Watson, L 2016, ‘Putting your mind to it’, QAS insight magazine – Winter 2016, p. 12-13, <QAS Insight Magazine – Winter 2016 edition by QAS Media – issuu>.
By Leah Watson
For QAS Critical Care Paramedic, Christian Harch, meditation is the key to keeping grounded in emergencies.
Throughout his four years as a CCP, Christian has been actively using the meditation form of Nei Gong to improve his practice.
‘It’s really about accessing and harnessing energies present in the universe,’ Christian said.
‘In the heat of the moment I feel that meditation really helps me to communicate better with the patient, the patient’s family, bystanders and the clinical team on scene.
‘As a Critical Care Paramedic, the better I can communicate, the smoother things will go and the better off the patient will be.’
This unique outlook led Christian to be invited to speak at the Woodford Folk Festival last December, which he did after being spurred by a friend.
Christian co-presented a talk with Fiona Riley from Lady Cilento Children’s Hospital, which focused on the importance of meditation and mindfulness in emergency situations.
‘It was such an interesting dynamic to present with Fiona. She was able to show the real, medical research that supports the Biomedical Model and the impact of mindfulness,’ he said.
‘Being mindful allows you to stay present in the moment and keep a clear head, which means you make great decisions for not only the patient, but for how you communicate and reassure the patient’s family, as well as allowing you to function highly with the clinical team.’
Christian believes mindfulness should be part of all emergency services’ practise.
‘It’s really important, especially in emergency situations, to be present because people inherently respond very positively to that sort of personal interaction.
‘I’d love to have more people accessing meditation and mindfulness, and not just in the medical industry.
‘That’s the next step in my business plan, once Paramedic Project is up and running.’
Paramedic Project is the YouTube channel that Christian runs independently of the QAS. It aims to bridge the ‘practical gap’ for new paramedics.
‘I’m trying to provide practical information about on-road work to make the transition for new paramedics a little easier,’ he said.
Currently Paramedic Project has over 200 subscribers.
‘There’s a big cross section of people who watch the Paramedic Project videos. Most of them, about 70 per cent, are from Australia and New Zealand and the rest, I believe, are from the UK and the USA,’ he said.
‘A lot of views are from student paramedics and those just starting on the road, but I know a couple of experienced paramedics who also watch the channel.’
Paramedic Project is not the only source of medical information on social media being run independently by medical professionals.
Recently there has been an increasing surge of YouTube channels, Twitter accounts and Facebook pages internationally.
‘Social media is a fantastic tool for exchanging information and expressing yourself,’ he said.
‘The Ambulance Service is a very mobile workplace, so it’s very difficult to get people into a classroom to learn and brush up on the basics. That’s why it’s great that the QAS is embracing online education and social media – you can check up on things on your phone on the way to work.’