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How To Properly Deal With Stress As An EMT Or Paramedic

How To Properly Deal with Stress as an EMT or Paramedic

Any healthcare professional will tell you the importance of taking care of your physical and mental wellbeing. All jobs within the sector encounter stress one way or another. However, an EMT or paramedic has been mentioned as one of the most stressful jobs in the industry. It’s understandable because each requires an emergency response in life-or-death situations. Therefore, managing stress is highly important. To achieve this, we recommend implementing the following:

1.   Ensure adequate rest between shifts

As an EMT or paramedic, it isn’t easy to shut down after shifts. Usually, this results in poor sleep or rest. However, sleep is a biological need similar to drinking and eating. By providing yourself adequate rest, you can obtain physical refreshment to ease your mind during work.

It’s been proven that a lack of sleep directly correlates to a decline in neurological functioning and performance. Linked to a reduction of these have showcased an increased chance of injury and poor health behaviors, which could enhance the stress received during your shift.

2.   Stay connected with out-of-work life

Getting wrapped up with work is easily done, detaching yourself from out-of-work life. It can make you feel non-present and unhappy, ultimately leading to increase stress levels. Therefore, make this a priority when your shift has ended; consider spending more time with your children, relatives, friends, or group activities. Doing this makes us feel less stressed in this work environment, and simply smiling during these engagements can lower your heart rate, decreasing stress further.

3.   Eat a well-rounded, healthy diet

The food we consume has a direct reflection on our body and mind. Eating foods that contain high salts and sugar levels can quickly increase water retention, making you feel fatigued. When you feel tired, alertness decreases, which can be linked to high-stress levels. However, eating foods that contain vitamin C and Omega 3 Fatty Acids can lower both cortisol and blood pressure, making you feel active.

4.   Maintain sufficient physical levels

Eating healthy matched with maintaining excellent physical fitness levels declines stress. Exercising regularly offers various benefits from mindfulness, physical fitness, and sleep. Non-surprisingly, all the mentioned advantages directly connect with a reduction of stress levels, making EMT and paramedic jobs less demanding.

5.   Find a coping mechanism

Lastly, find a coping mechanism that works for you in both a short- and long-term situation. Having both solidified allows you to cope in all stressful and demanding situations. These can range massively, so here are some examples:

  • Short-term – Breathing techniques, listening to music, yoga or walking, questioning your thought patterns, etc.
  • Long-term – Identify and learn to manage your triggers, adopt cognitive behavioral therapy, have a daily routine that considers meditation or fitness, maintain a healthy diet, etc.

After reading the above, you should better understand how to deal with stress in an EMT or paramedic environment properly. They’ll always be stress within these job roles because of their nature, but learning how to overcome and deal with this can benefit you immensely.

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