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Workplace safety for emergency medical personnel

As an Emergency Medical Technician, you spend your work week helping people who are at the worst moments of their lives. Your office can be anywhere. You might start the day on the side of the street helping with a car accident, and be in an office building at lunchtime.

With such an unpredictable day, it’s no surprise that you are especially prone to work-related injuries. But is there anything that you can do to prevent injuries?

Here are a few things you can do to stay safe while working in dangerous situations.

Make the scene safe

It’s a routine part of your training, but when you’re caught in the moment with someone who needs care right now, it’s easy to dismiss. Take the extra couple moments to make sure there are no hazards that are going to be a danger to you or the others on the scene.

Watch out for yourself and your colleagues

When you’re working in a situation where people’s lives are at stake, it’s easy to lose track of the things that are happening in the background. If you’re going to be in a situation where you won’t be able to care for your patient and watch your surroundings, ask someone to keep an eye on the scene and watch for things that might be unsafe.

Practice proper lifting

Unfortunately, when you’re called to a scene, it’s not because someone collapsed on a stretcher. As an EMT you spend a lot of time doing awkward bending and lifting. That is why the most common injuries for EMTs are “body motion injuries.”

There are a lot of times when you’re not able to use “best practices” to work with your patients. There are simply scenarios where awkward bending and twisting are part of the job. But that is why it is so important to use proper lifting techniques when at all possible.

Ask for help when you need it

There are any number of unexpected things that can happen when you’re on a scene and the need for an extra set of eyes or hands could come up fast. Know who your resources are and when you need extra help. It’s always better to ask for help earlier than you need it to make sure everyone on the scene is safe.

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