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Preventing Super Medic -itis ... ?


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Hey everyone,

I'm an EMT who is paramedic school. I am a few days away from finishing my first semester in a two semester medic program, and I've been wondering as to how to prevent "super-medic-itis".

I feel almost silly posting, but figured that it couldn't hurt. I'm really worried about becoming on of those "super medics," you know, the ones that everyone hates. I've seen the "super-medics" who think they are higher and better than god, those of whom have no issues being pure ... buttheads. I don't like them and I know my fellow partners and EMS personnel dislike them also. How do I prevent myself from developing such an attitude?

I'm just really worried about turning into a cocky arrogant rude "super-medic" that is to high on their horse to see anything. So in essence I'm guess I'm asking how does one remain humble while still being a confident, intelligent, knowledgeable, competent paramedic who wants the best for her patients?

I know that I am just a student and I'm not a medic yet, I know that I haven't seen everything. I know there are guys and women in this profession who have boots older than me ... I accept that and I really enjoy working with the older more experienced medics. I'm developing my clinical judgement, patient assessment skills, and knowledge base along with the psychomotor skills etc ... I just don't want to develop "super-medic-itis." I don't want to develop the "all-mightier-than-thou" attitude .. I'm just not sure how.

Any advice, insight, suggestions etc would be greatly appreciated!!!

I hope all is well!! Stay safe and warm!

-BareFootedKiwi

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You'll be right. Never think you know it all, always listen to what people say, be confident in the way you treat and speak to patients, never undermine the junior staff – offer to help them out and pass on some of your knowledge and skills, take every patient and situation as a new learning experience, let the junior and senior staff teach – everyone has different experiences, don't be afraid to ask for help or ask questions ect ect.

I recently had a physician demand I get him a chair so he could sit next to the patient, his tone was very blunt and his generally a very rude and arrogant man but very good at his job. “You there, Nurse, Get me a chair” Needless to say this is not a good way to get my attention so I walked off. Don't do this lol.

I'm sure you'll be fine.

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I find the most important thing is to remain rigorously honest with myself. This means acknowledging when I am out of my depth or realizing when I handled a call, patient or situation less than ideally. (which is every time - I mean, when can you NOT do better?) I believe that cocky, arrogant a**holes are almost always overcompensating for personal weaknesses and/or covering up fear.

PS. you will not become like that because cocky, arrogant a**holes do not hold themselves up to the type of scrutiny you are subjecting yourself to.

Good luck

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Sounds to me that you're well on the way towards preventing this. The desire to prevent it is the first step, and you appear to understand the risks involved already.

I can't think of any advice to give you, you seem to already have the information you need.

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Just remember Hillary, you started as an EMT, don't get the "Im better then you" attitude.

We all put our socks on the same.

We all do the same type of work.

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Hey everyone,

I'm an EMT who is paramedic school. I am a few days away from finishing my first semester in a two semester medic program, and I've been wondering as to how to prevent "super-medic-itis".

I feel almost silly posting, but figured that it couldn't hurt. I'm really worried about becoming on of those "super medics," you know, the ones that everyone hates. I've seen the "super-medics" who think they are higher and better than god, those of whom have no issues being pure ... buttheads. I don't like them and I know my fellow partners and EMS personnel dislike them also. How do I prevent myself from developing such an attitude?

I'm just really worried about turning into a cocky arrogant rude "super-medic" that is to high on their horse to see anything. So in essence I'm guess I'm asking how does one remain humble while still being a confident, intelligent, knowledgeable, competent paramedic who wants the best for her patients?

I know that I am just a student and I'm not a medic yet, I know that I haven't seen everything. I know there are guys and women in this profession who have boots older than me ... I accept that and I really enjoy working with the older more experienced medics. I'm developing my clinical judgement, patient assessment skills, and knowledge base along with the psychomotor skills etc ... I just don't want to develop "super-medic-itis." I don't want to develop the "all-mightier-than-thou" attitude .. I'm just not sure how.

Just remember...there is so much more to learn than is taught in class. Keep learning! Pass on your knowledge...have fun!

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Crush them right away.

Had a medic the other day, "unresponsive" from a SNF. All sorts of meds that could have been the cause, in fact, from the list one could believe they wanted him to be unresponsive. I said, he's blowing bubbles in his milk, brings it up enough to be suctioned, he needs some assistance that O's can't provide alone, hx of aspirational pneumonia.

The student sat there and managed a muffled "wasting my time". The preceptor just glared at him, so I was sensing the two weren't so happy to be paired up. The almost-a-medic wasn't interested in my report, so he had to keep asking questions as he didn't pay attention the first time. I said, no CPR, but IV's, and comfort treatment are fine. He said under his breath, but audible, "he's a DNR, just let him die already". I wanted to hit him. Badly. So, we sat along the road, for over 45 minutes while he used a caliper on the EKG, looked it up in his palm pilot, and tried six times to get an IV... He of course had to blame us, because of "this type of ambulance" he couldn't get it.. So, I said, what do you do when the ambulance is actually moving? He says, I can't work in a moving ambulance.. So, I ended with a .. maybe you should become a nurse instead. Killed his attitude issue.

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... what do you do when the ambulance is actually moving? He says, I can't work in a moving ambulance.. So, I ended with a .. maybe you should become a nurse instead. Killed his attitude issue.

Ouch!! Spoken like a true 'Super-medic'......... :shock: :D

-Read sarcasm-

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The first step you have taken, you realize you don't want to be like one of those supermedics and as long as you know this you will do what you can to avoid it.

Just remember, there are always brighter, smarter and better medics than you will be. I know that there are better medics than I am so I am in all appearances Humble.

It's just like Tae Kwan Do(spelling) if you are a 4th degree blackbelt then there is always a 5th degree blackbelt to teach you humility. Don't get caught in the tract that you are the best medic out there.

I know that there is always learning to be done and I'm not smart enough to know it all.

You will sense it from people who think you are a know it all, their facial gestures will tell you the truth.

Remember that the reason you are in this field is patient patient patient - everything else comes secondary.

You are in the job to support your family and no job is worth the damage that this job sometimes does to families but when you are working, it is the patient.

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I think you simply need to be a realist.

I really, really want to be a Paragod. I want to know every answer right away, never be nervous, never out of my element. And some times I get this ---> <--- Close!

And then...

This morning. 57 year old male, dropped 140# barbel while bench pressing, fell right on top of his zyphoid process extending bilat of course. When we arrive he's laughing with his buddies, getting hell, simply called to be "checked out so I could have some peace of mind." Think a near 60 y/o Rocky Balboa...the guys a rock.

BP 128/86, P 64/full/reg, R 12 clear all fields, able to take full, deep breaths without significant pain, no respiratory distress. No sign of trauma at site of bar contact, no pain/crepitus/deformation with even aggressive palp at any point on the thorax/ribs/spine, xyphoid process feels intact and in it's proper location.

Decide to take him to the "Primary Care", sort of like the ‘out patient clinic’ at Kandahar. Lay him down on the cot to get a good abd palp and reassess the contact site, get a new set of vitals, but now he's kind of getting pissed because he wants me to quit "dicking around." I have my driver start driving, about a 5-7 min, very bumpy transport.

About 30 seconds into transport he says, "I can't get my breath very good." No SPO2 at this time, because any idiot can see there is nothing terribly wrong respiratory wise. Reassess lung sounds while lying down and think that perhaps he's getting slightly diminished on the right, but if so it’s so slight it’s hard to tell, I'll watch it closely. Now he starts to panic and wants to sit up. I help him sit, (Think MASH cots, not American gurneys) and he's in obvious distress. I grab his pulse, he's up about 20 points to 86ish, but it feels weird, I can't really explain it, sort of a wave instead of a pulse maybe, it just feels like nothing I've felt before, but not as tachy as I'd expect for the level of distress he seems to be showing.

Pt is becoming pale and diaphoretic, obvious respiratory distress, so I tell my driver, "Go ahead and light it up Mikey, let's go to the ER instead." As it happens, Mikey is a new driver who has never worked EMS, and he and I have only run a few non emergent calls together. So he takes off, L/S and just beats the shit out of us. I try hollering over the radio to slow it down, but between the sirens and the sound of what I'm sure are large chunks of the ambulance falling off, he can't hear me.

So, now I'm thinking pneumo, I have no idea what's the hell is going on with his pulse, the patient is screaming in pain with his tiny little gasping breaths, begging me to stop the ambulance, Mikey has decided to make sure every chick on base sees that he is going somewhere very important and he doesn't care if he has nothing but lights and sirens left in his possession when he gets there, and I've removed any opportunity for further assessment, and any possibility of treatment, by allowing all of this to happen.

We transfer care, Mikey glowing from his exciting few minutes of stardom, and me with my "he was fine and then a bunch of weird shit started to happen” idiotic report to half of the hospital staff that mobilized when they heard our sirens, and it becomes clear that my Paragod patch may be perpetually lost in the mail.

Turns out he had two broken ribs, that never did become painful upon palp, a newly developing baby pneumo, and cardiac tampanade (Per the GORGOUS English lady doctor that got to witness me in all of my wonderfulness). I'm assuming that the tamonade caused the "weird pulse" and the pneumo and tamponade may have caused to air hunger, but I'm still not clear why he never became more tachy?

As I'm leaving, feeling like a complete asshole for obvious reasons, the same GORGOUS Dr. says, "Good job with him." I looked at her for a few seconds, and then we both started to howl with laughter as she's trying to squeak out, "What is a weird pulse exactly??"

There may be a gazillion reasons that I shouldn't have done a better job, but reality forces me to accept the fact that I just plain screwed up, a bunch of times, on this single call.

If you stay real brother, EMS will keep you humble.

Dwayne

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