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I've had a few abuse cases; husband beats the crap out of his wife; girlfriend attacks boyfriend with stiletto heels; father hits his kid with a baseball bat. No matter what, they suck and I hate them. They are my LEAST favorite type of call and I'm finding them harder and harder to deal with.

I can handle the medical patients we get; everyone has to get old sometime. I can handle the "stupid" things people do like, stick their "manhood" into one of those one liter aquafina water bottles, or the drive their car into a telephone pole because they were texting. But the domestic and sexual violence calls? They irk me. I'm finding that I don't really know how to deal or cope with them.

How can society be so bad and evil? How can people be so cruel and mean? Does anyone ever feel like we are the only "good guys/gals" out there? How do you all deal with domestic abuse and sexual violence?

One of my friends flagged me down tonight because her boyfriend beat her up, I took her to the gas station down the road so that her friend could come and pick her up and that she would be safe. She told me who her boyfriend was; just so happens that I know him, and to be honest I want to go and ring he neck out. Not that me seeking retribution would be of any help, its just that I am "THAT" angry at him for being so cruel and mean.

In essence I'm asking how you suppress the anger and hatred for the scum of the earth. Even better, how do you take care of them in the back of your ambulance without being biased?

I guess in these instances, the less I know the better, because I'm not supposed to pass judgement on my patients, but do all of them deserve the same level of sympathy and empathy, understanding and concern? I'm just all up in there air .. any input would be nice!

Thanks!!

-BareFootedKiwi

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First off PRAY. I do not know if you are religious, I am and I find prayer works for me and for the person(s) I am praying for. It helps me with strength I need to get the task done. If you are a praying gal take a deep breath and ask for your higher power to help guide you. (My choice is god.)

You have to focus on what you CAN do. You CAN help the victim, give them resources people who help people in that situation.

I sent you a PM. I wanted to post this in case it might give someone else an idea.

One thing I can recommend is going to a local DV shelter. Get some pamphlets and ask the staff questions. Ask them what they do how they help, and you as a provider can help them TO places like Free or reduced attys, child support places, medical ins, food stamps and financial aid, shelters and victims advocates and more.

Get some pamphlets and business cards and keep them with you to pass out. Sometimes they just need someone to listen. Let you know them that you care. Let them know you are concerned. It is a pretty low point when something bad happens to them. Use your best judgment when you are talking to a vic. Then use the appropriate card to pamphlet to hand them.

Also maybe recommend to the hospital that a social worker sees them if it is not standard with the recieving hospital.

I hope this helped. Good Luck.

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As for as abuse cases I make sure the police are involved, if they are not on scene I usually have them meet us at the hospital. I will also give the social worker at the receiving facility a heads up after we put a patient in the room. Not giving up specifics, just letting him or her know it is something that could use their expertise.

Even if they have done something terrible I treat every patient the same. High quality and professional care.

Most of the time I don't know the entire story and nor do I want to know the story.

I have been on some serious scenes where some terrible things have been done. Just treat them like another human being and don't let your emotions get the best of you.

My rough spot is anything to do with kids. It's amazing what people can do to these innocent victims.

I have shed some tears on some pretty rough calls, and talking with fellow EMT's and Paramedics always helps, and going home to see your own little smiling faces greet you at the door surely helps at the end of the day.

You hug them a bit harder and it makes you realize how special life is.

Like MrsBull said, a prayer never hurt.

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I kinda know what you mean; I had crisis of conscience a couple of months ago over a call my company did. We (as in my company) ran mutual aid for a local city for an assault victim. When the responding crew arrived on scene, they found their "victim/pt" to be a younger-middle aged man who was beaten quite severally. He was literally covered in his own blood from head to toe. Why was he in such bad shape? Well allegedly (court has not convicted yet) this man was in the middle of raping a 70 something y/o woman when her husband and son walked in.... you can figure the rest out. Needless to say, when I heard about this on the news, then found out "other" details when going to work the next day; I tried to place myself in that medics shoes. I know that I would have a very deep urge to be very heavy handed in my "RTA" of him: Does it hurt here when I push (with a closed fist)?

As for irony that medic was very professional and treated his pt with some level of respect. The ironic part: this "victim" only had a broken jaw. I think I would have made sure he was far worse off. BTW he did admitt to police what he was doing and was already on the sex offender list for "other such crimes"

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In essence I'm asking how you suppress the anger and hatred for the scum of the earth. Even better, how do you take care of them in the back of your ambulance without being biased?

I guess in these instances, the less I know the better, because I'm not supposed to pass judgement on my patients, but do all of them deserve the same level of sympathy and empathy, understanding and concern? I'm just all up in there air .. any input would be nice!

Thanks!!

-BareFootedKiwi

The way I mostly cope with this stuff is, I go and beat on my wife. Ok...not really, she'd kick my butt big time. Seriously though, I am fortunate that I can vent to her about this kind of stuff and she understands, as she is also a medic. It's important that you not bottle up the feelings that you have over calls like this...if you do, they tend to fester like a minor infection, then blow up at the least opportune time.

The first time I really had an opportunity to "use" this ability to vent with my wife, I never took advantage of it. It was my first peds code as a medic, and of course the situation was a possible abuse/neglect issue. As it turns out, it was an infection that was being treated, but had managed to get out of control, and was really no one's fault. I was still f*cked up for over 2 weeks. Find someone whom you can talk to, even if its yourself. You can even write yourself a letter and get feelings out that way. Whatever works...keep with it. Good luck!

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I'd rather take a beating myself than having to deal with another abuse case. It always broke my heart for the victim and then be angered by the aggressor. A real roller coaster of emotions.

But I have seen where it has been a simple accident where a lot of people get involved to make sure it was an accident.

One night we were called where a little boy had got hurt. We didn't know how until we got there. When we did we found a seven year old boy sitting on the floor with his arm being propped up by his uncle. Supposedly the boy and uncle were just wrestling around goofing off. The uncle accidently rolled on top of him and fractured the boy's clavicle. The parents and a couple of other adults witnessed it. But they still had to have DCFS, the police, and a couple of other agencies come in to make sure there wasn't some kind of abuse or beating going on. It was a six week circus. It was finally ruled an accident.

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how you suppress the anger and hatred for the scum of the earth

Someone please let me know if there is anything harder than refraining from condemning offenders -- which doesn't mean refraining from condemning what they appear to have done. I say "appear" because we're often called, or else we eagerly volunteer, to form judgments without a full view -- which, by the way, we never have -- of the perpetrator's perspective.

One way to start might be to realize how fortunate you have been (ie, anyone has been) in having been brought up, and living through circumstances, in which we haven't felt compelled -- at least not recently, or at least not being caught at it -- to wound an innocent. What good influence might have kept the one now in trouble from taking advantage of his temporary power over someone else? What might I be like now if I hadn't been treated well enough by others to now prefer fairness to bullying? How much do I owe to those who bothered with me enough to show a better way to feel good about myself than by brutalizing or cruelly mistreating some available target of my rage? And, not being charged with the job of punishing, how much empathetic interest can I, in the brief opportunity I've been given, now demonstrate by caring for someone who may, however much he hides it, already be deeply ashamed of himself? How warmly and with how bright a light can I welcome my neighbor -- because that's what he is -- into my concern?

And what is the possible practical effect of my expressing -- with a look, a tone, a gesture -- acceptance of who he is, that is, apart from what he has done, vs. showing, however subtly, contempt? Is it likely that an abuser has a history of having been sufficiently respected for who he is and knows how to distinguish his essential nature from his ability to control the world around him? Am I not for a short while in a position similar to the one he was in and misused? Can I do a better job than he seems to have done -- the effects of which I can lament but can't control?

And doesn't that have to begin with what I can control, namely my thoughts and images and sentiments about the people I meet? As I said, that may be the hardest job; for sure it's the one job no one can do for me.

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Sorry, but I just don't understand the concept. This has never been a problem for me or any partner I have worked with. We are paid to do a specific job, and judgement is not in your job description. If you have problems mustering the professionalism to stick to your job description, get out. Plain and simple. You aren't cut out for it.

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