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Three days ago I had my first clinical experience. The first patient of the day was a transfer to a nearby hospital. I didnt learn anything from it except I hate transfers. We were just pulling back into the ambulance station and we got dispatched to a house fire. You could hear in the 911 operators voice that it was no joke. Turns out, there was a 4 year old boy in the house. We got there and the smoke was just pouring out of the windows and even standing 40 feet away it was very hot. We didn't know that there was a child in the house until a firefighter started frantically yelling for a medic as he emerged from the flames. The paramedics I was with grabbed the boy and took off running for the ambulance. They were joined by two other medics and the boy was rushed to the hospital. He was in PEA and one medic administered cpr while another was giving him Epi via IO and another medic suctioned his airway and intimated him. There was nothing for me to do except grab things from bags and cabinets when they were needed. When he got to the ER I couldn't really understand what was going on. Everyone was gathered around him talking over each other. When he went 7 more minutes without a pulse they called it. Not a single person in that room left with dry eyes. I walked out to see both of the paramedics I was with crying. My mom (a nurse in the ER) looked at me from across the room, and I just broke down. I'm having a really hard time dealing with this. I can't stop thinking about him, his family, the paramedics I was with. I've been trying to spend time with family and friends to take my mind off it but it's so hard. I'm not sleeping well and I've completely lost my appetite. I'm only really eat so my parents don't worry. It's so hard for me because everyone in my life is just going about business as usuall and I'm sitting here feeling like this and I just don't know how to deal. Does it ever get better? Or will I always have him in the back of my mind? I'm supposed to start a fire recruit program in a few weeks but I'm starting to question if I'm cut out for EMS. I handled the situation well while it was happening. And one paramedic said that they were impressed with how cool and collected I was especially considering it was my first patient. I don't feel so cool and collected anymore.
Hi EMT City Members I'm an Advanced Care Paramedic and the EMS Coordinator of York Region's Critical Incident Stress Management Team, in Ontario, Canada. EMT/ Paramedics are a vulnerable population to the effects of traumatic stress I would like to share three short films I have created and recently posted on Youtube that concerns the EMT/ Paramedic Profession. Go to Youtube and type in: Conversdoc channel Click on: Conversdoc's Channel selection 1- Behind the Mask: Paramedic Occupational Traumatic Stress 2- The Trauma of Loss 3- Person-Based Ethics: Human Maps If you find value in these films, could you could distribute them to EMT/ Paramedic Students and Colleagues. (I have no commercial interest in them) The response to these films thus far from around the world is remarkable. Paramedics from far and wide agree that these films capture their experience. In the months to come I will be creating more material on how to build professional resilience in the aftermath of a traumatic event. Please check back on my Youtube Channel: Conversdoc Channel. Embedded in my Youtube channel is my Facebook link. Together lets enable ourselves and assist our peers to grow resilience, and at the same time improve patient safety and outcomes. Thanks for your time David Whitley RN,ACP,BA,BScN