I enjoy reading what others have written and then applying to myself and this post gave me much to think about and not just about compassion. What is the most important thing we give our patients? My abilities and my knowledge are more important than compassion, but much harder to demonstrate to the patient. You have to have both to function in this career field. A Paramedic is supposed to be a leader and manager onscene and direct others and allow cooler heads to prevail. What if he isn't normally one of the cooler/compassion people? I remember a line from the movie Chariots Of Fire "You can't put in what God left out." Can you develop compassion if you don't have it already?
I have a certain amount of compassion, and my wife, who is also an EMT, shames me frequently with the way she cares for people and has compassion for them. I know that often I let my emotions and feelings get the better of me, does that mean I shouldn't be in EMS? I hope not because I have choosen it as my career and don't want to walk away from it but often find that when reading posts like this wish that I had other attributies than the ones I was born with.