Mr Kaiser has asked us bloggers to think about Respect for this month’s edition of ‘The Handover’ Blog carnival.
I always seem to find it hard to write about a specific topic. I always tend to write about what is making me think or what has affected me recently. That way, it becomes easy to write, because I am literally just putting the entire jumble of stuff from my brain straight down onto the ‘paper’. Sometimes, I bet it comes out that way too!
But, I have been thinking about respect too.
I have been thinking about in relation to me as a paramedic performing my job and the joy that I get out of it. If I try to figure out why I seem to enjoy it so much, it comes down to a number of things which all seem to revolve around respect.
- Respect for profession
- Respect for my uniform
- Respect for my patients & their families
- Respect for my colleagues
- Respect for my employers
- Respect for my equipment
- Respect for the multi disciplinary team
- Respect for the allied services (police & fire)
- Respect for the `regular callers`
Wow, I really do sound a bit `up myself` when I list everything like that, but if you really think about it, that is what made the people I looked up to, and still do, stand out from everyone else.
Now, I’m not perfect, by any stretch of the imagination. I get upset sometimes with my patients, I get angry and frustrated and sometimes I have to catch myself and reel in any negative feelings that I may be having towards a specific patient (after all we are all only human right?). The respect comes by realising that and deciding that you are not going to let your patients and their families know about your bad day, or your frustrations.
It is very easy to be professional and respectful towards a critical patient, it is much harder to be like that with someone who you may see as a ‘time waster’ who is getting in the way of you looking after proper patients or having a sleep. That is the real challenge sometimes.
When I put my uniform on, I represent not only my service but also the profession of paramedics in the UK. As I have said in the past, you may have seen 15 patients that shift, and they all start to blur into each other, but for those patients you may have been the first experience they have had with a paramedic. Do they go away telling their friends and family what a wonderful person they met? How they made them feel so at ease and cared for?
Or do they go away and tell everyone what an unprofessional, uncaring horrible person they had turn up at their door?
I know that is taking it to the extreme, but I have seen it. I have been there and have waited for the person I was working with to leave the room before profusely apologising for their attitude and making up some lame excuse for them, then gently persuading my colleague that maybe “I should go in the back for this one”.
You see so many of us bloggers writing about professionalism these days, but it is something I feel so passionate about. Think about everything that may be wrong with a colleague of yours (I know that we can all think of at least one), and no matter what it is that makes you sigh when you see that you are working with that person, I can guarantee that if they just became more ‘professional’, then everything would fall into place.
Look at the list above again. That pretty much covers most of the things that get me steaming sometimes. Forget about everything else that goes on above you for one minute, there will always be strategic decisions taken that also frustrate and annoy you, but unfortunately that is not something that is easily changeable . Everything else though…………It’s all about respect.