Prepping for America

June 26, 2022

I leave for the USA in four days. I haven’t started packing yet but I’m really excited! I’ve never done this type of documenting before, but I have heaps of family, friends and work buddies that want to follow along on my trip and this seemed to be the most plausible for me – so welcome! I will be posting on my socials as well (@bethanyjoy_h) but for the bigger stories and sake of sharing more images I’ll be using this page. Feel free to leave comments or share this around. I’ll be travelling with Australia EMS so if you want to keep up with them, you can follow them on socials (@australiaems).

As much as I’m excited, I’m getting nervous too. Sometimes differentiating between excitement and nerves is hard. Having been to the USA before I feel some comfort in the familiarity I might experience when I first arrive. I’m not sure much can prepare me for what could happen or what I might see whilst out on shifts; although in reality this is no different to any day on the job here in NZ. It does seem a little daunting that I’ll be wearing a stab-proof vest while on shift, something we wouldn’t dream of in New Zealand. I’m looking forward to learning about the differences in pre-hospital care in America, a country that is super confusing with a massive population and demand for accessible health care. I have plenty of questions around the level of care and treatment a patient may or may not receive depending on the service provider, how an individuals insurance status might influence their outcome and how other service providers work together to provide a succinct emergency response. We are so familiar with how the network runs here – St. John or Wellington Free Ambulance, FENZ and New Zealand Police. We all work together smoothly, rely on each other and understand the roles and expectations of each service. With the USA having multiple ambulance service providers in one state, how do they keep up with the other EMS services? So many questions.

There is a lot running through my mind, but my main goal for going on this trip is to develop a deeper understanding of critical patient care in a pre-hospital setting and learn to become proactive in my patient care rather than relying on reactive habits. We are so incredibly lucky here in NZ to have some of the best education in the world for Paramedicine, but getting out of the safety and comfort zone of NZ puts me in a growth zone. Being comfortable is great, but it isn’t where I grow. It isn’t where I’m greatly challenged; and if anyone is reading this and knows me well enough, then you’ll know that I don’t settle easily for comfort. I’m always chasing the next growth point whilst enjoying the journey to get there.