Can you remember the scariest day of your life? Was it a traumatic event that happened to you or was it something that you witnessed? Well, I can tell you that the scariest day of my life was when I witnessed and had to help a child during a seizure. After this crisis, I was praised for my ability to stay calm and address the situation
It got me thinking, how was I able to stay so calm when on the inside, I felt like I was panicking? Here’s what I did to keep calm during crisis.
First, My Story…
Just a little background information so you can truly picture the day. I am currently a director at a childcare center. After working with kids for almost 10 years now, I have been very fortunate to not have experienced anything that really constitutes as a crisis. I have seen a lot but nothing out of the ordinary when dealing with children. That is until just last week.
It started off as any normal day. The center was busy with children playing and learning. It went on to be a normal afternoon, even as a child came into the office after nap for a temperature check. The child was running a slight temperature but nothing too alarming. It was barely at the point of us having to send them home. I called Mom and left a message and waited a few minutes before calling dad. Dad didn’t pick up either so I left him a message as well. I gave them about 10 minutes before I was going to call the next person on the Emergency list. Right before I picked up the phone to make the third phone call the child started to seize.
This was something I have never in my life had to witness. It is something that I never wanted to have to witness. Regardless of my fear, anxiety and terror I had to step into action immediately to help this child.
The most terrifying thing about seizures is that you can’t do much to help. Yes, you need to turn them on their side and monitor them throughout, but you can’t do anything to really help them or make it stop.
I sat with this child while he was seizing, waiting for the parents and ambulance. The mother arrived just after the seizing finished and then shortly after that the firefighters and paramedics arrived. I was able to stay calm and talk them through exactly what happened and they stepped in and did their job. The child was transported to the hospital and was released that night with a diagnosis of having a Febrile Seizure. Their fever had spiked up to almost 105 degrees all in the matter of 10-15 minutes.
The child is in good health now after a dose of antibiotics for the infection that caused the fever and back at school having fun with friends! A happy ending to such a scary day.
The first, most crucial step during crisis is to stay focused. You can’t think about what else is going on around you. You need to look at the task at hand and go through the steps to complete it. Tune out all the commotion around you and focus. You can handle it! You will handle it!
Take your time
This may not seem right because I know in some crisis situations you must move quickly. However, moving too quickly can lead to mistakes. Mistakes can make the crisis even worse.
Close your eyes. Take a deep breath and walk yourself through what you need to do.
Ask for Help
Don’t be afraid to ask for help. There is no shame in getting help during crisis. While the child was having a seizure, I had one teacher call 911 and another teacher take the rest of the children out of the classroom. This allowed me to focus on the child that needed my help.
Don’t Expect Perfection
Finally, it is important to not expect that you will handle the crisis perfectly. Especially if you have never had to handle what you are handling. There are going to be things that you don’t know and it’s okay. Some things you just must learn on your feet.
Take what you learn from this situation and use it in your life. It will help you through your next crisis or even through everyday life!
If you can stay focused, take your time, ask for help when needed and not expect perfection then you will be able to remain calm during almost any situation. Being able to do this will help others around you remain calm and will help defuse the situation. People feed off the energy around them and if you keep yourself calm they will be more capable to stay calm as well.
One thing that the mother thanked me for after the situation was how I stayed calm. She said that it helped her remain calm and feel comforted throughout the process. My ability to keep calm not only helped me handle the situation it also helped the mother as well.
Now, take a deep breath. You can do this! You’ve got this!
Thanks for stopping by! Please share your experiences with crisis. Your story could help someone else! If you need a little self-care after a crisis, I suggest checking out this post!