Somehow, Ferhat has always known he wanted to be a nurse. He believes it goes back to when he was a little boy. Whenever he played outside with his friends, Ferhat was always the one to get injured. He would fall from a tree or stumble and hit his head. Whatever the game, Ferhat would get hurt.
“I remember once when I was 5 or 6 years old. I hit my head and it started to bleed. Seeing blood scared me. I cried. I was sure I would die. They took me to the hospital where the nurses helped me. I thought, my God, I didn’t die. I’m alive! It made a huge impression on me. Since then I’ve wanted to become a nurse,” smiles Ferhat.
As he got older, Ferhat developed a deftness for computers. He would help friends and family whenever they had problems with their computers. And when he was 15 years old, his mother told him he should go into computers and IT. It would be a good career.
“I said no. I want to be a nurse. And that’s what I did,” laughs Ferhat.
Where the action is
Fresh out of nursing school, Ferhat loved the unpredictability of the emergency unit. Never knowing what the day would bring, or what would happen next.
“Will it be a cardiac arrest or broken bones? You don’t now. You never know. And you get to do a bit of everything. I liked the mix of the job,” says Ferhat.
But as much as he liked the action of the emergency unit, there was one thing Ferhat didn’t like. To be an assistant. To wait on doctors and not be the one to make the decisions.
“At the hospital, the doctor makes the decision. He or she tells you what to do. Give this patient that medication and that patient this medication You’re waiting for their directions. You are assisting them,” says Ferhat. “In the ambulance, it’s different.”
As a Specialist Nurse, Ferhat rides with a fellow nurse. There are only the two of them in the ambulance, taking turns at driving.
“In the ambulance, you have to think more. You’re first on the spot. You make the decisions. It’s your call. It’s your responsibility,” says Ferhat.
But with responsibility comes pressure. The pressure of making the right call. The pressure of giving the right treatment at the most critical time for the patient.
“I like that. I like the action. I like to be first on the scene and make the decisions. To be at the frontline and help people. That’s why I chose ambulances,” says Ferhat.
The emotional impact
After each emergency call, Ferhat sits down with his colleague to talk the experience through. They do the debrief to learn from the experience and to help them handle the emotional impact of the job.
“It’s very important. Especially after a serious emergency. We sit down and talk about what happened. What did we do right? What did we do wrong? What could we have done differently? It helps to ease the emotional burden of the job before you go home. It brings closure to the day,” explains Ferhat.
Usually, a debriefing only takes 10-15 minutes. And mostly it’s just Ferhat and his colleague. But if they need help, Falck has a colleague network they can lean on and crisis counselling standing by.
“We only call on them if it’s very serious. Like if a child has died or something,” says Ferhat.
But Ferhat also uses the debriefing to clear up misunderstandings between colleagues.
“I always ask my colleagues if I did something wrong. If I said something wrong. In an emergency, I become very focused. My only focus is the patient and I can be very direct in my tone of voice. It’s not personal. It’s clear communication. But some might feel upset by it. So, I always make sure we talk it through afterwards,” explains Ferhat.
Every day is a good day
Ferhat feels lucky. Lucky that he has the job he has dreamed of since he was a little boy. And happy because the job has turned out to be everything he hoped it would be.
“I love it when we can make a difference in someone's life. It doesn’t have to be a cardiac arrest or a major traffic accident. But every day we help someone in need. We make a difference to somebody every day - so every day is a good day,” smiles Ferhat.
However, the more serious incidents like cardiac arrest and traffic accidents do make an impression on Ferhat that’s hard to forget.
“It’s a special experience. And it’s amazing to see how well we work together with the fire brigade and the police. We’re extremely efficient. Everybody knows exactly what to do when they arrive on the scene. So smooth. So professional. The training really comes together in moments like that. And if all goes well, it’s a very rewarding experience,” concludes Ferhat.