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Age .. is it really THAT important?


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As long as you know your shit, age shouldn't matter.

Well now, let's see. There's:

  • •Runny stuff that squirts out when you think you only have to fart and you can't change underwear so you have to go commando.

•The horrible runny stuff that cramps you up so bad and comes on so suddenly that you have to crawl to the bathroom and have it explode out of you, then you're there for 15 minutes wiping the splashback off your entire butt.

•The stuff that hasn't really made up it's mind..comes out runny with a few hard chunks in it.

•The good one where it comes out in one big lump and slides so smooth that there isn't even a residue when you wipe.

•The day after the 5 alarm chili, where it burns once again and nothing short of a maalox enema will ease the pain.

•The ones where they come out and stick to everything so that wiping uses half the roll and is like trying to get playdoh out of the carpet.

•Then those hard little balls that all clump together like gravity pulled them together like a tiny asteroid. Sometimes you're lucky and they are dry, so they just plop out one by one...but...

•There are those that clump together, and you know it has to come out, but you're afraid to push because it feels like a freaking cactus the size of a watermelon and it's so big it won't come out without persuasion. The ones where you'd rather stick a finger up and digitally remove it piece by piece because you know, in the end, if you leave it to go on its own, you'll be wiping up blood from your traumatized anus and dealing with roids for a month.

Yup...I think I know my stuff. Anyone else got more?

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arkticat, dont forget porcelain-reacting-rapidly-releasing S**t:

this is where you hold back a BM for 8 hours, without any problem whatsoever, but the minute you step near the porcelain alter and start to fumble with your belt buckle, it becomes a race against time to keep from having to go commando. It is like the porcelain has a magnetic pull on your bowels.

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Age can be troublesome in this profession. Understand that not all EMS partners are like this, and most treat their partners decently regardless of age, sex, or experience level.

I took the EMT-B exam and sat for the state exam at age 17. They sent me my cert a few weeks after my 18th birthday. I am now a 21 year-old paramedic, so I feel your pain. The good news is that most of your co-workers will respect you once they see that you know your stuff and can do your job. You might have to work a little harder to earn that respect than say someone 15 years older would, even with the same level of experience. So study as much as you can, and don't be seen at work in front of the TV even after all the station duties are done. Pull out your textbooks and read/study. And that should not change even after you get the EMT-P after your name. Hitting the gym helps too, because if you can't lift then you can't do your job no matter how smart you are.

Everybody has difficult partners at some point in their EMS career. Take it as experience and try to learn from it. Not encouraging you to be abbrasive, but you could tell him that his closed mindedness and prejudice are exactly the kind of thinking that sets this profession back to blue collar.

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Barefoot said : 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" ...

Is there any possibility that you are making alot of rookie mistakes, and he is just calling you out on them and showing you where you need to improve (maybe not in a loving tone).

Its like the Ron White joke where he was talking about being at a military base and referenced that there was 35,000 soldiers at that base, when a drunk woman in the audience shouted out, "And none of them know how to f**k. To which Ron responded, "you know, after you did about 34,000 of them, you might say "maybe its me", maybe I need to take a class.

Maybe this guy is jealous or has a bias against young folks, but if I had someone do nothing but yell at me and tell me how stupid I was all day, I might have to ask myself if maybe he has a point. I am not saying the guy isnt a jerk, but usually if I had to repeatedly tell a rookie something over and over again, there was an issue with the rookie. Give us an example of what you did that he yelled at you for, or what happened immediately before he said you shouldnt be in paramedic class ?

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Rookie mistakes or no, if these are exact quotes than this medic is not providing constructive criticism or helping a new medic develop. They're putting one down as unqualified and using criteria they can't possibly change to justify it.

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Oh, i agree. Even if the veteran is right about barefoots medic skills, he is totally unprofessional and should not be riding with new employees. But just because he is a jerk, doesnt mean that is wrong about barefoot's skills. He may have no patience for ANY rookie, or he may just not have patience for THIS rookie. If he is yelling at the rookie because he connects the white lead wire to the patient before he connects the red lead wire, that is one thing; but if he is yelling because the rookie is attaching the wires to the patient's forehead (repeatedly, after being told not to the first time in a nice tone), its different. Just because someone has graduated EMT or Paramedic School and passed the NR in their first 3 attempts does not guarantee that they are competent to do the job.

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This isn't about experience. This is about age. There are plenty of 21 year olds out there with a lot more experience than 40 year old rookies. A lot of people come late in life to this game. Consequently, age itself is not an overwhelming advantage.

However, it would be silly to say that age has no advantage. Age has a very clear advantage, in that the most important skill in EMS is communications. And the longer you have lived, the more likely you are to have developed your communications skills. You have to be able to relate to people and their circumstances. If you've never been there, that's hard to do. And under 30 years of age, you simply do not have the life experience to relate to a great number of your patients. That certainly does not make you incapable of treating them competently. But technical competence alone does not make you a great practitioner.

Given the choice of a partner with life experience and one without -- and all other factors being equal -- I will naturally lean towards the one with. No doubt about that. So yes, it does make a difference. That's why younger providers cannot get cocky and think their shiny new patch makes them equal to everyone else with the same patch. You have to try harder, but you can be as good a provider -- or even better -- than everyone else.

You said it better than I did , Bro.

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How many times have I posted my position that constructive criticism is to the effect of saying "You are wrong, because...", and list specifics that are correctable, as opposed to full out putdowns, like, "You are wrong, because you are a jerk", or similar?

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