The career path that I have chosen is to become an Emergency Medical Technician (EMT). People frequently encounter situations in which they are in need of rapid assistance. The job of an EMT fascinates me because I want the ability to do something that matters in the lives of other people. It is likely that I will help to save the lives of many different people throughout the course of my career as an EMT. Decision-making is an essential skill for people in the EMT field.
The decisions that an EMT makes can have a long-lasting impact. They can impact the EMT’s career and future employment opportunities, and they can also impact the person who is in need of emergency medical treatment. Some situations exist in which not all of the details are available. EMTS must act fast and make informed decisions about what the best course of action is to take. Since many situations involve life or death, an EMT must have the ability to remain calm while under pressure. Decision-making Styles.
There are generally four categories of decision-making styles. The categories are directive, conceptual, analytical, and behavioral (Snowden & Boone 3). An analysis of each style will be provided, along with an explanation of which style or combination of styles would be most useful for an EMT.
The directive style of decision-making is authoritative and focuses on short-term results. The leader does not consult other group members or attempt to perform any major analysis before arriving at a decision. Under a directive decision-making style, information is typically not share with all of the group members (Larson et al. 485). The leader relies on his/her own knowledge or information in order to arrive at a conclusion about what to do. Speed is the main benefit of the directive style of decision-making. Most of the other styles require more thought and analysis or feedback before action can be taken on a particular decision.
Conceptual decision-making is based on creative problem-solving. Rather than analyzing things in a traditional way, conceptual thinkers like to be artistic and think outside of the box. One downside is that there are some situations in which a traditional course of action is the best option all of the time. The conceptual thinker may waste time or resources by constantly trying to think up new ways to solve a problem that has essentially already been solved.
The analytical style involves analyzing large sets of data before figuring out what the best decision is. It works best in situations where numerical or quantitative data is available. The benefit of the analytical style is that it often results in precise solutions that are likely to work. The main downside is the amount of time it takes before a decision is reached. Some situations exist in which a rapid response is needed. Analytical decision-makers perform better in situations where they can take their time and make sure they do not make mistakes when analyzing data.
The behavior style is based on group interaction. People with the behavioral style of decision-making usually get feedback from everyone in a group before making a final decision. They also encourage collaboration and the sharing of ideas within the group. Decisions are typically made based on whatever option would be best for the largest number of people on a team or in a company. A major benefit of the behavioral style is that it can help to build strong teams within an organization. Workers are likely to stay motivated if they feel like their voice is heard and their manager has their interests in mind. A downside is that it can sometimes prioritize the wishes of a team of workers over the larger interests of the organization as a whole (Korsgaard et al. 74).
Many individuals have a decision-making style that combines elements of one or more of the four listed. The best style for one scenario may not be the best choice under different circumstances. Being flexible and adapting decision-making to the situation is important.
In most situations related to a career as an EMT, the directive style of decision making would be most appropriate. This is true for several reasons. For one, the directive style is one of the quickest styles of decision-making. No time is taken to consult team members or obtain feedback. Speed is important in emergency situations. Another important part of the directive style is that the person making the decision relies on his/her own prior knowledge. EMTs are highly trained individuals that have previously learned how to handle a wide variety of situations that they may encounter. Although there may be the occasional rare case where the EMT must think creatively in order to determine the best course of action, most cases involve a situation where the EMT follows training and procedure. In those cases, group feedback and creativity are not important. A brief analysis of the situation may be needed in some emergency situations, but there is no need for a long and thorough analysis of things like numbers or other data. An EMT must have the ability to be confident in the decisions they make. Their medical training should be the main source of information that they draw upon whenever they encounter emergency situations. The ability to work in groups is also important, because the medical care process typically involves collaboration between different medical professionals. However, it is not necessary for groups to spend time brainstorming and thinking out ideas whenever someone is in an emergency and needs rapid help.
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