Everyone needs time to reflect on things time to time, as long as it is done in a positive manner. Well that is what I have done some this weekend and I have remembered a bit about the positive and negative things I have encountered during my career in EMS. Honestly, I can say I have been one lucky individual and I have many more positive memories than negative.
EMS brings many challenges. These challenges bring with it the opportunity for growth and reward. What do I mean, growth and reward? To explain, let me give myself as an example.
As a young medic I worked hard to memorize everything I needed to be a competent medic. That required many long hours of studying and practicing the science and art of being a paramedic. However, when I graduated medic school, I was a lot more confident in myself than I should have been. My education had really just started.
In the early days of my career I really began learning what it took to be a good medic. I had many people along the way that were willing and very able to show me how to apply the craft in the field. These opportunities allowed me to grow in the field to become what I am today. Without the help and guidance of the seasoned medics, I would not have made it. They taught me what it really meant to be a medic. They infused science along with the human aspects of delivering medicine in the field. See, compassion is not something that an instructor can teach an EMT. One learns it by seeing it in action, they see how it affects people.
So, where is the reward? I would say the reward comes with knowing that I made a difference. I know I have helped people who were in pain. I know I did my best and even though it might not have always changed the situation, I know it was made a little better by me and my fellow public safety comrades being there.
For those who are just starting school and for those who are just graduating, please take this piece of advice. Remember that just because you worked hard in school and earned an A in class does not mean you know it all. There are many EMT’s and Paramedics you will be working with that have a lot of experience and have a ton of hands on practical knowledge. They will help you perfect your skills. Respect them and utilize the knowledge they are willing to pass to you in a positive way.
Before you know it, you too will be considered the “old timer” and new EMT’s will be looking up to you for guidance. Take the time to help them. Pass along what you know to them. Help them gain the confidence and skills needed to deliver the best prehospital medicine. Take time to remember how nervous you were and be willing to help ease their fears.
EMS has served me well in my life. It has always provided me with everything I needed in a career and I am very proud to say I am a Paramedic.
For those of you that have taken the time to read my jabber, thank you. I would also like to say thank you to everyone who has helped me in my journey.