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Age .. is it really THAT important?

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I keep running into this ... age problem. The medic I ran with today did nothing but put me down, discourage me, yell at me, repeat over and over and over and over and over ... and did I mention that he repeated it over and over and OVER again that, "[i'm] to young to be in this business, [i'm] wasting my time, and people are going to die because they are letting [me] become a paramedic" and then he would top it with the nice cherry of, "you have NO experience and I don't believe you should even be allowed to be in medic class" ... his theory ... "Everyone should have ten years of experience before they even think about starting paramedic class" ...

I get his point ... I really do. I've been an EMT for three years now .. okay thats nothing compared to his ... "22 years of experience" ... I'm no where near as experienced as him ... but I haven't been sitting around with a thumb up my butt either. I've run over 1500 calls ... and thats just working as an EMT ... as far as my precepting goes .. I've run over 250 calls in the past three months learning to become a paramedic.

I know I don't have that much experience ... but I have some. I haven't seen it "all" nor will I ever, but to say that I'm going to kill people because I'm to young and inexperienced? Is he serious?

I want more than anything to become a medic and a *good* medic at that. Why? Lots of reasons, generically .. but full heartedly I want to help people. EMS is just want makes me feel .. "right." It's what I love, pay sucks, but I love helping people, its what makes me tick. I know I have a lot to learn, but don't we all? I know I'm not going to have all the answers, but does anyone?

I might be young, I'm 19 .. woo hoo .. big woop ... but does age really matter THAT much in EMS? Sure ... a lot of medics have been medics longer than I've been alive ... but give me a chance. I might be 19 .. but I'm willing to learn and I want to improve and become a *good* medic. Why does my age have anything to do with being a good or bad medic?

So in essence should I give any weight to what my a$$hole of a partner said? And how do I deal with mr. butthead tomorrow? ... its very possible that my 5'2 self will kick his 6'6 arrogant POS medic-a$$ tomorrow if he keeps up with the "you're going to kill people" .. and "I wouldn't trust you with my cat!" etc etc ... okay so maybe I won't get violent with him while I'm on duty ... but who's to say some lasix won't find its way to his coffee? :angel7: :withstupid:

I hope all is well,

Happy Holidays,

-BareFootedKiwi in PA

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Is this a partner, or a field preceptor? If it's a preceptor, you need to go to the head of your program and file a complaint. No way in hell this guy should be precepting.

If this is a work shift, you need to talk to management and get yourself switched to be with someone else. Yes, age does make a difference in terms of comparative life experience and judgment; no, age does not make a difference where learning to be a competent paramedic is concerned.

He's being discriminatory. It's called ageism. It is not a good thing. Call him on it. Tell him that if he has this much of an issue with you, he should not be working with you and that his derogatory attitudes are not going to further the profession at all. Don't even joke about the lasix; that would be a criminal case of assault right there....



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I would say that age is not as important as maturity in making a good paramedic, or EMT for that matter. Is it possible that the "old head" was trying to teach you something and all you are picking up is the negativity? Please don't take this as a put down, I don't know you or your situation, just playing devils advocate. I do recognize the possibility that you ran up against someone who really has 1 year of experience 22 times but dosent realize it.

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Your 22 year veteran was still crapping diapers when I started in EMS, so screw him.

Age does not matter. Maturity does matter. You either have it or you don't. Apparently, he doesn't.

And the more time you spend as an EMT prior to becoming a paramedic, the harder paramedic school will be for you, and the longer it will take you to become a good paramedic. Don't waste another moment. If you're not already in school, get there now, even if it means quitting your job.

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Welcome! Hope you stay and continue to contribute well written posts like the above. You've obviously won over some of the most valuable pundits here. For example:

Don't even joke about the lasix; that would be a criminal case of assault right there.

I'd go one step further, and send a PM to Admin asking him to delete all your references to poisoning your coworker, as well as references to it in others' posts. Why? Because you've also disclosed the identity of your workplace, where, through no evident fault of your own, you already seem to have an enemy. Your description suggests the problem will not disappear and may intensify.

Venting publicly about identifiable opponents invites retaliation, and you've made it easy for someone to frame you for a crime you joked about, with permanent consequences. We don't want you to have to be telling a jury "But it was a joke! I would never do that!" after your pal at work, or one of his pals, actually does spike his coffee and then points to you.

Whether or not you take my advice, again, Welcome, and do realize that everything you write on this board and in the places to which your writing here links may be read and used against you. It's happened before. And we'd prefer to see you achieve the goals you wrote about so nicely!

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I was 17 when i started EMTI school, and had been 20 for about 2 months when I became a Paramedic. Age does not disqualify you or qualify you for being a good medic. The only downside is your lack of experience in the field, which all new medics have to some degree or another regardless of age (even if you were an EMT for years, Paramedic is a whole new ballgame). The problem is probably the shortcomings in his life, not you, and he is just taking it out on you.

One thing you may not be aware of because of your age is that in our teens and 20s we tend to judge ourselves through other's eyes, because you have always measured your success by what your parents, teachers, and first fast-food employers said about us. Once you get a little older, you will care less and less about what crappy people like this think about you, and live your life through your eyes.

If you havent noticed, this one person is controlling your day right now. He is contolling your mood and to some extent your actions. He has you so pissed that you were compelled to come vent in a public forum, which was basically like writing a letter. When was the last time you wrote a letter ? Now you have to make a decision, will you continue to give this one person this much control over your day ? Just because he pushes your buttons, doesnt mean you have to react. As we all know, if we were face to face and you wanted to fight me (as a teen or young man) all you would have to do is say something about my momma, and it would be on. But if I were standing in front of you today at my age, and you said something about my momma, I would let it roll of my back, because you dont know my momma, and I dont let other people control my actions.

You will encounter miserable assholes like this throughout your life (patients, coworkers, and family); dont give them control of your day. SERINITY NOW !!

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Shrug, I did my first ambulance call when I was 11, but that's a whole different story. It sounds as though your partner would fit well with Queensland EMS and the bullies over there. Sounds to me that he is bullying you and it's time you stood up for yourself. Tell him that if he's interested in starting a fight then he should pull over so the two of you can go at it, if he does, run like hell. I suspect he won't call your bluff though, verbally abusive bullies are like that.

Either way, stand up for yourself...ask him where his facts are. Ask if these are facts or his feelings. Tell him to get a new partner if he doesn't like you. I know that he is intimidated by you because you know more theory than he does, but don't forget, he also know some of that information is a waste out on the streets, and he knows the "Real" EMS job better than you. (His likely attitude)

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Take it from someone who was once the youngest certified EMT in the state of IL. You're going to get that, be prepared for more unfortunately. One of the main things is to keep a cool head about it. You need to show maturity beyond your age and have better than average skills. Don't give anyone any reason to doubt your education and skills. Show a lot of initiative. And most important (at least to me), don't give anyone the satisfaction of getting to you or to slow you down.

Relax, still have fun with it when you can.

And a partner like that, he shouldn't have been paired with you. Or you with him...which ever. But you'll get that in almost any job.

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