This post could go one of two ways when you read it, depending on who you are and what you do.
If you are in EMS, then you may like what I have to say, although if you are cynical about our profession and disillusioned with your work, you probably won’t.
If you are non EMS and are reading it from a lay person point of view you may also think I’m being a bit over the top, or you may value the fact that someone who may one day care for you (if you live in my region) feels this way.
So lets see, am I am pompous, over sentimental, over the top guy or am I just sharing how I truly feel, whether that be ‘cool’ or not.
Anyway, I have just cleared from a job which again had my heart fluttering a bit. On route it seemed like it was going to be one of those really bad RTC`s (road traffic collisions) that come around every now and then. However, once I arrived on scene I saw everyone out of the car that was absolutely destroyed at the side of the motorway.
No-one seemed injured in any way what so ever. If I was a religious man, I would say it was a miracle, but I am not, so I will say they were all truly lucky and the protection of crumble zones, air bags and seat belts really did do their jobs.
Following this, I was sent to another emergency out of my area and co-incidentally just around the corner from my home. Nothing exciting this time, but I still got some satisfaction from referring a patient on to an appropriate health care professional for further care and assessment instead of hauling them out of their house late at night.
Once I cleared, I quickly popped around the corner and knocked on my door to sneak a quick goodnight kiss from Mrs999, and headed off into the night again.
Now, here is the bit I might get called for……
As I am driving out of my estate and heading towards the motorway, I have a sudden and hugely enjoyable feeling of contentment in my work. The streets are getting quiet and there isn’t too much traffic on the road. I am driving my rapid response car back towards the station and some nice music is playing through the stereo. It’s a cool night, and my window is open slightly, letting the air flow into the car. I start singing along to the radio (I’m alone remember, I don’t have to torture my usual partner on the ambulance!) and I feel so calm.
As I drive through the streets, I feel a real sense of responsibility for my community. People are going to bed, children are sleeping soundly. Some may feel unwell and some may have health problems which cause them to call on us from time to time. Some unfortunate family may be about to have the worst night of their life, and I am driving around, just waiting to be called to go and help.
I feel lucky that I found my way into this career. I have worked hard; I have done more than what is required of me so that I can be the best paramedic I can be. I study more than the average person and I always learn from any patient that I didn’t know everything about their condition. It is my duty to know as much as possible about all of the reasons why my patients may dial 999.
The responsibility doesn’t scare me; I embrace it as a gift because of where I have got to in life and in my profession. No matter what comes up on my little computer screen in the car, I know that I can handle it. It may make my heart go fast and get the adrenaline going, but my patient and their relatives will never see that side. They will only see the calm exterior of a mind that is flying along trying to think of the best thing to do to help my patient.
I may not always get it perfect. I am only human, there are times that I still get my guidelines book out to check dosages and drug volumes, but I am fine with that. I would rather take a few seconds to check that I have a paediatric dosage correct than jump in and do something that I may regret later.
But as I drive along the road, I feel a smile come over my face. This is the best job in the world. There are so many people who would give anything to be in the position I am in. Maybe we should all remember that from time to time.
If you have been reading this blog for a while, it will be blatantly obvious that I am a glass is half full type of person. No matter what is going on in my work, if there are problems coming down from higher management, if my staff have gripes with things on station or with things that I ask of them, then that all disappears as soon as I am out in the car and looking after my patients. That is why I do this job, and hopefully, that is why you do it too.
I make no apologies if you are reaching for the vomit bowel. I have always said that I will share what I am feeling with you all, and it just so happens that tonight is a good night.