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boeingb13

When do you stop caring

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Most people when they get on the job, have a true care and concern for their patients, and want to provide the best patient care possible. But at some point, they stop, it may be because there is that one patient you see regularly, or it may be the endless transports for hospice to and from the special procedures dept at the hospital. When is it that you loose that compassion that brought you into this field. Lord knows you didnt get into this for the money, so it had to be the want to help. Now granted, it gets physically tiring some days when the calls dont stop in lunch and dinner are a fond memory, and the jokes and sh*t talking are the only way to get from one bad call to the next, but how do people get so jaded, as to be miserable everyday, and complain all day long. Wouldn't you want your family treated with the best care possible, or would you want some jerk standing around going " Damn it, we have to take this old lady all the way across town for nothing". theres some good sayings out there that come to mind, do unto others as you would want done unto you, and maybe the last thing you would normally do for someone should be the first. Dont sit around whinning and crying on the job setting bad examples for the junior members on your crew / dept. If you dont want to do simple transports or help peopleinto their beds, or off the floor, then get the hell out of this line of work, because its people like that, that bring this line of work down, and rub off on others giving them a piss poor work ethic. The best care you can give is what you should be giving. You may not want to drive to someones house to help a mans wife up into bed after she has fallen, but how do you think he feels sitting there seeing his wife in pain on the floor and being unable to help her up. I thought I would write this because i'm tired of hearing people bitch and moan about doing their job. SHUT UP and do it.

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When you get to the point where you stop caring for your patients it is time to get the hell out and find another line of work. You do get jaded to a point when you have been doing this for years, But when you really start not caring then you need to get out and do something else like maybe a ice fisherman in the South Pole. Cause you are no good to yourself or your patients.

Terr

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There are always going to be days when we are less than enthusiastic to do our jobs - the challenge then is to make it through the day, still giving care to the best of our ability.

When those days start to become the norm, instead of the exception, we need to take a serious look at whether we should be in this profession.

It isn't just the patient care that may become the issue - it may be the way we react to and treat our fellow employees... that old lady that we have taken in 6 times in the past week still deserves our best care and attention... but so does that employee who is still the newbie and needs a little guidance.

I have seen people in EMS who have gone from giving incredible care to the little old lady, even though they are so incredibly tired of seeing her and listening to their whining, and then come back into the hall and absolutely crucify the newbie for asking a question or not being fast enough to do a job, or telling the newbie that they can't cut it in EMS because they are having trouble with a difficult call.

When we burn out, when we lose our ability to hold in our negative thoughts, and that translates into less than our best in patient care or in employee relations, we need to seriously question why we are still in EMS.

It isn't just an EMS issue.... any profession with "customer service" has the same issues.

I don't want my family being taken care of by a member who has lost all care, compassion, and empathy..... and I don't want to work with members who have stopped treating their co-workers with respect..... employees who have reached that stage of burnout need to consider leaving or taking a break, or moving into another area of the medical profession for a while.

I found boeing's comment " I thought I would write this because i'm tired of hearing people bitch and moan about doing their job. SHUT UP and do it." interesting..... are they bitching and moaning because they are tired of doing the job, and they are burnt out, or because they are struggling with politics, management, their partner, a call that went bad, or something else? Although I agree that there are some people who will bitch no matter what they are up to, for some it is a cry for help....

When the day comes that I wake up and am not happy to go do my job, that is the day I start looking for work in something else.....

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I agree. We have to do it and is it what we have chosen. It is hard sometimes doin it over and over again.... Kids at home, missin fav shows, big games, pets... etc. It does get old and I am guilty of the bitchin as well. But we do need to just do it.

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Good topic, B13. This is indeed a blight on our field that nobody seems to be seriously addressing. And there is no prospect of things ever getting any better. They COULD get better! Unfortunately, until this job grows into a profession, they won't.

The roots of this problem start in EMT school, before you ever see your first patient. Did anybody here actually get any lecture or training in EMT or Paramedic school about non-emergency patient transfers? Nope. They spent several hours talking to you about duplex repeater radio systems and other such useless nonsense, but not one word about what would make up fifty-to one hundred percent of your patient population. They spent 150 hours blowing smoke up your arse about what a hero livesaver you were going to be in four weeks, leading you to believe that you were going to be using these magical, awesome skillz of medicine on all of your patients, while completely ignoring the two most important skils you would need: communications and hand-holding. They never even bothered to show you how to properly make up a cot, something you actually use on EVERY run.

So, you leave this class with "hero" stamped on your forehead (until you can save enough money to buy a badge from Galls), and quickly realise that there are no hero jobs out there to even be had. Just taxi driver jobs that require an EMT card. Even if you are lucky enough to find a real 911 EMS job, more than three-quarters of your patients still require nothing but communications and handholding, and of course, a ride to the hospital. You've been lied to, and now you're pissed off. Now your attitude goes to shit, and people act surprised. Imagine that.

This is really easy enough to stop. We can stop it today.

Step 1: No more EMTs working on horizontal taxis means no more disappointed, wannabe heroes. There is no need for that. Government agencies shouldn't be requiring it. A taxi is a taxi. Let the Africans and the Pakistanis run the horizontal taxis, just like they run all the other taxis, no EMT training required.

Step 2: Stop educating technicians and start educating professionals. When you spend 150 hours (being generous, of course) teaching somebody nothing more than some advanced first aid, you're not educating them. You're just training them for some worst case scenarios, and then sending them out with the mistaken idea that they will actually need them with some regularity, and worse yet, that those skills are actually worth something. With a real education, you accomplish two important things. First, you send people out with a more honest idea of what their profession is all about. No getting out into the field to burn out after realising that all your training was BS. And second, you weed out all the immature thrillseekers who only entered the field because they thought a four-week first aid course was their ticket to excitement and glory without any serious commitment.

Will people still burn out? Sure. Doctors and nurses still burn out. But at least we will no longer be setting people up for burnout from day 1, greatly reducing the frequency with which we see the attitudes that B13 describes.

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Something that helps me in patient care is remembering that I am transporting a person. They may not even be A/O x 2 and I have had some sort of conversation with them. Also, for some of our elderly patients who have been in a con home for God knows how long, we may be some of the only people that actually have to oportunity to listen to them for a few minutes. We may be the some of the last people to really listen to them before they die. Their families may not visit them. The con home staff may only come in briefly to attend to them and we may be the longest human contact that they have had in quite some time. Studies have shown that people need interaction with other people and our jobs, even if it's yet another dialysis patient, give us the perfect oportunity to touch someone's life in a positive way whether we end up saving their lives or just brightening their day. I know it's hard when you are on your 8th call in the last 4 hours, but we didn't get into this business to sit on our asses but to help people and another form of helping people is listening to them and caring, atleast a little bit. We didn't go through hard exams in our EMT class and the weird national registry exam to just find another job that pisses us off, we went through all that to care for patients and that's what we should do no matter how many calls we have had without a break to eat. Bring a snack. Remember people don't care how much you know unless they know how much you care. The only thing you can do in this profession is to put yourself aside when you are with your patients and then, if you must, you can laugh and bitch about it later. After all, that is how we get through the day, especially on those tough calls. Anyway, as far as saving lives, you don't always get to see the effect that you've had on people, but if you are nice to other people, you never know who's life you have saved without even knowing it.

Take care,

Bombera

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"When you get to the point where you stop caring for your patients it is time to get the hell out and find another line of work. You do get jaded to a point when you have been doing this for years, But when you really start not caring then you need to get out and do something else like maybe a ice fisherman in the South Pole. Cause you are no good to yourself or your patients.

Terr"

well said terr

agree 100 %

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I wonder how tough you really are under that exterior, soft spoken and given the fact a great family provider. You do a job with out complaint, then again you dont gripe much only when it gets you down.

You're such a tease, always smiling, you work away, caring for those who can't help themselves.

Your new at this job, you really dont see much in the way of MVA's or DOA's, so you look for other ways to keep you sane.

You decide you want to play Santa at the local mall or you volunteer at the Nursing home. Anyway you look at it at least you are caring for the community, working with people is what you wanted.

Whether your job is a paid or a volly, you need to get people together and talk about what Fire/EMS truly is, is it a service that should stay focused and not be concerned with pay or do you think you should be paid what you are worth?

In Calgary here it cost's about $5000 to become an EMT, to go to Sait to become a Paramedic it's $10,000. So here's the deal, our medics was about to strike, its still in the open and wont be dealt with till Sept 28th.

Arbertraitor will decide for them . . .

You or someone who wants to be in the forefront of things need to get congress to wake up or better yet GO ON STRIKE, even if you are paid nothing, the country needs to see that this is an esential service not a hand out.

It seems that the USA is a rich country, so why cant they pay you a few measely dollars, if they dont plan on paying you what your worth?

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Bang! I think that you shot that one down. I truly believe that the best care we can give is not the IV or the o2 its the comfort that we give the pt's and their families. Except for the calls that the person is in a coma EMS is very much about bed side manners. I guess even if they are in a coma someone is still watching. And if you aren't enthusiastic about your job that day at least be courteous and kind.

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The day you stop treating the little old lady who is nice to you nice back is the day it is time to walk away.

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