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BoCat9

Tired of transport...

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I have been an EMT for almost 5 years, and I ave been doing transport work the whole time. I enjoyed it at first, getting to know the people and their families and enjoyed the work. I am really starting to get fed-up with it now though. I am starting to be irritable even before I get to work. I have started to snap at my co-workers :argue: and my partner and coworkers can tell I am tense. I've even started having nightmares and trouble sleeping, esp the night before my shift. I am afraid I am beginning to burn out. I am starting to look for 911 work and just have a few questions.

1) How hard is it to get out of the "transport" state of mind and into the "911" state?

2) Considering that I'll (hopefully) be a medic next month, which side is it better to work on starting out as a medic?

3) Does anyone know of any services that do both 911 and transport in the USA? I am looking into moving at some point in the next year and a "dual" service may help to ease the transition.

Thanks for you time.

Bo

Edited for a grammatical error.

Edited by BoCat9

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I cannot remember the poster who posted that they would like IFT work only, this is a prime example that that poster needs to read.

You do indeed sound burned out but I would suspect that there is more to it than that.

IFT work is BORING. Simple as that. You probably didn't get into the business to just take grandma Elliott back to her nursing home after a visit to the ER or the hospital.

You also probably didn't get into EMS to continually not be challenged on a day to day basis. I suspect that you are smarter than that and you know that IFT work is so easy a cave man can do it.

I have no love lost on transfers. As a matter of fact, I HATE IFT Transfers. There are some people who can do the job and love it but those are few and far between.

I would bet that most of the knowledge that you had about emergency patients has gone south in the 5 years of doing IFT's. It's like anything else you do, if you don't do it on a regular basis, you forget stuff.

It's good that you are seeing that you are burned out. 911 jobs are few and far between these days. You may have to look outside your area and consider moving. You may also need to consider that you may need to move to another state.

ONe thing to remember, for every 1 911 job there are likely to be 100 or more applicants. AS a matter of fact, Lee's Summit Fire department had 1 opening for hire. They had 1100 or so applicants. Some departments have even more.

If you are not a medic, this might be a tremendous opportunity to go back to medic school and get your degree/medic license.

Fresh start, new knowledge and new faces.

It's going to be tough. YOu are going to be up against many people who have 911 experience and will have that to their benefit while you will have IFT.

Good luck

this is a great sounding board for issues just such as yours.

I was in your situation a long time ago. I was on the IFT truck for almost a year. I ended up just parking the truck, getting in my car and driving across country. I then took my medic class and the rest is history.

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I have been an EMT for almost 5 years, and I ave been doing transport work the whole time. I enjoyed it at first, getting to know the people and their families and enjoyed the work. I am really starting to get fed-up with it now though. I am starting to be irritable even before I get to work. I have started to snap at my co-workers :argue: and my partner and coworkers can tell I am tense. I've even started having nightmares and trouble sleeping, esp the night before my shift. I am afraid I am beginning to burn out. I am starting to look for 911 work and just have a few questions.

1) How hard is it to get out of the "transport" state of mind and into the "911" state?

The problem is, the "transport" state of mind is too often what happens even in 911 services. Much of what we do is NOT an emergency in any realistic sense of the word. To me, it sounds like you need to readjust your thinking of what EMS is all about. Yes, IFT's generally mean completely routine, but if you are frustrated now, I think you will also be frustrated when you find out that so much of your day even as a provider in a 911 service will also be nonemergent. That frustration/burnout happens to those folks as well.

2) Considering that I'll (hopefully) be a medic next month, which side is it better to work on starting out as a medic?

Obviously the change will be good- new challenges, new responsibilities, etc. Not sure the "side" you are referring to here.

3) Does anyone know of any services that do both 911 and transport in the USA? I am looking into moving at some point in the next year and a "dual" service may help to ease the transition.

Many services do both IFT's as well as 911 calls- you just need to look around. A change of location may be necessary to open up enough possibilities for you. Usually the new folks- even medics- must start out on doing IFT's, and work up to 911 calls. These companies may have contracts with nursing homes, clinics, dialysis centers, and hospitals, AND have contracts to provide 911 service to a community. Obviously getting on with a fire department is another possibility- either as a single role provider or cross trained. Do your homework.

Thanks for you time.

Bo

Edited for a grammatical error.

You are welcome. I think most folks come to crossroads in their careers- some earlier than others, and sometimes we come to these crossroads more than once. Burnout, frustration, unreal expectations, low pay, tough hours and working conditions- all contribute to the problems, and if you are not content with the job, then it merely adds fuel to the fire. First and foremost you need to get a handle on why you wanted to do this job, and what you expect to get out of it. YOU are responsible for your happiness, and your first priority is to focus on that.

You have taken the first step- admitted there is a problem, and you even identified it. Now you need to come up with the "why's" and arm yourself with knowledge and a plan to change things. Talk to old timers(like here) or among your trusted coworkers. Find an instructor, doctor, or anyone else in the field who can offer you some perspective and guidance. You may find you just need a change of scenery, or a completely new direction.

Good luck.

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I think the only reason I lasted 5 years at a transport company because we also did emergency transports out of our contracted facilities. I could go from a nursing home to doctor's office run one minute to an unresponsive, hypotensive sepsis patient the next.

...And then back to a transport over to the wound care clinic after that. But there was always the next one....

Don't get me wrong, eventually I did burn out. It didn't affect my patient care, just my sanity. But the burnout had way more to do with our management, the trucks and equipment, and some of the morons we hired (and promoted) than it was the types of calls we ran.

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I can relate to this.... Doing transports 99% of the time are boring and non challenging but 911 can also be boring at times too. If you are worried about burn out maybe you need to "rethink" your position in EMS. I mean some times you have to challenge your own brain. If I am doing a routine transfer I use the time to think, for example if I am doing a routine transfer from ED to SNF with a patient I think deeper into the patients history. Use it as a learning expirence and think of ways to treat the patient if it wasn't a routine transfer. Nothing beats a good MVC with lots of trauma though!!!!

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I know a majority of 911 calls are going to be someone wanting a ride to the ER, but there will be some emergency situations. My main thing is the act that for the past 5 years, I haven't really used my skills. I take vital signs, do my assessment and then there is nothing else I can do. By the time I see them, any interventions have been done. I don't get the opportunity to see a trauma patient and do the splinting or put someone on the backboard. I still enjoy this line of work, I'm just bored with doing the same thing over and over again. Most of my day is taking someone from the hospital to rehab or to the nursing home. Biggest thing I do on a regular basis is put someone on O2. On long transports I go through "worst-case" scenarios with the person I am transporting and think of things I will do if something happens. I just want the opportunity to do different things.

Quote

2) Considering that I'll (hopefully) be a medic next month, which side is it better to work on starting out as a medic?

Obviously the change will be good- new challenges, new responsibilities, etc. Not sure the "side" you are referring to here.

IFT or 911

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I know a majority of 911 calls are going to be someone wanting a ride to the ER, but there will be some emergency situations. My main thing is the act that for the past 5 years, I haven't really used my skills. I take vital signs, do my assessment and then there is nothing else I can do. By the time I see them, any interventions have been done. I don't get the opportunity to see a trauma patient and do the splinting or put someone on the backboard. I still enjoy this line of work, I'm just bored with doing the same thing over and over again. Most of my day is taking someone from the hospital to rehab or to the nursing home. Biggest thing I do on a regular basis is put someone on O2. On long transports I go through "worst-case" scenarios with the person I am transporting and think of things I will do if something happens. I just want the opportunity to do different things.

Quote

2) Considering that I'll (hopefully) be a medic next month, which side is it better to work on starting out as a medic?

Obviously the change will be good- new challenges, new responsibilities, etc. Not sure the "side" you are referring to here.

IFT or 911

Gotcha. Well, the what if scenarios you do are a great idea. I tell me students to do the same thing on routine calls. ANYTHING can be turned into a teaching moment. Even as a new paramedic, you can still use the routine runs as a tool to run through possible changes your patient can have, but instead of looking at it through the eyes of an EMTB, you can bring a whole new level of options as a newly minted medic.

I feel your pain- nothing is worse than feeling dissatisfied with your career. Explore your options, and a change of scenery may be needed. I don't know your family or financial situation, or your age, so moving may not be a viable option.

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First, kudos to you for realizing that your mindset in your current job is the problem, not your coworkers! thumbsup.gif

Many private agencies do both IFT and 911, and most private agencies, while they might not be the best place to work, are always looking for medics. My agency does 911, and is contracted by the local hospitals to do transfers, and by a few nursing homes, where we do returns.

When I saw you wrote "which side is better to work on," I thought you were talking about non transporting, first responders w/ ALS capacity, vs. the ones who actually transport. I would think that transporting the patient all the way to the hospital from a call would be much better experience for a new medic then first response (fire) ALS.

Where are you looking at relocating to? Someone might be able to give you an idea of the agencies in that area.

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I did work for a very busy service that had 4 IFT stations, and did 911 for a smaller town nearby. They also had contracts with most of the SNF for emergent transports as well as appointments. It was a nice mix. 911 was far more boring. When we did IFT many were the most acute cases that the small hospitals could not handle. Those were the most challenging calls since many times the little hospital had no clue what they were trying to deal with. It was not uncommon to be dispatched for (actual call) cellulitis and arrive to find a grey patient in acute resp distress, combative then unresponsive after 1mg loraz... the missing piece? leukemia. He died within the hour after we got to the level 1.

They are always looking for warm bodies to fill the uniforms...

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I just want the opportunity to do different things.

Try a different service ... The bullshit calls are annoying and get on everyone's nerves. I got out of rural to get away from transfers, however with the amount of nursing homes and other such places in the city, they are unfortunately inevitable. I plan on moving out of Alberta (maybe even Canada) once done with medic school, as I'll only have more doors open to be after the further education ...

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