Ashley Liebig is a HEMS Flight Nurse and Helicopter Rescue Specialist with Austin Travis County STAR Flight. Prior to her flight and rescue career, Ashley served in the US Army as a combat medic with the 101st Airborne Division. She is known around the world as a teacher of managing the stress response, both as someone who has approached it analytically as well as developed tools to mitigate the detrimental aspects of stress out of sheer necessity.
The Hot Offload
Following an intense or stressful situation, employ the ‘hot offload’. This is different from a formal debriefing where all of the steps are reviewed, improvements considered, etc.
Hot offload Principles
- A quick moment of diffusion
- Get out the facts of what happened
- What did you see, hear, taste, touch, smell immediately after the event
- Reaffirming the memories and also exploring potentially false thought processes
- Discuss feelings of guilt within the confines of the small unit that was involved
Hot Offload Steps
- Bad thing happens
- Team leader gets the group together
- Group goes through what they saw-the raw facts of the event
- In the hot offload, there isn’t time for could have, should have, would have. We usually don’t know if one particular action would have really made a difference
- Team leader does a quick check in – are you OK to continue working?
- The team leader may have to pull someone out of work if they observe that that person is not functioning well after the event
Ashley’s three techniques for managing stress
- Change your perspective/mindset to make a negative situation into a positive situation. Finding opportunities in what at first appears to be something negative
- When bad things happen, there is a void created for you to fill with new opportunities
- Ashley recommends this 2 minute podcast clip by Jocko Willink on how to deal with failure and bad situations. In summary, when someone (and the someone can be you) presents you with a problem, respond with, “Good.” When things are going badly, there will be some good that comes from it.
Visualization and rehearsal
- This can inoculate you against the stress that arises in critical and high stakes situaitons
- Ashley likes the Headspace App
Work Hard, Be Respectful, Be Kind
Also mentioned in this podcast
Liz Crowe– we talk a lot about burnout but little regarding how to prevent it
Jocko Willink Podcast Clip
Jocko Willink on the 12 aspects of an effective leader