Qoute from The EMT Spot

"There is a patient out there who is on a collision course with your skills. They don't know you yet. You've never met them either. They have no idea that they are going to meet you in the future, but the day they do, they will test you." From The EMT Spot

Friday, August 13, 2010

Happy Medic-You make the call!

I read the post on the Happy Medic about what would you do if you saw someone drinking in uniform with a stethescope around their neck and took note of the following quote:
"I guess my point is that just like Police and Fire we in EMS need to stop eating our young and try to take care of each other a little better."

How many of us would say nothing to the person and just dimiss them as a wannabe and go no further?Therin lies the problem, we are so quick to point out when people screwup, but not nearly so quick to offer help. This person needs so much help on several levels that it isn't even funny. If they are a wannabe then somebody needs to give them a hand up and see if they can help them to be a "I am." Often someone wants to be but has no idea how. My gut instinct is that this person is a wannabe and needs some mentoring and we in the fire-ems field are way to good at "eating our young" as Happymedic put it!
I am very lucky in that I have had a couple of really good mentors in my life and they have helped me get over some real rough spots in my career. Some of them were only very short term but profound and some were much more long term but both had value to me in many ways some of which I didn't see until years later. But there have been many more people who have been quick to laugh at my mistakes and remind me of them at every opportunity. That is the biggest problem we have in EMS today, we are so busy caring for ourselves we aren't taking the time to train the new generation to take over! We need to get rid of this attitude that: "If they can't take it, they don't belong here." The modern world of EMS is too much to deal with on a day to day basis for people to just keep getting used up and then move on. We want to be taken seriously as a career field then we have to take care of how we train and equip ourselves to do our job. The ability to deal with what we see on a daily basis is not the always the same level for every person. A thick skin is neccesary to do our job but it does need to be permeable on some levels. The attitude that if you have to ask for for help you can't handle the job also needs to go by the wayside. If somebody has to go find a bar to deal with what they see our first question shouldn't be why are they drinking in uniform, but what can we do to help them so they don't feel like they have to drink in uniform?

1 comment:

  1. Absolutely correct. I have been in EMS for almost 30 years and my experience has been that, just as I stated in my reply to Happy Medics question, we tend to eat our young rather than trying to help them. Working in EMS can be hard both physically and psychologically. The people who last a long time don't always belong there. I struggle daily not to become so emotionally unattached that nothing bothers me. You need to have some emotional investment to be compassionate to your patients and your colleagues. When you lose that ability to have even minimal compassion it's time to go do something else for a job.

    BTW, I responded into your town a couple of times when I worked as a paramedic in the next county over. Always enjoyed it.