Emergency Medical Technicians in their beginning training learn to use what’s called a backboard. The backboard is a piece of equipment that a patient is placed on and strapped in.
The backboard’s purpose is to keep the patient’s spine stable, steady, for transport to a medical facility.
What’s tricky about learning to use this vital piece of equipment, is that even though it’s fairly straightforward to get the patient onto the board and seems easy enough to get the straps down, if the straps are not tight enough, the patient can sustain further injury during the ride in the ambulance, helicopter, boat or airplane.
In the Nenana Volunteer Fire Department, notice the word “volunteer”. There is only one paid employee in the department.
It is vital to the service to the community that volunteers are encouraged to get training and respond when the 911 emergency calls come in.
Even though the training is in exchange for volunteer service, it is vital that the volunteers are willing to respond. Criticism in the wrong tone can cause severe consequences in availability of manpower.
While learning to use a backboard, volunteers are always praised for their learning how to lift and lower their patient into the backboard. They are also praised for learning how to use all the fasteners.
When, in the training session, the volunteers are loading the patient on the backboard into the vehicle, there is always a point when the backboard is not perfectly level.
In fact, getting this patient and the large board into a vehicle usually involves tipping a patient either sideways or tilted forward or backward by as much as 45 degrees.
Inevitably, this patient slips visibly to one side or another of the backboard.
That’s when the volunteers realize, and learn by demonstration, that they need to fasten those straps very tight.
The instructor does not need to utter a word of criticism.
If You Must Find Fault This is the Way to Begin – Begin with praise and honest appreciation is what Dale Carnegie says in his book “How to Win Friends and Influence People”.
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