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The principles of triaging apply far beyond hospital walls, explains emergency room doctor Darria Long. In fact, they can help you maintain a clear head and sense of control even on your busiest day. “You can be as busy as an emergency department without feeling like you’re crazy busy,” avers Long. Learn how to make smart choices amid rising pressures in her eloquent, universally applicable TED Talk.


Apply the triaging principles of emergency room doctors to keep a clear head and be ever ready, even on your busiest day.

Have you ever described a day, week or month as “crazy busy”? Using this language signals that your level of busyness has surged beyond your control or management. That’s bad news for your brain and body – and for the tasks at hand. Amid such conditions, your stress hormones climb and remain elevated, and your executive function (including your memory, judgment and impulse control) suffers, activating areas of the brain that govern anger and anxiety.

Yet people can change how they respond to stress. Emergency room doctors can’t allow themselves to become chaotically or overwhelmingly busy; instead, they persevere in “ready mode.” Regardless of whatever high-pressure scenario bursts through the ER doors, the doctors are prepared and confident.

About the Speaker

Darria Long is an emergency room doctor and an author in the Harwood-Nuss Clinical Practice of Emergency Medicine, a textbook.

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