Episode 10: Got Stress? BVM It!

wellness Mar 01, 2020

Episode Summary

In this episode of the APEX Live Anesthesia Podcast, we'll take a break from talking about clinical anesthesia and look at acute stress.

We'll explain how the brain reacts to acute stress and then dive into why stress is both helpful and hurtful.

Finally, we'll discuss simple strategies that you can start using today, which are scientifically proven to help manage acute stress.


What You'll Learn

  • What occurs both biologically and physiologically during acute stress?
  • How can stress affect your performance in the OR?
  • Is there such a thing as "good" stress?
  • What management strategies can you use to provide the highest quality care in acutely stressful situations?


What is BVM?

Feeling stressed? We’ve got you covered...
We know life, work, and school can be stressful for both CRNAs and SRNAs. To help you through the tough times, we created a mnemonic with evidence-based strategies to help you combat acute stress.
Olympians, professional athletes, and even business executives already use these techniques in stressful situations, and we can also leverage them in the OR and in life.
Just remember BVM… not bag-valve-mask, but…
Breathe with good Body Position, Visualize, & Motivate. Got stress, BVM it!
B - Breathe with Good Body Position
Breathing is the only autonomic response that we can immediately control, and taking controlled deep breaths in a systematic way helps to calm the mind and focus our attention.
A strong and powerful body position, such as standing upright with square shoulders and arms open at the sides (think Wonder Woman or Captain America), helps increase confidence and decisiveness.
V - Visualize Success
Other professions (such as athletes and high-level business professionals) do this all the time.
You can do this on the way to an emergency by going over procedural steps or interventions in your mind.
You can further prepare for stressful events by mentally rehearsing or thinking specifically about each step in your car while driving or while you are waiting in line at the grocery store.
Wherever you are… visualize success.
M - Motivate Yourself
It’s important to have positive conversations with yourself and avoid any negative thoughts during acute stress.
You can (and should) provide yourself with positive phrases when feeling acutely stressed such as, “I got this!”, “I can do this!” or “I have trained for this!”
So, the next time you find yourself in a stressful situation, whether it’s in the OR, the classroom, or even at home, BVM it!


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Recommended Resources

  1. Grossman, D. On Combat: The Psychology and Physiology of Deadly Conflict in War and in Peace. Warrior Science Publications; 2008.
  2. Hatzigeorgiadis, et al. Self-Talk and Sports Performance A Meta-Analysis. Perspectives on Psychological Science. 2011 6(4), 348–356.
  3. Tod, D., et al. Effects of self-talk: A systematic review. Journal of Sport and Exercise Psychology. 2011 33(5), 666.
  4. Lauria MJ, et al. Psychological Skills to Improve Emergency Care Providers' Performance Under Stress. Ann Emerg Med. 2017 Dec;70(6):884-890.
  5. Steimer, T. The biology of fear- and anxiety-related behaviors. Dialogues Clin Neurosci. 2002 Sep; 4(3): 231–249.
  6. Sapolsky, R.M. Behave: The biology of humans at our best and worst. Penguin Press, 2017.
  7. Kovacs, G., et al. Human Factors in Airway Management. Airway Management in Emergencies. AIME Airway, 2019.
  8. EMCrit RACC Podcast 220 – Beat the Stress Fool (BtSF) with Mike Lauria — Just In Time Performance-Enhancing Psychological Skills.
  9. Amy Cuddy (YouTube) – Your Body Language Shapes Who You Are


Legal Disclaimer

APEX Anesthesia Review, LLC and APEX Live expressly disclaim any liability in connection with the use of any content in its podcasts, social media posts, and all other published content by any third party.

Podcast music by Eino Toivanen, kongano.com


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