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The Heart of the matter

Posted by naturegirl, 27 December 2012 · 1,348 views

I have been trying to explain to my husband what's going on with my job and I find myself almost incredulous that I let it go this far.  I don't want to hang out all the dirty laundry, so I'm thinking deep inside I do want to stay in EMS.  I made a mistake.  After months of a schedule that required 40-48 hours straight, no breaks, long distance transfers and high stress calls, I made repeated attempts to change the schedule, me bringing up repeated safety concerns, such as EMT's driving 90 while texting, an EMT having a seizure on the job and being allowed back to work a week later,  I made a medication error.  Funny that really wasn't covered in my medic course, but the thought of hiding it, trying to pass the blame, anything dishonest, never crossed my mind.  During a code enroute after the standard EPI, I administered Narcan per our protocols, but the patient had been down a long time and was pronounced at the hospital.  During the cleanup of the truck  a bottle of Haldol was found and being the standup adult that I am, I could only conclude I had administered the wrong medication.  I don't remember it like that, but evidence is evidence. I distinctly remember grabbing Narcan.  Orange cap.  Not Haldol.  Yellow cap.  Anyway, I went to my director, wrote it up, wasn't asked for mitigating circumstances, such as the fact I'd been up for 40 hours straight.  I wasn't asked how many cardiac arrests I'd worked solo: 1.  Just give us the facts.  Now 6 months later, with no follow up from the head of the service or the medical director, based on another incident blown out of porportion that I was rude to a nurse in the ER, I am being asked to resign.  I'm actually being threatened with them going to the medical board is probably more accurate, unless I resign.  My husband wants to know why I'm not being demoted, was I ever counseled on any of this, had I ever talked to my medical director prior to all this.  My answer is I don't know, no, never.  I can never remember anyone being counseled, suspended, demoted, nothing.  Once in a while we lose a good medic to an ER nurse who makes a complaint about this exact thing.  They were rude to me. I've thought long and hard the last 4 weeks about how many times I went to my boss about issues that concerned me, mainly the continued use of straight shifts.  Everyone comes in tired, including me, I told them.  Repeatedly.  When I ask for time off, I get turned down by the supervisor.  I was publically mocked at one point for it with a big production about "conspiracies" and how there aren't any, you just take time when you need it. But yet I couldn't get it when I asked.  So in the end, it's my medical license and my future in EMS.  It is completely my ass on the line.  I've realized that I really lacked any sort of perspective to compare the service to, as I never worked anywhere else.  The medical board can screw me forever and I will not work as a medical provider in this state.  Ever.  I guess I am a little curious about whether this is over the top, pretty typical or just boring and repetitively ignorant.   I thought I was a good medic until all this happened.  I doubt myself every day and I wonder if going to medic school was a huge mistake that I will pay for forever.  Everything I have done the last 3 years was so that the last career I would ever have would be in EMS.  Now  that's in question.  I was planning to move but regardless of the distance and how far away I can never outrun myself.  I will always question myself.  I guess the bottom line is if I had more confidence in my abilities I might have walked sooner and wouldn't be in this predicament now.   I don't know.  I love my job, loved my job, that is.  Despite all the issues about safety, put me in the back and I'm happy.  I love patient care, but maybe I don't deserve it.  I keep thinking if I was a better medic this wouldn't have happened, but I know too much about other mistakes made and can only conclude that somewhere in documentation I missed medic self preservation. 

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