possible for him to have deep lasting memories of what happened if his brain could be proven to have been “offline at the time.”
His studies and insistence have been ridiculed, but he is a believer that NDEs do exist and not only are they real, but they open up a dimension to us that is more real than anything we have experienced. Although some patients can have these near death experiences, our job as healthcare personnel is to know how to respond in cases where the patients are in a life threatening situation.
Various certifications exist to ensure that hospital personnel is properly trained to avoid life threatening emergencies. It is important to know CPR and Airway management.
Many are unaware that there are two basic categories of Life Support Training. Basic and Advanced. BLS is known as the more or less Basic CPR course that is often offered and ACLS is the Advanced Cardiac Life Support Program that enables staff a much more enhanced training.
Some of the worst case scenarios out there in the United States are organizations that do not do a thorough job in training their staff on these functions. As a matter of fact the American Heart Association has stopped adding training centers because of some of the abuse that has gone on with people not getting properly trained or certified. The scenario looks like this.
A licensed healthcare professional needs their ACLS certification renewed. Rather than wanting to go spend the time, they have a buddy that knows a guy that will provide the card as long as they can answer a few questions.
Everyone agrees that things can’t work like this. The problem becomes one of serious risk should these individuals face a real life emergency. How will they remember what to do.
It is agreed that most of the time, you don’t have a lot of time to remember how to act in an emergency, what steps to take or what sequence to take the steps in.
You have to react swiftly and with confidence. You have to know what you are doing. There was a recent movie with Sandra Bullock “The Heat” in which Sandra Bullock believed that she would be able to start an emergency trachea to create an airway by watching a show on TV.
Obviously, we all know that seeing something on TV and actually doing are two very different things. In the case with Sandra Bullock’s character, she tries to start the emergency airway with a straw. However, what she gets is something entirely different. She is left helpless, repeating, “There is so much blood.”
As healthcare professionals, we must be better than that. We must aspire to be the best at what we do. We need to make sure we can react appropriately every time and in any situation. We have to be able to give CPR and Advanced Life Support Services should they become necessary.
A friend of mine is a critical care doctor. I had a sore throat and my wife asked him if he thought I would be ok. He said, I’m an ICU doc….as long as the person is breathing happy and healthy, I’m not worried. For him, it is true, he has the intense training an know how on how to prevent cardiac arrest, however, for the average healthcare professional, we don’t always know what to do in emergent situations.