Emergency medical technicians are health care workers who are highly trained to serve in emergency cases. They have considerable skills and knowledge about patients in emergencies. Sometimes, these health care providers are forced to work in dangerous situations. They are responsible for rescue services that arise when a disaster strikes. For instance, after the September 11 attack, they were involved to offer first aid services to the injured people. However, most emergency rescue technicians are trained in different areas to enhance their value during emergency cases (Smiley, Loboda, Starling, & Rubin, 2004).
They play pivotal roles during major accidents and are involved with vehicle extraction, medical monitoring and rehab, and low and high angle rescue. Before the major attack of September 11, New Hanover had noted the need to improve the country’s ability to deal with emergency cases (Smiley et al., 2004). However, many challenges were realized after that attack, which prompted the need for improved preparedness. Emergency medical technicians are trained to respond and give medical care during emergencies. They work under the supervision of a physician medical director who recognizes, assesses, and manages medical emergency cases. They participate by evacuating casualties from emergency scenes, give them first aid, and take them to hospitals for further treatment.
Emergency medical technicians play an integral role in responding to mass casualty. In most cases, they are called to arrive at emergency sites that are affected by the CBRNE agents, including those instigated by terrorists. Achievement of effective attention and response to the CBRNE terrorism, as well other incidents need a strong workforce that is determined, willing, and ready to meet the organizational targets. Unfortunately, sometimes the available workforce may not be motivated to influence the expected results. Some team members may not be prepared or designed to respond to the alarming issues (Koenig, 2010). Apart from the medical knowledge, it is beneficial to learn various methods of handling risky areas and situations. For instance, in emergency response operations such as those involving slippery areas or likely armed criminals and terrorists, it is beneficial for medical practitioners to have defence tactics. They have the ability to move faster to save lives and stop pain for injured persons.
It is notable that trained workers understand their responsibilities and are always motivated to achieve their targets. Training offers knowledge to solve issues that arise during the work and thus eliminates uncertainties. Such people become more motivated to serve in challenging roles and realize enhanced quality of work. According to Smiley et al. (2004), job satisfaction level tends to increase with the quality of training and knowledge. Some of the factors that promote motivation include simulation, awareness level, and hand-on practice.
It is also crucial to apply indirect methods to motivate emergency response technicians such as recognition and provisions of the necessary items required to serve in different places. For instance, when these specialists are required to work in areas with limited oxygen supply, it is beneficial to provide them with oxygen bags. In addition, when they are working in confined areas, it is necessary to ensure their safety through providing various essential measures (Koenig, 2010). They must be trained on how to conduct their medical activities and ensure that their own safety is not compromised. For instance, when assisting victims after explosions, specialized skills to handle such situations are critical. They must have the knowledge to identify and evade explosives, which might be remaining on the site.
Practical and risk assessment information concerning measures to protect the family and the self indicates crucial training outcomes that promote response willingness. The ability to respond and adapt to various work-related situations encourages improved readiness. People who are determined to work in a dynamic environment, including under threats and stress, generate better outcomes. However, dispositional factors, including concerns and fear, tend to limit the ability to achieve higher targets regarding response to emergencies. Terrorism, particularly that involving CBRNE, represents an environment where response is critical (Masterson et al., 2009).
For an organization to improve adaptive capabilities, it must seek to eliminate undesirable issues such as stress, conflict, and misunderstanding in the workplace. It is beneficial to enhance coordination of the entire process before the commencement of the medical emergency activities. Emergency medical technicians must be psychologically prepared to face a hard task ahead of them. They must seek to understand sufficient information concerning the sensitivity and nature of an emergency (Smiley et al., 2004). They must be willing to learn from the experience and embrace new technologies through conducting regular research. For the emergency response technicians to remain competitive in the field, they must update their knowledge through reading new articles, websites and visiting various learning databases. Competitive skills can only be built through frequent updates and willingness to adopt the best operational procedures.
In the event of emergencies, emergency preparedness has always been a burning issue. Emergency preparedness is very important, but most of the medical personnel would feel unprepared when it comes to responding to CBRNE incidences. Attitudes and knowledge of emergency medical technicians matters a lot in the event of a CBRNE emergency (Masterson et al., 2009). Emergency medical technicians are clinicians who have received special training that enables them to respond at the stipulated time to emergencies regarding accident scenes, medical issues, and traumatic injuries. Emergency medical technicians (EMT) are mostly found in ambulances as employees of the government, hospitals, or ambulance service providers. They are required to have diverse information, skills, and knowledge in order to play their essential roles in an effective manner.
According to the Veenema (2012), during a medical emergency operation, emergency medical technicians are supposed to be proficient in giving first aid. That is why, their training is always centred on recognizing, managing, as well as treating risky emergencies such as CBRNE. Since most CBRNE emergencies are associated with traumatic injuries, lacerations, burns, and fractures, EMTs are supposed to know how to handle such cases. In such emergency conditions, EMTs are required to perform CPR, oxygen administration, artificial ventilations, defibrillation, as well as bandaging (Smiley et al., 2004).
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Their competence on the job is determined by their response upon receiving the emergency news. However, this is not always the case. For instance, during a CBRN incident in Ontario and British Columbia, emergency medical technicians did not show their competency due to the lack of resources (Waugh, 2003). To ensure a rapid and timely response, emergency medical technicians are deployed in areas that are prone to emergencies and work as a single EMTs unit. Their job is dependent on emergency events and they are supposed to respond quickly to save the life of casualties through treatment commencement prior to ambulance arrival. In the event that transport is unnecessary, EMTs are supposed to offer medical treatment.
Emergency medical technicians play a crucial role in responding to emergencies. According to the recent evidence, their willingness and confidence to give response to chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear, and other related explosives are not influenced by their routine and daily emergency work. In a bid to examine factors that underpin their preparedness to respond to such event, emergency medical technicians in Australia completed an online survey (Waugh, 2003).
The outcome of the survey indicated that univariate analysis regarding length of service, gender, CBRNE training, perceived personal experience, as well as deployment concerns affected the emergency medical technician’s response preparedness. However, the multivariate analysis showed that higher response preparedness was associated with such factors as male gender, a greater length of service of about 10 to 15 years, and university education. CBRNE training was seen to be fundamental since those who were recently trained showed higher preparedness regardless of their experience in handling such events (Koenig, 2010).
Reluctant and poorly performing emergency medical technicians are likely to affect the organizational ability to meet their targets and obligations. Meeting surge capacity needs becomes a major problem, which encourages increased contamination and infection. Such failures have a close link to the individual performance and response willingness to serve in field hospitals, particularly after a mass casualty incident. Willingness and desire to serve in a particular environment are affected by various factors such as perceived risk, self-assessed capacity, and information about the operating system (Waugh, 2003).
Response to emergencies has been affected by capacity and safety concerns, as well as the motivation to achieve the best outcomes. However, effective interventions can enhance the readiness of the emergency medical technicians. To improve their motivations, it is beneficial to offer training services, considerable remunerations, favorable working conditions, and personal protective equipments. To improve the workforce capabilities, it is beneficial to point out various factors such as dispositional, demographic, and occupational. Building a healthy workforce encourages development and easier achievement of the set targets and supports every emergency technician in playing a role in the process. Competence and ability to generate the expected results are a crucial factor that every emergency technician must seek to achieve. Improved CBRNE response is associated with specific occupational and dispositional factors (Masterson et al., 2009).
As observed by Veenema 2012, failure to work in harmony and to agree on crucial issues affects the organizational growth achievement of its goals. It puts the health and lives of patients at risk due to poor quality service and delayed attention, particularly in emergency cases. The Texas Occupations Code requires every health institution to provide favorable working conditions that encourage creativity and innovation (Koenig, 2010). A health institution that ensures adequate staffing of health workers encourages realization of poor services to patients.
To support provision of quality services, every emergency provider must support and consider employing an adequate number of emergency medical technicians (Waugh, 2003). According to health care policies, emergency technicians are required to update themselves from time to time in order to offer the best services to patients. Inadequate staffing means that emergency medical technicians will have little or no time to check for new information in the internet, journals, books, magazines. As observed by Waeckerle et al. (2001), failure to embrace new techniques, procedures, and skills puts the organization behind in terms of technology advancement. Shortage of staff makes it difficult for emergencies to be responded to effectively and thus many casualties succumb to injuries, which could have received attention.
In special operations during emergency, four different events must be undertaken prior to commencement of the operation. One of the events is the declaration of emergency. This alerts people to run for safety to prevent further casualties and vacate the risky areas. The next event is the evacuation of danger zones. This involves rescuing the affected and taking them to safer grounds. The third event is closing the main shutoffs (Koenig, 2010). This prevents onlookers from gaining entry or avoiding people from going back to the scene for personal belongings after evacuation. The fourth event is calling for external aid. This is to ensure availability of all emergency equipments as well as the personnel. The fifth event is the initiation of rescue operations. This involves tracing of people in debris and rescuing them. The sixth event involves attending to casualties. This involves giving them first aid and transporting them to hospitals for further treatment.
In the recent past, the country has received harsh criticism due to poor response and handling of emergency cases such as the September 11 attack. Rahm & Reddick (2011) felt that the organizational failures were contributed by various challenges, including lack of competent emergency medical technicians, insufficient funds, poor management of resources, poor application of technology, and poor strategic planning. The problem has created a need for a more effective planning that would eliminate all the shortcomings (FEMA, 2011).
To improve the overall performance, there is a need for the emergency management community to work in unity and operate as a team. Strategic planning focuses on expanding and building stronger individual capabilities through enhancing the roles of FEMA. Enhancing the roles of every emergency medical technician can be achieved through building strong regions, strengthening core competencies, investing in the community, and strengthening current partnership as well developing other strategic relationships. Rahm & Reddick (2011) believed that FEMA’s vision had a key role in the realization of improved national preparedness and response to emergency issues. The vision must be focused on enhancing professionalism in the management and distribution of the national resources. It is beneficial to develop an improved approach to detect and influence achievement of the strategic plan (Agranoff & McGuire, 2001).
The increasing risk of both natural and man-made disasters has created the need for the development of a more strategic plan to handle emergencies. There is a need to enhance emergency medical technicians’ preparedness and ability to handle the recovery process during emergencies. It is beneficial to facilitate comprehensive emergency management systems of protection, preparedness, recovery, response, and risk mitigation (Waugh, 2003). Various values such as fairness, respect, compassion, and integrity must be supported to enhance the success. The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) will be required to allocate adequate funds to improve the FEMA’s ability to play its role. An integral approach will facilitate the realization of the set goals and objectives required to enhance medical emergency operations.
To support emergency medical operation, health institutions and FEMA should attract participation from all government organs, including the President’s Management Agenda, regional strategic plans, the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), and the Program Assessment Rating Tool (PART) in both implementation and success measurement. Teamwork and coordination will enhance the expected outcomes and provide improved emergency preparedness and management. Various methods will be applied to measure performance and thus suggest possible corrective actions.
The state must aim at enhancing management of emergencies through improving provision of disaster assistance and reducing chances of abuse, waste, and fraud. It is beneficial to encourage collaboration between the private and public sectors to ensure improved deliverance of disaster assistance (Waugh, 2003). The effort will improve services rendered to the nation and citizens. Various initiatives that will be introduced include efforts to consolidate and simplify the application process for expedite payment and disaster assistance.
In conclusion, to improve the efficiency of the emergency medical technician, it is beneficial to offer technical assistance, federal resources, guidance, exercise, and training. Every emergency medical technician must emphasize strong teamwork, leadership, and top accountability. Health institutions must encourage their workers to offer improved services. The best method to motivate workers is through providing them with all the required equipment and through empowering them. It is beneficial to make them feel a part of the organization and influence them so that they develop a positive attitude towards work. According to Thevenaz & Resodihardjo (2010), cases of workers’ misconduct or poor performance, particularly during an emergency, should be dealt with seriously.
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