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ParamedicWannaBe

How did you handle your first lost?

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First and foremost I would like to introduce myself. I am currently residing in NYC. I am starting school to gain my A.A.S. in Paramedics this coming September.

I knew that I was always cut out to work with patients in the medical field. I also work better under pressure, which is why I choose to become a medic. Now my two biggest fears are dealing with burned victims and losing a patient.

How did you deal with your first lost and how did you deal with your first burnt victim? Oh yeah did I mention I would like to apply a position with the FDNY? :roll: I know it must sound crazy for me to chose to work for them, but I always here about the abundant amount of OT, which is why I've opt to work with them.

All response would be greatly appreciated. :D

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I handled my first loss better then I thought I would have. That was the one thing I was afraid of in this field. But I had people to talk with to get my feelings out about it and the great thing was that I wasn't the only one who's gone through it or felt bad about it. If and when it happens to you.... the best thing you can do is talk about it with your group. I haven't had to deal with a burn victim yet...but that is part of the job too and I'm not sure how that will be.

Good luck on becoming a paramedic and getting a job with NY FD

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I just said a quick prayer.... A very smart understanding Paramedic taped me on the arm and said " You did everything right- good compressions, bagging... you gave her family some extra time to make peace"

I 'll never forget her eyes looking at me , or the understanding of that medic.

EmtJim

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You will never know how you will handle your first loss until it happens. Everyone handles it differently. And even after you've lost more than a few, there may still be the one call that bothers you. Sometimes you don't know why a certain call is bothersome to you. It just is. You'll learn who you can talk to when you don't feel good about something. Just know that you are there to help and that you did the best you could do. You also didn't put them in the situation that they ended up in.

One thing that I'm curious about is what kind of prehospital experience you have? You said you're starting paramedic school, but you've never experienced a loss before? Have you ever worked a cardiac arrest? If you're prehospital experience is limited, I suggest spending some time working as a basic EMT. This will teach you how to deal with a lot of aspects of the job and see if it's truely for you. There is a high burnout rate within the field due to the built in stressors that the job has to offer. After working critical calls as a basic where you're not in charge of everything, you'll have a better understanding of what you need to do when you're a paramedic. The best paramedics are great EMT's.

Good luck and feel free to ask more questions.

Shane

FFI/NREMT-P

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I think that's a big worry for most. Talking about it to coworkers and friends really helps!! My first loss was as a basic emt, we went to a 'nosebleed' and it turned out to be a hemorrhagic stroke. I think it was harder to see the family deal with all of that, there was a lot of arguing going on right in the ED (until the nurses took them into another room) about life support or to let her go.

My first burn patient was before I got my emt cert, (just first aid/cpr certified), I was at the state fair and there was a big explosion at one of the food vendor booths. He had second and third degree burns on the top half of his body, he had not been wearing a shirt, only jeans and boots. Saw a lot of pink areas and lots of skin hanging off, and his eyes were full of pain, that's what hit me the most. Again, we talked about it afterwards and I was really surprised that people I didn't even know came up to me and told me they were available to listen if I needed to talk.

I did ok with both of those calls, I think knowing that we took care of our patients and did everything we could for them, made it easier to deal with. And don't ever be afraid to ask to talk---never keep it bottled up. Chances are if something on a call bothered you, it bothered someone else too.

Good luck with everything in NY!

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The first loss is hard,but remember to carry on. I,ve been doing this for 20 years and there have been several times a call bothered me. Allways remember we are only human nothing more. Do your best talk to your crew, we are called family for a reason. Good luck.

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I thought that i would never be able to handle my first lost. It was one of my old friends dad. I just sat up night after night. Then i went to the next training and i talked to one of the insructors and that helped me out alot

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I can't honestly remember my first non-viable patient. Over the years there have been plenty. But I do remember the first patient that died in my unit. I was still a basic and my partner was an I. He was having a lot of trouble breathing and he crashed on the short ride to our nearest er. I remember seeing him drop the EOA in the rearview mirror. I can't say it bothered me (no more than it would bother any human being, you know what I mean) until two days later. I was working with the same guy and a woman walked up to us while we were getting a soft drink at a convenience store and asked if we knew who brought Mr. (can't remember the name) from (can't remember the address) to the hospital. I just stood there like a deer in the headlights wondering if we should just run like hell when Timmy said, "Ma'am, it was us". She burst into tears and threw her arms around Timmy and thanked us for being with her Daddy when he died. THAT I didn't know how to handle. I mean, we lost him and this lady is thanking us just for being there.

As far as burn patients are concerned, the only call that ever gave me real trouble was a burn patient. Six in the morning, house fire stand by while FD handled it. Nothing unusual and we were getting off in an hour. Then the firefighter stepped out of the house screaming inaudibly from behind his mask clutching something limp to his chest. It was a six month old boy and he wasn't breathing. I tubed him, got an IO in his leg and between my partner and I managed to push some epi when would ya believe it we got a pulse back, ST on the monitor. We were getting ready to head out when the back doors opened and another firefighter dropped a four year old on my bench seat, also not breathing. The firefighter rode with me and we worked both of the kids as well as we could but the four year old never responded to anything. The baby lived for about 72 hours in ICU. I was fine until I turned the kids over to the er staff, then I sat down, the "patients" suddenly became "children" and I couldn't stop crying. The debriefing helped a great deal. A lot of the firefighters had problems over that one, too. The entire family of five was found inside before it was over. One of the other units got the dad back, but he only lived for a few hours. It has been years but when I see or hear about something that brings it back it is pretty vivid. Talking about it relly helps and that is what I would suggest to anyone who has trouble with something like that. Keeping it inside will do you nothing but damage.

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First,last,all the ones in between..............they have all bothered me up to a certain extent.The worse ones are the children and the ones I thought we saved only to find out later we didn't.Talking it out is usually the best way I've found to get over it,but sometimes,on the really bad ones,I have a tendency to get self-destruction and attempt to drink it away.Not good,believe me,I know but every once in a while it's the only way I can deal with it.

All we can do is try our best and when we do try our best and lose one know that it was just their time to go.

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