This blog has helped me gain more friends within my profession, around the world, than I could ever have hoped for. I know some readers may think it odd that anyone would want to commit time outside of work to work related things, and also would find it maybe a little strange to communicate and talk ‘shop’ with other professionals when they are not actually at their place of work.
EMS doesnt work like that though. If you are dedicated to what you do, it encroaches on other aspects of your life, even if you try and not let it. I am fine with this, but it also helps that I am married to another paramedic, who loves reading the comments and emails that come in to me just as much as I do!
Tonight, I would like to tell a tale about ‘a friend’ who has told me about a very difficult time that he is having following on from a really traumatic job that he recently attended. For the purpose of this discussion, I will call him Dan.
Dan emailed me to explain what he is going through. He dealt with a job that I can only describe as a ‘bad traumatic death’ and is finding it hard to deal with. He has been qualified for three years and seems to think that he should be able to deal with things like this after that period of time, although he recognises that for him, it doesnt seem to be coming very easily.
“Now I know plenty of Ambulance staff have dealt with this kind of job and take it in their stride. But this is the first time I have seen such a thing and I don’t believe it is a sight that anyone can just ‘deal with”
I cannot go into details, and indeed, I wouldn’t, because I would not betray the trust that Dan has put in me, with sharing his troubles. I have deliberately kept this vague, but everyone in the job, and those who enjoy reading about it, will either know or realise the impact that the bad jobs have on us. It doesn’t matter if you have been in 1 year or 25 years, there are always things that can hit us harder than we would expect, and when we least expect it.
Personally, the trauma deaths tend not to bother me too much, unless it is a child. I do however, have sleepless nights sometimes and shed more than a few tears on some jobs which I am sure most would just take in their stride. Mrs Medic999 recently had a traumatic death at work which I cannot go into as it is far to easily identifiable, but suffice to say, we stayed up late into the early hours talking about it and she had a number of bad nights sleep following on from it. We are not rookies, far from it, but it still gets to us. I don’t think we would be as compassionate in our dealings with our patients if we hid our feelings away from ourselves.
I guess, the point of this post is to try and get some more support for Dan from you lot out there. How do you deal with the bad jobs? Is it a good or a bad thing to ‘feel’ the impact of the things we sometimes have to deal with. Is it normal? etc etc…….
I’m sure he would appreciate your words of wisdom and support.