I like to think of myself as a quick learner. I like to look at situations, even ones I have not been in before, and see solutions to problems. I don’t want to spend too much time getting up to speed because when it comes down to it I just can’t learn everything.
I do believe there are certain skills that everyone should learm, certain things that you should practise and gain experience but there are many, many more that we just don’t have the time, many of them we just cannot practise anyway. After all how can you practise on a head injury, or practise subdueing or killing another human being whilst defending your home.
In reality though there are still things we can do whilst knowing the basics and using common sense, a rare sense in modern times. Things that won’t prepare you properly or enable you to do a good job but you can practise on pretend patients for example. The problem is that in a real situation there will be blood, screaming, people will be struggling and because you are not an expert your limited experience will be overshadowed by panic and uncertainty.
In reality there is very little you can do about the situation. There is no way your inexperience can equate with someone who have been doing this role as a job or has been doing the role for a long time. Practise really does make perfect.
The one thing that you can do though and that is remain calm, no matter what the situation is panic will always make it worse. Calm has a calming effect on people as well, as well as panic but if you can remain calm whilst the world falls apart you will end up in a better situation, even without experience than someone with the same level of experience who does not remain calm.
Being calm is learned. It is something else you have to practise but in my view it is more important than almost any other learned skill.
I can only speak for myself and this is what I do. When things start to happen, and I start to lose control of the situation I say to myself. Disengage panic mode. Calm down, stop what you are doing and calm down. Think about what is going on, pick the most important task and work on that to the exclusion of anything else. Break tasks down and allocate them out if you can. Use others skills and if someone else is panicking then calm them down. Panic is infectious. Repeat until done. It may not be the best way, nor the most efficient but it will be much better than when panic is leading the way. I can assure you of that.
Many time in my life I have seen people panic and screw things up when there was no need.