Short talk

Spotting Zebras

Feb 5, 2023 | Podcast, Short Talks

US Military standing next to an overturned tactical vehicle with a bomb blast hole next to them

In a short episode inspired by a listener question, Mike dives into the art of noticing abnormalities. An EMT instructs his trainees to put every patient on the EKG, whether the complaint is cardiac related or not. Why? So that the trainee will develop a baseline of what normal cardiac activity looks like and will be able to spot the abnormal more easily in the future. 

Humans are excellent at pattern recognition…if they’ve gathered enough data to establish a baseline. Whether it’s noticing an abnormal heart rhythm, an unusual response to a squad car parked at an interdiction checkpoint, or the activity leading up to an ambush in some far-off deployment, being aware of what’s normal and what’s not can be a crucial skill.

Left of Bang by Patrick Van Horne

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