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Don't know if I can keep doing this


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I told myself when I went to medic school 2 years ago it was the last career I'd ever have. I'd work in this until I couldn't, physically. I didn't get into EMS until later in life, after a full career doing something meaningless and pale by comparison. I asked myself if I was ready to sit in the big chair (the captains seat) in back, instead of driving the ambulance. I had 4 years as an EMT with both a volunteer service and a pretty casual and un-rigid service and I thought I was ready. I had no idea.

Oh, it's not the patients that die, or get messy or combative. IT's not the 4 year old that drowned or the baby that bled to death or the old lady afraid of dialysis who didn't go and coded in front of her family. It's the fact that I opened myself up to get better, made myself vulnerable by getting a new job at a new service with a higher standard. I actually told them I learned all these great skills in medic school I wasn't using and I wanted to be better. Apparently at this service the accepted method of instruction is to berate, humiliate, and pick apart any mistake, comment or way of doing that is different. I don't know how it started or when or if they even notice, but I just spent yet another end of shift listening to what a lousy medic I must be for making a mistake. I've had to defend my use of tape on an IV over a "toilet bowl", and when I asked how they want things done, I get a weak, well what do YOU think? followed by a session of why I was wrong. I know things are different at different places, but isn't it easier and simpler to just say what you want rather than tell you to do it the way you want and then tear you apart for it? It's not a protocols thing but the way in which not doing everything perfectly gets handled. And God forbid I actually made a mistake, which I did, and felt terrible and apologized repeatedly but it only made it worse and pretty much my whole existence as a medic and future was placed in question. I don't understand why this EMS agency seems to eat their young, so to speak, to be rude and hurtful to co workers without a thought and endlessly complain about each other behind their backs. It's also how our boss treats some of us. I'm starting to think it's a bad fit, but the problem is I know I'll be better for being here because they do have higher standards, better protocols, more challenging medical calls, but I don't know if I can handle much more in the thoughtless manner of "correction". Is this the best way to inspire an employee to improve themselves or is it just the way things are in EMS? I'd really like to know so I can decide if I should just swim back into the shallow end of the pool and give up trying to be better. I hate the fact that I can take anything from patients but my co workers are driving me to tears. I feel like they'd throw me under the bus without a thought. I need some advice.

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awwww.. you silver tongued devil. I can't understand why you have trouble getting laid.... .

From your description, I'm genuinely surprised that no one has brought up the possibility that your employer is creating a "hostile work environment." That is a violation of Federal law, and they can

It sounds much more like a toxic service than anything "wrong" you did. I would find a new service and get out of your current one ASAP.

Hey, welcome to the City NG.

First, and you'll think that I'm joking, but I'm not, if you're hot then you'll have a lot more trouble. It's truly one of the crosses that you'll have to bear unless you get yourself into a more progressive system. I've known some shitty medics that were hot that did fine, and some unattractive girls that were rock star medics that did OK, but I've never seen, and again, my experience is limited, a hot rock star medic that wasn't treated differently unless she worked for a rock star service like Flight for Life. (I'm comfortable saying that about FFL in the Springs area, perhaps that's not the case everywhere, not sure of their national standards/reputation.)

Second, if you don't need to stay in such a toxic environment I can't imagine why you would choose to do so. If you have a roof, your kids have shoes and all that, and you can keep them without being there, then run away...the sooner, and faster the better.

I can say with complete confidence, without even one peek at their protocols, that if your description is accurate, then that is NOT a progressive service. It really is that simple.

All of the berating and back stabbing is just a bunch of senseless dick/(vagina?) measuring. It shows a service that is still lost and childish. Perhaps those with more experience with more services than me can think of some, but I've never seen even a half ass'd service that treated employees like shit, but patients like kings. All of that aggravation, excuse making, pettiness, runs down hill and all of that aggression is coming out somewhere.

There is the whole nonsense hosemonkey tradition of 'trial by fire' which gets people's nipples hard despite it's value in creating and maintaining competent professionals having gone down the tubes sometime around the demise of the Pony Express. Dust said it best here a long time ago, "I get treated like shit because those that trained my trainer treated him like shit, now it's his turn to take it out on me. But soon it will be my turn! Yay!" And the whole bullshit cycle continues...

I would much , much rather try and be a good medic in a more restricted, though kind and respectful system than to try and be a good medic in a more medically progressive but mentally/emotionally regressive system. I'm not sure what your goal as a medic is when you say, "Better", but I'd bet dollars to donuts that every single kind, patient medic on this board (myself excluded as I sometimes fail at kind and trip over patient, and am not the sharpest knife in the drawer on a good day) would run circles around the shithead that was voted this months' 'hero' because he dropped a tube or decompressed a chest.

Good to have you here!! Stick around...I look forward to your thoughts. This is such a huge, major, disastrous issues that I hope that you'll participate in this thread for the benefit of all...

Kaisu? You here somewhere girl?

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Kaisu isnt...but I am Dwayne.....

naturegirl....oh where do I start. Ok..here goes. I went to medic school 4 yrs ago after many many yrs as an EMT. I was hired at the service I'm at now, the night I passed my test. I am the SECOND female medic EVER hired there. The first one is now the Director of Operations. Since I've been hired, there have 2 other female EMT's hired that work full time. There are 2 others that are very very pat time.

This is most defintely a mans business....there are many many men out there that dont believe that women should be in EMS at all. And they show that by tearing us down in front of other co-workers, finding every little thing thats wrong and beating us over the head with it and yes...throwing us under the bus for something as petty as not changing the trash bag in the rig. BUT....

As a female medic, and pardon the phrase please....you have to grow a set. A BIG BRASS set. If you arent doing anything "wrong", following your protocols and the end result is the same as the tradtitional way of doing things, then stand up for your decisions and defend them. If you can run a call through your head and say to yourself " I wouldnt have done anything different" then you're good.

I've been QA'd to death....seriously. PCR's fall out sometimes for nothing more than wording I use. I get frustrated. I get pissed. I get down right mad sometimes. I've gone through this " I dont know if I want to do this anymore" thing. But then I think about something....the 2 yrs I gave up to be able to do this job...the sacrifice that my family had to give....the REASON that I went to medic school in the first place. Now, most of the time...not all, I look at the QA guy and "say...ok, yup, uh huh...ok I'll do better next time. Thanks" and go on with my day.

I adopted this philosophy early.."Its better to seek forgiveness than to ask for permission". It hasnt let me down yet. It's just getting to that point of saying screw it...mister you werent there, you didnt see what I did. I did the best I could and if thats not good enough for YOU then send me home cuz there's medic jobs are all over the place. Really there are.

Keep your chin up. Dont give up...cuz then they win.

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I just love how these topics always reference genitals.

I have worked for these types of services.

I left.

I am happy now.

It really can be that simple. That coming from a home owner, and father of 3.

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I'm glad to hear it may not be in my head. I actually thought I was imagining some of it until I stood up for myself and my boss accused me of being argumentative and rude. It was over a stupid protocol test and a poorly worded question. I don't want to initiate any conversation with him because he turns everything I say into a character attack. I do acknowledge I need to learn better ways to "grow a pair". At my current job we are very blunt and sometimes get yelled at but then it's done and we move on. Thanks all for the comments. It's comforting to know I'm not alone in this. And thanks, Ninja for the boost to my ego. Not true but I'll take it :mobile:

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Naturegirl,

Heed what they tell you in these posts. There is nothing more that I can add except my support, and just say, that you hang in there!! There are rough times in the ems arena, but we are there for the patients and families..

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I too experienced the berating, the weird expectations that you'll know exactly what someone else wants, right after you've been programmed to do what someone ELSE wants that's totally different.

I don't work there anymore. I won't ever work there again. I learned to stand up for what is right and to not back down... and it's served me well in subsequent employment.

Sometimes, when it's toxic, it's best just to leave. You won't change crappy supervisors/coworkers... and if you've tried to approach it as "what can we do to reach a good working relationship" and been rebuffed, it's time to just cut your losses and get out of there before you do yourself some psychological damage (or get set up to lose your licensure).

Hang in there! Go get 'em. There's plenty agencies to seek employment with... take the fire and passion to somewhere that will appreciate it!

Wendy

CO EMT-B

RN student

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Oh girl.. If only you had been around when I started at my first paramedic job. They did everything in their power to drive me out. My co-workers had a pool going for how long I was going to last. The highest estimate was 2 months. I stayed for 2 1/2 years and by the time I moved, they loved me. More crazy, I loved them.

As a new paramedic, I was pretty sensitive. Now, the crap they dished out would make me laugh and I would dismiss it.

I realized that if I focused on the pettiness and the BS, I wouldn't last a month. I ignored it. I concentrated on patient care. It's what I loved anyway. I critiqued myself after every call, researched any questions I had, and spent a lot of time on this site. There were no medical mentors available for me in that BS service but I found the best mentors in the world on this site. I would get on here daily and cry about how unfair it all was. The people here would bind my wounds and kick me in the ass when warranted. Many told me to leave. (I am pretty stubborn. I will run but I will be damned if I will be run off.)

They were a reality check. That service made me. I am proud of who I am now.

I can't tell you to leave or stay. I stayed because of the huge call volumes, the acute medical calls, the fact that I was often the only medic on that scene and I felt my patients needed me.

Chin up. Hang out. Learn and grow.

All the best to you

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Thanks everyone. I have a few days out from the last disastrous day and i am feeling a little better. I know I have to deal with jerks and it's not them, but how I respond to it that will define me. Thanks for being so positive.

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