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5 Benefits of Mindfulness in EMS

Mindfulness --- sounds great in theory, but did you know that practicing this skill can have very real and practical benefits in EMS?

Mindfulness --- yes it sounds great in theory, but did you know that practicing this skill can have very real and practical benefits in EMS?

Mindfulness is the state of being conscious or aware of something. It can also refer to focusing awareness on the present moment, while calmly acknowledging our feelings, thoughts, and sensations without being overly reactive or overwhelmed.

When doing routine duties in EMS, it can be easy to fall into auto-pilot mode. But it's important not to. Taking time to do things correctly and using proper technique each and every time can have a major impact. How? Let's take a look...

1. Safer Driving

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No one wants a distracted driver. Mindfulness on the road might include never using a cell phone, setting the GPS ahead of time, and taking notice of the road and the other vehicles, the pedestrians, and all surroundings. It involves paying full attention to the task at hand, making it a safer experience for all those involved: patients, colleagues, and the general public.

2. Better Patient Care

EMTs demonstrating with a stretcher

Handling medical transport trips has likely become second nature to you, but taking time to do it right can mean all the difference. Focus on your training, go step by step, watch out for hazards, evaluate the situation, anticipate potential challenges, and give your work your full undivided attention. Also, take time to chat with your patient and make him feel comfortable. When you're present in the moment, your more compassionate and more of a calming presence.

3. Fewer Mistakes

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Ignoring detail can be disastrous in EMS. But when you're being mindful, you tend to remember smaller things, like always lowering the stretcher before moving a patient, reducing the risk of tipping over.

4. Career Advancement

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When you're being mindful, you tend to respond rather than react. You're able to see beyond distraction and conflict and be more resilient in your day-to-day. This can lead to better cohesion with your team, better performance, and higher motivation to succeed. At the same time, you'll probably motivate your peers to do the same, lifting up the performance of everyone around you. After a while, management will surely take notice!

5. Less Burnout, More Happiness

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Burnout is common in EMS. It can be a demanding job that's stressful at times, but being mindful will help. Mindfulness can help with stress reduction because it teaches us that our negative thoughts and feelings are often just temporary and not fully accurate or representative of the bigger picture. It allows us to see our world with a slightly wider lens that can lead to more fulfillment and appreciation of the little things in life. That said, it's important to have multiple healthy outlets for stress-release.

Ready to get started with mindfulness practice but not sure where to start? Here's a resource from mindful.org.

On Time is always hiring qualified EMTs and other positions. View our jobs by using the link below.

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