Friday, August 22, 2008

The few, the humble

There are a variety of different kinds of people who become EMS providers.

During my EMT-B class, and now my EMT-I class, other training classes I've taken, the calls I've been on and the various ride-alongs I've done, I've met many of the local EMS providers.

Most of them, I have a lot of respect for. Almost all of them, really.

Each person deals with the stress in his or her own way. Far be it from me to declare which ways are appropriate and which are not. As long as the quality of patient care is high, I'm not going to argue.

Some are "trauma junkies," who really prefer the "big" calls, and get easily frustrated with some of the medical calls, and especially some of the times when there isn't really much to do for the patient other than get them to the hospital to "be checked out."

I haven't been doing this long enough for that to frustrate me.
I haven't dealt with call after call from people who really should be seeing their own doctor, but who either don't have the money or don't have the transportation to do that on their own.
I haven't seen enough drug seeking behavior to ever assume that that's what is going on.
I haven't had to get out of bed in the middle of the night in a snow storm enough times to be tired of it yet.

And I haven't seen enough of the really difficult stuff to need to have the same macabre sense of humor that some of these folks seem to have.

As a rule, the EMTs and paramedics in this county are a dedicated bunch of people, some of whom have been doing this for 20-something years. All of whom put themselves out there to help other people, whether paid or volunteer. I have to respect that.

I have found, though, that there are some of the local providers who really love what they do, above and beyond the average. Who have a calling to do this. Folks who are really good with people, who stay calm and in control during a stressful situation, and who communicate genuine caring to every patient, regardless of what the problem is. Who don't seem to get frustrated, whatever the calls they get that day.

Those are the ones I want to be like.

I'm working on it.

I'm about at the point of realizing just how much I don't know and/or can't do. How much I need to remember, and how much I need to practice.
Frustrating, in its way, but a lot better than assuming I know everything.

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