Jump to content

Recommended Posts

Well, that doesn't mean that I wouldn't do my job to try to save a person...

I think your overblown sense of machismo is showing through.

A lot of young guys come in and say similarly silly things like "...death doesn't bother me..." because it's a self defense mechanism. It helps give off the sense that the speaker is in control of his/her emotions. It's also a thin cover and anyone who has spent any time in the business can see through it immediately.

So the death of a complete stranger doesn't bother you, eh? What about their family members standing around in sometimes stuporous grief? Do they bother you?

What's your motivation to try and save the person if being dead doesn't bother you? Fear of losing your job? If so, then your motivation for being involved in EMS is immediately suspect and chances are increased that you're more dangerous than helpful. Either way, my request for you to reevaluate your career choice and think about another line of work is still valid. Or are you actually motivated in trying to save a life? If the death of a complete stranger doesn't bother you, as you claim, then what's your motivation to help a complete stranger while s/he is still alive?

Being affected by a dead patient doesn't mean you become a blubbery, non-functional puddle of goo. It does mean that you should recognize what's going on and have some sympathy/empathy for any family members, respect for the dead person out of courtesy for family members or members of the public surrounding the event and the common decency to recognize that it does affect other people.

Or you can continue with your bravado, bottle it all up and in five or ten years put a therapist's kids through university with all the therapy you'll need.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think your overblown sense of machismo is showing through.

A lot of young guys come in and say similarly silly things like "...death doesn't bother me..." because it's a self defense mechanism. It helps give off the sense that the speaker is in control of his/her emotions. It's also a thin cover and anyone who has spent any time in the business can see through it immediately.

Or you can continue with your bravado, bottle it all up and in five or ten years put a therapist's kids through university with all the therapy you'll need.

Or you might find yourself sitting in a dark room with a bottle and a gun in your mouth wondering if you;ll see the sun come up!

happens far too often.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Death bothers me not,

I can also catch bullets with my teeth, stop a speeding train and jump a tall building with a single bound.

Yep, it doesn't bother me at all

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

What's your motivation to try and save the person if being dead doesn't bother you? Fear of losing your job? If so, then your motivation for being involved in EMS is immediately suspect and chances are increased that you're more dangerous than helpful. Either way, my request for you to reevaluate your career choice and think about another line of work is still valid. Or are you actually motivated in trying to save a life? If the death of a complete stranger doesn't bother you, as you claim, then what's your motivation to help a complete stranger while s/he is still alive?

Being affected by a dead patient doesn't mean you become a blubbery, non-functional puddle of goo. It does mean that you should recognize what's going on and have some sympathy/empathy for any family members, respect for the dead person out of courtesy for family members or members of the public surrounding the event and the common decency to recognize that it does affect other people.

I wouldn't carry the death of stranger with me. I am sure I would feel some pitty in the moment for family that might be there but it would not affect me for very long. I would move on and forget about it quickly....

I am sure that many Doctors eventually get completely desensitized to death. But they still perform their jobs..

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Maybe one of the docs here can chime in but I don't know of a single provider at any level who truly gets desensitized to death. If so, come to Denver, look me up and I'll take you to work with me sometime at a high risk NICU/OB floor.

I've spent the last few days at the clinical site and we have lost 3 babies. One was a 39 week still born who had been dead in utero for at least a week. She thought baby sloshing in amneotic fluid was movement so wasn't concerned. The other was a 25 weeker who passed, and the third I can't even talk about.

If that's your attitude towards patients dying, I'll just have to put you on ignore because that callous comment was just not ok with me.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

For me, how death has occurred often determines how it impacts me. Occasionally we do see someone who had what I would consider a good death (e.g. long life, maintained independence until the end, died at home, had good health up until death, etc.). Though it is sad for the family having lost a loved one, it doesn't bother me after the call is over. What I find more difficult are some of the bad deaths we are involved in, especially when things could have so easily gone a better way (e.g. a hanging, needing to try to resuscitate someone who was known to be terminal and getting them back only to spend a couple of days in ICU, etc.).

I think we need to be careful when judging other people's reactions to death though. If Trm90 is simply sharing how he truly feels, I don't see a need to criticize. We all deal with the things we see in this job differently. Maybe someday he will look back and feel differently about his experiences. We would criticize someone who comes on here saying that they want to get into this industry because they "want to help people" so why do we also criticize someone who doesn't have strong emotions connected to the personal aspect of the job? As long as he is doing his job appropriately, including his communication with the family, it sounds to me like he may have a recipe for career longevity that will far exceed mine.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

What's your motivation to try and save the person if being dead doesn't bother you? Fear of losing your job? If so, then your motivation for being involved in EMS is immediately suspect and chances are increased that you're more dangerous than helpful. Either way, my request for you to reevaluate your career choice and think about another line of work is still valid. Or are you actually motivated in trying to save a life? If the death of a complete stranger doesn't bother you, as you claim, then what's your motivation to help a complete stranger while s/he is still alive?

I'd be careful with that line of thinking. It's things like that that lead to zealotry and also to people having severe issues with this job as well. If you are only doing this because you see yourself as on some type of mission to "prevent death" or "save lives" or "rescue people" or whatever, that isn't a good thing either. Personally, I'd say if that is your only motivation then you need to get the hell out ASAP.

Death and disease are natural parts of life; just because someone isn't bothered by a death and can accept that it is a natural occurence, that, despite their interventions still happened doesn't mean that they shouldn't be doing this. There is a difference between having empathy for the dead and remaining survivors (if any) and being upset and/or bothered by it.

Your line about helping a complete stranger if flawed for the same reasons. If someone needs help, that is why we are here; to do so to the best of our abilities. I can't speak for anyone else, but I do it because I like to, and I enjoy the work. But just because we are supposed to be helping people does not mean that you need to become attached to every patient to the point that you are letting things get to you.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Fair points and to a large extent I agree with what you're saying. I think it's taking my points to an unintended extreme. However, what you're saying is something that needs to be pointed out and considered in a long standing and productive career in EMS.

My concern with the poster who started this tangent is that he stated the death of a complete stranger had no effect on him whatsoever. That's a little disturbing even when taking into consideration different people handle things differently. It would've been just as disturbing had he said that he becomes crippled emotionally after every single patient event.

Balance is everything. It's easier for some than others.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Fair points and to a large extent I agree with what you're saying. I think it's taking my points to an unintended extreme. However, what you're saying is something that needs to be pointed out and considered in a long standing and productive career in EMS.

My concern with the poster who started this tangent is that he stated the death of a complete stranger had no effect on him whatsoever. That's a little disturbing even when taking into consideration different people handle things differently. It would've been just as disturbing had he said that he becomes crippled emotionally after every single patient event.

Balance is everything. It's easier for some than others.

Kinda figured that; but it was as good an opening as any to point out that an extreme, on any end of the spectrum, is still an extreme. Which just ain't right most of the time.

Part of the problem in discussing this is that, whatever term is chosen to represent how someone feels, it's very subjective and up to the individual. I can honestly say that, for the most part, death in EMS does not bother me at all. But to me, like I said above, feeling empathy for the family or sorry that someone died (depending on the circumstances) doesn't count as being "bothered" by it.

It also helps that my motivation, as I'm sure it is for most people who make a career out of this, goes beyond feeling like I'm a big live saving hero out to vanquish that dirty foe death! :D

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
This thread is quite old. Please consider starting a new thread rather than reviving this one.

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


×
×
  • Create New...