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fireflymedic

Medics on Antidepressants

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Any time a person starts a new medication there is the period of time where you watch for reactions, no matter what it is. How many of us have been called out to a possible allergic reaction to a new med? I have many times and it really isn't a true allergic reation but just one of the side effects.... A few years ago I finally was diagnosed with trigeminal neuralgia and was put on Neurontin (gabapentin), an antiseizure med that is also used to control pain connected with nerve damage. HOLY SH.. that stuff knocked me right off my feet. I knew that I couldn't drive let alone work during the "getting used to" period let alone work. I never did get over the horrible side effects so I stopped taking it.

For the Medics that have taken care of themselves and gotten help, there is NO shame. Thank you for being the strong one and getting the help you needed.

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In all seriousness......

Should you chose to discriminate and state that anyone who takes an anti-depressant to help them cope with stress of the job, shouldn't be doing EMS, toting that the drugs (in general) allow for an increased crew memebers and patient safety risk... The overall percentage for the risk is just as small was working with an obse partner and they code (due to massive MI) on you while their driving the rig. Extremly small percentage. If its going to help them stay at the top of their game and deal with the stress..... give it to them. But if the drug ultimately alters their decision making process, (such as certain drugs perscribed) they should be monitored closely with medical direction and document monthly evaluations

I think the obese partner puts me more at risk than a person using meds to control depression. If the meds do not make the person drowsy or otherwise adversely affect them there is no reason they should not be at work. As with any med you need to be extremely cautious when you first start it.

So many conditions can and do affect people. Some are short term, some life long. If any changes occur with any partner pay attention, if a danger to you and your patient have them leave. Give them the option to leave on their own and if they refuse then have them removed.

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Ok. I am an EMT on Effexor. I have been on various anti-depressants for most of my adult life due to the fact that depression runs in my family. When I am not on medication I am fatiqued, unfocused, and apathetic. When appropriately medicated, as I am now, I am alert, decisive, and amiable.

Most of the people I work with don't know of my past medical history. Those that do enjoy working with me and trust in my patient care not because I'm a medicated depressive but because I'm an intelligent and competent health care provider.

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This thread has shown that the macho culture of suck it up and don't do anything about it, is alive and well.

Where the hell do you get that from? :?

I haven't seen anyone here suggest that somebody should not seek professional help.

This isn't about the individual. This is about the profession, as well as the patients we serve. If you no longer have the psychological stability to be entrusted with those patients -- the weakest and most vulnerable people in society -- then it's time for you to go. I don't care if you are on antidepressants or not. I don't care if it's your mind or your body that is the problem. I don't care if it is temporary or permanent. If you aren't one hundred percent up to the job, then get out. I have willingly and voluntarily removed myself from the field when I felt I was impaired. If you are not man enough to do that too, then that is simply more evidence that you shouldn't be there.

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Okay, I started this topic, so I'm gonna stretch out my neck on this one. It's gotten completely outta control. I have seizures, I take medication for them, technically this is a mind altering drug right? I'm not allowed to work 24's with no sleep though I do work extended shifts, I have at least four hour breaks where I'm off the truck in them. Every six months I provide my employer with a statement that I'm fit to work - now how would that not work for others? I haven't heard anybody suggest that theory yet. Also, I think it should be more open to take mental time off if needed. I know many services including ours are short staffed, but it's an option for 4 weeks. I love where I work, they take care of us and work with what we NEED both physically and mentally.

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but I would hazard to guess that 98% of the services out there, especially the private services would can your butt in a New York minute if you came to them and said,

"I can't work 24 hour shifts but I can work extended shifts but I need 4 hour breaks built in to my schedule"

I have a cousin who has some neuro issues and she is on light duty at AMR but only because AMR has some light duty jobs that she can do. They have so much already said that when the light duty jobs end then she either needs to be ready to work the streets or she's out.

She's biding her time apprehensively because she doesn't know how long she will still work at AMR.

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I have spent a bit of time reading the thread this morning. I have enjoyed the sarcasm. I have to re-ask, what about CISD? Where do pier groups come into play? I worked in a busy pediatric ER and we had these things. The social workers organized these groups and monitored them. I attended them occasionally and they helped. It is calming in a way to know that someone else is experiencing the same things. It helps just to listen.

Antidepressants are fine as long as they go hand in hand with counseling. For the EMSer that is popping them to stave off burn out then I say, "Don't let the door hit you in the arse on the way out." Find another profession.

On the other hand, if the person has taken the time to go to a counselor and has been placed on them by a healthcare professional AND is monitored while on them then, fine, jump in hang on............

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