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MissAmericanPie
11-18-2007, 01:50
Hello All,

I was wondering if there are any pleasant EMTs other than yourselves? I have been lurking at several EMS forums and I cannot believe the piss poor attitudes regarding the business, schooling, nurses, patients, and the world in general. I also notice how unfriendly some of them are to fellow EMTs and they seem so resentful and negative toward those looking forward to beginning a career.

I'm afraid to post. My enthusiasm may get me flamed. Some people are just asking simple questions about schooling and getting responses like "lemme guess, you just want to work on a private ambulance service" kind of crap. Glad I didn't post since that is kinda what I was thinking of doing.

Please tell me there are friendly medics. The paramedics on some of these forums seem so eager to boast about their skills/experience but are condescending to anyone who wants to enter their ranks, suggesting that only certain people can cut it and they are quick to make a prediction that certain posters don't have what it takes. What am I getting myself into with this business?

I just sent a letter of interest to an ambulance service near me. I recently became certified as an NREMT-B. I have been responding to calls with my local Fire/Rescue but we are really slow right now - I have had two calls in three weeks. Am I going to hate the people in this business? So far I have liked all of the people I have met in person. The internet, not so much.

What can you guys tell me?

hotpig
11-18-2007, 08:12
I like just working part time. I do not get caught up in all of the full timers drama and bickering.

Tvov
11-18-2007, 15:05
Is what you are reading more than "normal" internet forum "smacktalking"? I am a little surprised. I would think people would be more supportive of others looking into emergency services.

As to the attitude towards patients, I assume that is normal grousing. When I go to work-related forums, a majority of the threads are people letting off steam about PITA customers (Pain In The rearend). My wife is a nurse, and when she gets together with coworkers they always spend time talking about patients like that. It is just a part of life!

DaleGribble
11-18-2007, 17:00
Is there negativity, yes. You will see it when once you start working EMS. Not everybody is that way, there are lots of upbeat people in EMS just like there are a lot of ****heads.

I've seen a lot of the nurse/paramedic rivalry. Honestly, a lot of it stems from paramedics doing dumb stuff, at least that's been my experience. Nurses do cause some of the rivalry though.

As for the whole paramedic ego thing, the medics with the big egos are often called paragods because they think they are god. This is a sore subject with me.

You're going to run into paragods. It's inevitable because they're everywhere and they think their **** doesn't stink. Some of them honestly believe they walk on water and can do no wrong. They're unapproachable, ignorant as hell and usually don't know their **** as well as they think they do. Most of them are compensating for obvious flaws instead of trying to fix those flaws.

I'm in my last two weeks of paramedic school and I've seen some of my classmates go from normal people to paragods and it's down right sickening. When you see a paragod, you'll recognize one instantly. They're usually the ones that wear wrap around sunglasses on cloudy days, they'll be rude and condescending to patients and they'll usually have a swagger worse than anything you'll see at a bar.

Once you start working in EMS you'll see all types of paramedics. Most of the really good ones aren't paragods, they're usually pretty down to earth and they are the best ones to learn from.

I know my post may sound pretty negative but EMS isn't all bad. It's a pretty good field to be in right now. I've only been in it three years and I'm seeing a lot of changes. Working conditions and the pay are improving in a lot of places due to the shortage of qualified people and that trend is going to continue for a while. Besides that, you'll get to help people, which for me, is the best part of the job.

MissAmericanPie
11-18-2007, 18:11
Is what you are reading more than "normal" internet forum "smacktalking"? I am a little surprised. I would think people would be more supportive of others looking into emergency services.

As to the attitude towards patients, I assume that is normal grousing. When I go to work-related forums, a majority of the threads are people letting off steam about PITA customers (Pain In The rearend). My wife is a nurse, and when she gets together with coworkers they always spend time talking about patients like that. It is just a part of life!

It definitely is different thatn normal internet "smacktalk". I spend a fair amount of time on this board in CT. Those guys are a cut above what I encountered on those EMS forums. In CT the only people that they ***** about are bad guys and sometimes administrators. I rarely hear the cops there complain about pay (I know EMS pays poorly but it is not why I'm doing it) or the people they are trying to HELP, which is ostensibly why we are in EMS. Sure there are irritating people that are your patients, and it is normal to complain about it, however, if you hate your co-workers, your pay, and you no longer care for the patients, it sounds like it may be time to leave.

I worked in restaurants for years. I understand the need to vent about people who are jerks, however, I didn't go to school to wait tables or choose it as a "career". I also never entered the trade to help people. I just want to know that most EMTs are good people trying to help others and that I have just encountered a cranky bunch. :)

MissAmericanPie
11-18-2007, 18:13
Is there negativity, yes. You will see it when once you start working EMS. Not everybody is that way, there are lots of upbeat people in EMS just like there are a lot of ****heads.

I've seen a lot of the nurse/paramedic rivalry. Honestly, a lot of it stems from paramedics doing dumb stuff, at least that's been my experience. Nurses do cause some of the rivalry though.

As for the whole paramedic ego thing, the medics with the big egos are often called paragods because they think they are god. This is a sore subject with me.

You're going to run into paragods. It's inevitable because they're everywhere and they think their **** doesn't stink. Some of them honestly believe they walk on water and can do no wrong. They're unapproachable, ignorant as hell and usually don't know their **** as well as they think they do. Most of them are compensating for obvious flaws instead of trying to fix those flaws.

I'm in my last two weeks of paramedic school and I've seen some of my classmates go from normal people to paragods and it's down right sickening. When you see a paragod, you'll recognize one instantly. They're usually the ones that wear wrap around sunglasses on cloudy days, they'll be rude and condescending to patients and they'll usually have a swagger worse than anything you'll see at a bar.

Once you start working in EMS you'll see all types of paramedics. Most of the really good ones aren't paragods, they're usually pretty down to earth and they are the best ones to learn from.

I know my post may sound pretty negative but EMS isn't all bad. It's a pretty good field to be in right now. I've only been in it three years and I'm seeing a lot of changes. Working conditions and the pay are improving in a lot of places due to the shortage of qualified people and that trend is going to continue for a while. Besides that, you'll get to help people, which for me, is the best part of the job.

Paragods: Now that is damn funny. Thanks for the encouragement. I just want to keep my intentions pure and not let my attitude become poisoned.

Skintop911
11-18-2007, 18:23
What can you guys tell me?

Hang in there. Negativity always seems to have a greater volume than contentedness. Few are inclined to proclaim how great their life is.

Paragods: Now that is damn funny.

If you like that, you'll like "Parapyropig".

lakota222
11-18-2007, 20:38
[QUOTE=MissAmericanPie;9282344]

I'm afraid to post. My enthusiasm may get me flamed.

QUOTE]


You should be filled with enthusiasim. You are headed into a brand new challenge and anything is possible. Dont let anyone tell you that they were not enthusiastic at the start of their career-if they do they would be lying. EMS is not a career that one just settles for, you have to want to do it.

I will be the first to admit that I am full of negativity when it comes to my career and I am nearing the end of my career, but I also feel that maybe if I had made better choices when it came to employers that just maybe I would love the job as much as I did in the begining. If you get into the right place this can be a wonderful career.

Good luck with your new endeavor and I wish you only the best.

D25
11-18-2007, 21:28
I'm a happy camper, and love my job even though it isn't a municipal FD job. Been there, done that, moved along to greener pastures. Part of the reason that I'm still a happy camper is the fact that I can piss and moan from time to time. Sometimes it's to my partner, sometimes it's to other paramedics/EMTs, sometimes it's to the RNs or MDs at the hospital. I'm not at all negative, but I am realistic. There are lots of negative situations that we've all been thrust into, and rather than allow that negativity to seep into my soul, I'll piss and moan a little, hone my morbid sence of humor, drink some more coffee, and then go on with my day.

MissAmericanPie
11-19-2007, 00:12
I'm a happy camper, and love my job even though it isn't a municipal FD job. Been there, done that, moved along to greener pastures. Part of the reason that I'm still a happy camper is the fact that I can piss and moan from time to time. Sometimes it's to my partner, sometimes it's to other paramedics/EMTs, sometimes it's to the RNs or MDs at the hospital. I'm not at all negative, but I am realistic. There are lots of negative situations that we've all been thrust into, and rather than allow that negativity to seep into my soul, I'll piss and moan a little, hone my morbid sence of humor, drink some more coffee, and then go on with my day.

Hell, I'm pissing and moaning about people pissing and moaning. I do understand the need to rant. Believe me.

I am just thinking that I need to make sure not to get caught up in the soap opera of it all. I do love my life and what I have chosen to do. I know I will see some things that make me need to vent and I will encounter people that will irritate me beyond belief. However, I am hoping that I don't **** on my co-workers and fellow EMS brothers and sisters to make myself feel superior, and I hope when I gain experience that I will happily pass that on to newbies.

To hijack my own thread: What is the general consensus on ambulance time as an EMT-B before schooling for Intermediate? I think a class starts in the spring, but if I am hired this winter, that won't be much ride time. What do you think?

MissAmericanPie
11-19-2007, 00:21
[QUOTE=MissAmericanPie;9282344]

I'm afraid to post. My enthusiasm may get me flamed.

QUOTE]


You should be filled with enthusiasim. You are headed into a brand new challenge and anything is possible. Dont let anyone tell you that they were not enthusiastic at the start of their career-if they do they would be lying. EMS is not a career that one just settles for, you have to want to do it.

I will be the first to admit that I am full of negativity when it comes to my career and I am nearing the end of my career, but I also feel that maybe if I had made better choices when it came to employers that just maybe I would love the job as much as I did in the begining. If you get into the right place this can be a wonderful career.

Good luck with your new endeavor and I wish you only the best.

I'm sorry you have not found your niche. I really do want to find the RIGHT place, but for now I just want to find A place.

I figure if I apply at private ambulance services and I do a lot of transports, the volunteer rescue can give me the first responder opportunity I want, and perhaps I can fill in the other end at the ER with a shift as a tech. We'll see what happens. And this winter I'm working a few shifts at the ski mountain in base first aid. I can see how ski patrol deals with fractures and head injuries pre-ambulance.

Thanks for the encouragement. I'm looking forward to my future in EMS.

Thank you all. I think I will stick to GT. I just wish this EMS forum was more active.

MissAmericanPie
11-19-2007, 00:25
Oh and D25: A morbid sense of humor is essential, I would think, and I meet the criteria for that pre-requisite. ;)

gruntmedik
11-19-2007, 00:26
Don't let them get you down. Not everyone in EMS is like that, but be aware that an attitude like that can be contagious if you let it. I think some of it stems from always seeing the worst of times for most people. For EMS to come see you, you're either sick, or hurt. Dealing with that day in and day out gets to some people. Good luck in your endeavours, and remember the #1 rule of Emergency Medicine---It's not YOUR emergency.

<------Is a friendly Medic.

MissAmericanPie
11-19-2007, 20:52
Don't let them get you down. Not everyone in EMS is like that, but be aware that an attitude like that can be contagious if you let it. I think some of it stems from always seeing the worst of times for most people. For EMS to come see you, you're either sick, or hurt. Dealing with that day in and day out gets to some people. Good luck in your endeavours, and remember the #1 rule of Emergency Medicine---It's not YOUR emergency.

<------Is a friendly Medic.

Your last line: The paramedic on our rescue said that to me once. It sounds like good advice to keep the rescuer calm and collected and to ease the depression of seeing bad things.

Thank you for your optimism. It is surely appreciated. I think that many websites have an aura about them. The trend begins somewhere regarding attitudes and like-minded people gravitate toward each other. On here, because it is primarily a gun forum, the posters tend to be more self-reliant and less likely to ***** about the hand they have been dealt. I think that is why I like it here. There is less negativity.

Ok, I'm better now. :)

Tvov
11-20-2007, 07:46
On here, because it is primarily a gun forum, the posters tend to be more self-reliant and less likely to ***** about the hand they have been dealt. I think that is why I like it here. There is less negativity.

Ok, I'm better now. :)

That is a pretty good description of GlockTalk in my opinion!

RyanNREMTP
11-20-2007, 08:27
May I ask which forums you were on. I prefer foops.org as a very good EMS forum. I post there frequently.

Think of forums as a place to vent pretty much without anyone that could fire you fire you. Also it's a place to ask about calls and get others opinions about what they would have done. As with all places there are a few bad apples.

lomfs24
11-20-2007, 10:38
Lemme guess, you just want to join a private ambulance service.

Sorry, I couldn't resist. I guess I have gotten my fill of internet trash talk. I usually don't frequent forum.... except GT. I have an interest in guns plus there are a lot of different forum here like this one.

Here locally the private service is AMR and there are some great people working there. They are always willing to help. Both the medics and the basics are great people. True, some of them have the "I walk on water" attitude but once you can get past that they are truly good people trying to help.

I hope you get the opportunity to join a service and I hope you have the opportunity to have someone puke on your shoes. It's a great life and I couldn't imagine doing anything different. But emergency service people are like any other group of people there are some great people and there are some losers. Find the great people and hang out with them.

MissAmericanPie
11-21-2007, 00:37
May I ask which forums you were on. I prefer foops.org as a very good EMS forum. I post there frequently.

Think of forums as a place to vent pretty much without anyone that could fire you fire you. Also it's a place to ask about calls and get others opinions about what they would have done. As with all places there are a few bad apples.

I think I have seen your screen name somewhere else, however, the site you mentioned didn't sound familiar.

I think the name of one of them is EMS Responder and there were two more that I cannot remember the names as I have purged all of them from my "favorites". :)

But I will check out the one you mentioned. I did start visiting primarily because I wanted to become more educated with my skills and about the business in general.

I definitely understand the need to vent. I just have an issue with unnecessarily *****ty remarks to simple, innocent questions. Some people have not yet attained "paragod" status and want to learn more. :) I see this attitude on different boards on GT as well, but not as much, and I have learned to frequent the ones with tight groups of people that closely mirror my outlook.

MissAmericanPie
11-21-2007, 00:51
Lemme guess, you just want to join a private ambulance service.

Sorry, I couldn't resist. I guess I have gotten my fill of internet trash talk. I usually don't frequent forum.... except GT. I have an interest in guns plus there are a lot of different forum here like this one.

Here locally the private service is AMR and there are some great people working there. They are always willing to help. Both the medics and the basics are great people. True, some of them have the "I walk on water" attitude but once you can get past that they are truly good people trying to help.

I hope you get the opportunity to join a service and I hope you have the opportunity to have someone puke on your shoes. It's a great life and I couldn't imagine doing anything different. But emergency service people are like any other group of people there are some great people and there are some losers. Find the great people and hang out with them.

I have already become acquainted with some wonderful people in EMS. My rescue squad is populated by them as well as the school I attended. I still see my instructors from time to time and so many people in the area are affiliated with the school, as well.

I went to a seminar tonight, not for the material (TEMSIS), but to meet area people in EMS and network a little. It was pretty nice. One of the local ambulance co's manager offered ride time. I'm thinking I might go for it if I can't line up what I have in mind.

And I can't wait to get my shoes puked upon. ;) :)

Thank you everyone for the encouragement. Everything is very overwhelming when you are a newbie, especially when you are on a rescue squad where your first major call as an EMT could be a solo endeavor!! I'm hoping not, but there is no way around that possibility when you live in a rural area on a volunteer department.

On a side note: My stupid radio was off when I was charging it today when a call apparently came in for a car submerged in a pond when it left the icy roadway!! I have been waiting for a call for over two weeks and I missed it!!! :( D'oh. :) I'll be ready next time. They tell me this will wear off........

mitchshrader
11-21-2007, 02:08
learn the art of the squelching insult. :)

use it wisely, grasshopper!

RLDS45S
11-21-2007, 08:31
I have seen small town Volley EMS to urban EMS. It is what you the provider make out of it, that means you get out what you put in! I do not know what some medics think at times that they have to one up RN's. BTDT! Some of the best calls I have ever ran were with a great EMT, not a medic partner....Best call ever.....13min to call to ED with a full arrest (jail hanging) I never said word one hardly. The EMT directed the call while I did the invasive stuff......all he asked was what size tube, and he handed it to me and did an EJ since it was handy.

I earned the priviledge to be critical of medics and emts with 27yrs of experience both prehospital and ER. And, of late I have see an awful lot of sloppy EMS being practiced....misplaced ETT tubes are the biggest one! Not following protocols....I just go to myself why bother?


Common sense is the best tool there is!

The best advice I ever received as noob is to know your equipment, know your limitations (read no cowboy crap), and above all else....take a deep breath before you go through the door....EMS provides window into a side of life many do not ever see. You get to be witness to the Alpha and Omega (birth thru death).

I have ran a Multiple Fatality MVC and then delivered a baby in almost in the next breath...

Go forth...and embrace your passion! I certainly do not know of any profession that affords you an opportunity to impact a person's life...

Lynn D
11-21-2007, 12:44
And some of us are there 'cause we wanna be. I work vollie in a suburb as EMT-B. The folks I work with are generally great at what we do. We have a separate ALS agency that responds when needed. I have yet to have any of those medics treat me as anything other than a co-worker. They, too, are great. And encouraging. Many teach EMS courses and are often willling to share their knowledge. Most of the folks with whom I ride are retirees who just know tons of stuff. Couldn't ask for a better group. And besides, where else can I go where I can just sit and have coffee?

<--- Is a friendly EMT-B!

RLDS45S
11-21-2007, 15:56
People do it for one reason or another. I had great preceptors in medic school. Four of them went to the Dark Side (nursing with all them now CRNA's). A classmate of mine and myself went to the Dark Side, too.

There are less the intelligent medics just as the ED is populated with less then intelligent nurses. The best part is that I know most EMS providers do a better job of documentation then any nurse.....You want funny a medic charting a full arrest does it better and faster then any nurse I have ever seen! No thought process...

Be the best you can be! Take in everything you can! Then develop your own style.....leave your mark!

pulaskipusher
11-21-2007, 16:18
I've only known one EMT to regularly wore his posteriour for a hat :) Other than the one bad example most of the EMT/Paramedics have been fun, sincer, friendly folks.

ESI Agent
11-21-2007, 18:28
I work in the security industry and regardless of education or background their are always going to be little people who want to look down on people so they can feel better about themselves. I learned along time ago to judge people by their behavirors and watch them perform then assess. Lots of these people that think their all that have a very low skill levil. Perception is just that perception their is actually a reality.

pulaskipusher
11-21-2007, 18:34
ESI good point, it's more about compatence than confidence.

Pardon my spelling.

D25
11-21-2007, 20:53
Oh and D25: A morbid sense of humor is essential, I would think, and I meet the criteria for that pre-requisite. ;)

You'll do just fine then. ;) And don't get too bent out of shape trying to find the perfect fit right off the bat. Go with the flow, and you'll find your spot.

Bill Lumberg
08-29-2010, 07:52
I've met few EMT's or medics who weren't nice folks. EMT's don't usually try to put them selves forth as doctors or anything else they're not. In the security guard "industry", posers or those that are confused about their status or abilities are far more common than in emergency medical circles.

I work in the security industry and regardless of education or background their are always going to be little people who want to look down on people so they can feel better about themselves. I learned along time ago to judge people by their behavirors and watch them perform then assess. Lots of these people that think their all that have a very low skill levil. Perception is just that perception their is actually a reality.

jbotstein1
08-29-2010, 07:57
I've found that there are people in all levels of healthcare who become very cynical and negative after dealing with patients for awhile. I'm in my 3rd year of medical school and I've already seen it happen in classmates. We were warned in our first year how we enter school completely idealistic ready to save the world, and by the time we graduate, many of us are jaded and cynical when it comes to patient care. I think it's a mechanism that some people must use to separate themselves from the reality that is their job.

On another note, I was in the ER the other day talking to an EMT, and he was showing me an EKG on one of his patients. I can read them a little bit, but I don't have tons of experience yet, however, he proceeded to explain some things to me, and say that he can read EKG's as well as or better than most cardiologists. It was at that point that I stopped listening to everything he said.

ETA: I have the utmost respect for anyone in the healthcare field. I believe it is a field where you work extremely hard for good reason, and I feel privileged to be pursuing a career in which I get to directly help people.

trifecta
08-29-2010, 09:00
On another note, I was in the ER the other day talking to an EMT, and he was showing me an EKG on one of his patients. I can read them a little bit, but I don't have tons of experience yet, however, he proceeded to explain some things to me, and say that he can read EKG's as well as or better than most cardiologists. It was at that point that I stopped listening to everything he said.

ETA: I have the utmost respect for anyone in the healthcare field. I believe it is a field where you work extremely hard for good reason, and I feel privileged to be pursuing a career in which I get to directly help people.

I have met some Paramedics who could read just about anything on an EKG. Most were EMS educators at least part time and would have spent the time explaining a strip to a med student. None of them would have bragged about out doing a cardiologist. Truth is, most of that advanced ability is wasted in the field.

jbotstein1
08-29-2010, 09:08
He did explain stuff to me which was nice. It's interesting to see the different types of education on the same subject as far as level of understanding. For instance, I learned about the neural circuitry of the heart and the reason why an EKG works the way it does, but this guy said he was taught what different EKG readings mean without learning the underlying mechanism or reason why. The reason being is that his job is to quickly assess a patients stability and transport to someone who can then care for the patient in a different setting. Pretty neat really.

trifecta
08-29-2010, 09:33
He did explain stuff to me which was nice. It's interesting to see the different types of education on the same subject as far as level of understanding. For instance, I learned about the neural circuitry of the heart and the reason why an EKG works the way it does, but this guy said he was taught what different EKG readings mean without learning the underlying mechanism or reason why. The reason being is that his job is to quickly assess a patients stability and transport to someone who can then care for the patient in a different setting. Pretty neat really.

Everything about how the body works, including the heart, really is interesting. In the end, even if we know what is going on, we need to do our available interventions and give the patient a diesel bolus. There is a reason it only takes 6 months to be paramedic and a whole lot longer for med school and cardiology residency.

Edit: sorry for the positive tone derailing a thread about negativity.:embarassed:

jbotstein1
08-29-2010, 10:53
We may be the exceptions to this negativity. Or maybe I'm just not jaded yet. Give me a couple years and I'll post something negative and put down my peers :)

G21FAN
08-29-2010, 12:07
I retired after 15 years of EMS, it IS a youngster's job! Lifting patients and 24 solid hours of running here and there.


Seems to me as the majority of negativity and bad attitudes stem from operations level more than burnout at the patient level. The companies I worked for and surrounding area are very bad about deliberate understaffing to make money. For example, one unit I ran on for about 2 years operated like this: We we stationed in Chelse, Alabama on Hwy 280 and we were assinged first out foe Chelsea, Hoover Rescue 43, One half of Hoover Rescue 42, North Shelby Fire District, Cahaba Valley distric back up, Dunnavant, Vandiver, Vincent, and Harpersville Fire Rescue Districts. Not mentioning having to back up the other units covering Columbiana and all of south Shelby County, While a third truck covered Alabaster, Pelham, And Northern half of Chilton County. Often times response times were over half an hour or more during busy days. And this is not including private contractual nursing home calls. 3 24 hour trucks running what 5-7 24hr trucks need to safely do.


During a 24 hr shift in which you have to lie over the radio just to grab a bite to eat, use the restroom, or even fuel up the truck as in any response greater than 10 min resulted in a write up, being used against you for raises!

Forget about getting off on time, often your 24 hr shift is 25-26 hrs long, Coupled with mandatory call in on off days for staffing, no vacation time granted, and more write ups if you are off sick and dealing with hostile management that only punish instead of rewarding will create some negativity.

Before anyone say to get another job, often time you cannot due to work time with low pay making one dependant on them.

That is why after 15 years I just walked off the truck, and my health improved greatly because of it.

This is private ambulances in Alabama.

So look hard at this line of work before you commit. Bear in mind also patient care can also wear on you at time, but is easier to deal with than dealing with managers.

ERDocnshooter
08-29-2010, 13:18
As has been said there are those in any profession that can brighten up a room just by leaving it or suck the air out by walking in. The job we do sometimes lends itself to us becoming cynical, sometimes out of defense(like LE we usually see everyone at their worse and we usually see the same frequent flyers). I have found that by keeping my physical, emotional and spiritual spheres in balance that I am able to keep me in balance. We work terrible hours, eat off schedule and sleep when able. sometimes our families suffer and we don't understand why they don't get it. All can lead to bad attitudes.

Paragods, LOL that is so true also. I have been practicing 27 years, and I learn something everyday. I also serve as an integral team member and Med Director of a Tact. team so in reality I interface better with the guys in the street EMS and LE than my peers in the ER.

We don't do this for the money, glory, or because of the lifestyle, it has to be a passion and a calling. If you have it pursue it to the best of your ability and utilize any negative energy to push you into a postive to counter it, best wishes.

G21FAN
08-29-2010, 14:05
ERDoc that is true!

I loved the treating and helping patients and would not trade anything for it.

Not trying to excuse the bad attitudes that are there, just giving a reason it may be there.

ERDocnshooter
08-30-2010, 22:18
G21, you are very correct in your comments. Even in my profession much of the stress and burnout is not so much peer or patient related as much as dealing with management and the unrealisitic expectations placed on us. The service I volunteer as med dir for has as their director an individual who is an EMT not a P either. On a routine basis he takes a shift and works a truck to keep his hand in reality, that is leadership. The Med Director for our division at the VA where I work want us to be faster, work with less staff but yet has been in the ER maybe twice and could not do a shift much less just observe(we are placed in primary care and not our own dept yet) so that is not good leadership. Therefore caution would be to also consider management when choosing a place to work.

Short Bus
09-03-2010, 01:45
I know that there are people that hate what they do in all fields. I would say that most of the people in EMS are good people though. There will always be a bad apple or two, but you can usually pick those off the tree pretty quick.

I have been in EMS for over 10 years and I would say the biggest thing that pisses me off is the abuse of the system. I'm not going to rant on it, but it wont take you long to see it. It is a great field to get into though and I would tell anyone thinking about it to go for it. You wont know if you will like it until you try it.

taurusfan
09-04-2010, 09:39
Most everybody is right on with their comments. I have been an EMT-P for 10yrs and while my attitude is by no means the best I at least TRY to be pleasant (its tough at 3a.m. when you are called for someone who cant reach his remote!) The burnout rate for EMS is around 7yrs but that is largely dependant on Op tempo and the dept's administration.

a couple things to think about as an EMS provider: It is better to be there and not needed than needed and not there. And often the best treatment you can provide is a calm attitude.

joke: What is the difference between GOD and a paramedic?
God doesnt think he is a medic.

dana
09-17-2010, 09:31
I retired after 15 years of EMS, it IS a youngster's job! Lifting patients and 24 solid hours of running here and there.


Seems to me as the majority of negativity and bad attitudes stem from operations level more than burnout at the patient level. The companies I worked for and surrounding area are very bad about deliberate understaffing to make money. For example, one unit I ran on for about 2 years operated like this: We we stationed in Chelse, Alabama on Hwy 280 and we were assinged first out foe Chelsea, Hoover Rescue 43, One half of Hoover Rescue 42, North Shelby Fire District, Cahaba Valley distric back up, Dunnavant, Vandiver, Vincent, and Harpersville Fire Rescue Districts. Not mentioning having to back up the other units covering Columbiana and all of south Shelby County, While a third truck covered Alabaster, Pelham, And Northern half of Chilton County. Often times response times were over half an hour or more during busy days. And this is not including private contractual nursing home calls. 3 24 hour trucks running what 5-7 24hr trucks need to safely do.


During a 24 hr shift in which you have to lie over the radio just to grab a bite to eat, use the restroom, or even fuel up the truck as in any response greater than 10 min resulted in a write up, being used against you for raises!

Forget about getting off on time, often your 24 hr shift is 25-26 hrs long, Coupled with mandatory call in on off days for staffing, no vacation time granted, and more write ups if you are off sick and dealing with hostile management that only punish instead of rewarding will create some negativity.

Before anyone say to get another job, often time you cannot due to work time with low pay making one dependant on them.

That is why after 15 years I just walked off the truck, and my health improved greatly because of it.

This is private ambulances in Alabama.

So look hard at this line of work before you commit. Bear in mind also patient care can also wear on you at time, but is easier to deal with than dealing with managers.

I spent 13 years in EMS all working 911. The last 8 were in a large city working running 911 with a level 1 trauma hospital. Last time I looked we were running well over 100,000 calls a year. I just wanted to say that this post basically sums up most of the legitimist reasons that people get disgruntled. It is a very good post and you will see it all too often.




What shocked me about people’s attitude at least in my region was that it become “cool” to have a crappy attitude. My favorite partners usually had 10-20 years experience and new there ****. We would do our share of complaining but nothing to bad. But many times I would hear a group of medics standing around smoking cigarettes and complaining about how “burned out “ they were. Many of them hadn’t even been medics for 3 years. I think the newer medics hear one or two long time medic complaining and then think tat is “the way” to act if you are seasoned or experienced. I guess this is my opinion of why the poor attitude is contagious. I think many new people are trying to emulate the older more experienced medics. Unfortunately the grouchy ones with poor attitudes are often the most vocal.

Most of the best medics I new that had many years of experience were often pretty quiet. They had learned that the way to survive this job and not get burned out is to have a good life outside of work. They would come to work, do there job as best they can. Provide the best patient care possible and then go home to their families. You see they didn’t spend time standing around running their mouths about how much stuff sucks. So you don’t hear their side of the story. Sure they have some complaints, but many of them still believe in helping people.


Unfortunately I have to say that there really is a lot of poor attitude in EMS. Some of that is why I went and got my RN (much better from a career point of view). This is the sad truth at least in my region of the county. I have been told that other areas are not as bad. I had a partner that moved to California and said people loved their jobs out there. But that is just what he said. Basically you are going to have to find your own mindset. I mean this honestly. Some days you will work for 24 hours with the biggest $#%hole ever. Other days you get the best partner you could imagine. Some days you enjoy three meals at the station and others you work pediatric arrests. You have to find a healthy way to deal with this.


My advice is to gravitate towards the others you find that have good attitudes. They are out there but they are hard to find. Like I said many of them are less vocal and a little more introverted. You might find that you spend your time talking with them about stuff other than EMS. Most of my favorite partners we passed the day talking about everything BUT EMS.


No doubt you have a tough road. I am not going to blow smoke up your $## and tell you it isn’t that bad. Because where I am it is pretty bad. But I learned a long time ago that my mindset is my mindset and no one else controls it. I can’t control what others do with there patients but I take good care of mine.


The other advice I would give to the new students was that there is a BIG difference in pay, moral and work environment form job to job. At least in my area some of the little NET services paid less than half of what we made. That is just an example, but be willing to continually look for better jobs, careers and education over the years. You need to be willing to grow and move on. A lot of what burns people out is the feeling of being stuck in their current position. Don’t let that happen to you.

StreetDoctor
09-30-2010, 22:21
When I started the average life span of an EMT was about 2.5-3 years. That was 29 years ago, when you only donned gloves if it grossed you out. I am still working for a private ambulance provider, so you know it's not the pay that has kept me here. I have had about three periods of time where 'burn out' hit. I worked through it, and my partners suffered through it.
I grumble as much as anyone. My patient's overall don't see it. I am sunshine, with my corporate smile on.
There are those patients (you know the ones) I don't cut much slack. They know the system and I let them know that I am just doing my job, and they are going to sit in Triage for the next hour or so. (the ambulance is not that Guaranteed waiting room in ER.)
Overall I like my job, just at 55 I am feeling my arthritis, and there are some issues with it. Also 12 hours sitting in the rig on street corners, really take their toll, my partners 1/2 my age also complain about that.
I can't retire for about 15 years, I can't do this lifting the ever expanding patients too much longer. My time in the field is limited.
It has been a fun ride, I always learn something new, (sometimes things I would rather stay ignorant of...)
I agree with the other comments: Keep your attitude, stick with others with good attitudes, practice your corporate smiles..:)
Have fun and stay safe!