A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step
-- Laozi, Chinese philosopher (also known as Lao Tzu)
I've had a couple of weeks now to reflect upon the completion of the EMT course, and my successful certification by the state of New Jersey. I want to again thank my wife and son for their patience with me, and to everyone that offered their support and well wishes.
The experience was both easier and more challenging than I had expected. In all honesty, the course material wasn't particularly difficult to understand, even with the use of medical terminology sprinkled throughout. The hands-on and practical skills weren't particularly difficult either, whether it was applying trauma bandages, inserting airways, performing CPR, or just moving and lifting patients.
On the other hand, I was challenged to overcome an initial desire to simply 'help' a patient with what appeared to be an immediate discomfort or pain, and rather to slow down and assess the entire situation, looking for those more hidden issues that actually posed a greater life risk. It took a bit of time for me to not just understand the importance of this, but to actually internalize it to the point that it became natural to slow down rather than speed up in times of crisis.
Not that I was always perfect at it.
I saw the picture above the other week, and it has stuck with me....
While the EMT course can be a lot of work, my push to excel is driven from within. Coursework and certification alone won't make me a good EMT.
What will make me a good EMT is never settling for giving my patients anything less than my very best efforts.
[Thanks to @insomiacMedic for the image]
And so it begins... my journey to become a certified EMT here in NJ, furthering my involvement in the Mendham First Aid Squad.
And I'm gonna share that journey with you... because many of you may have had the same reaction I did a year ago, and perhaps by my sharing my own journey, a few more of you will be motivated to join the squad and pursue becoming an EMT as well.
It's no small task, becoming an EMT. NJ state law requires 220 hours of training, and starting in January I'll be dedicating my weekends through May to classes, every Saturday and Sunday from 9am - 5:30pm.
So why am I doing this (and why is my wife putting up with it)?
Jon Alperin, one of our MFAS volunteers, shares his journey to becoming an NJ certified EMT.
from the Start
Here is Jon's journey, presented in time order: