Save a life. Make split-second decisions. Take control of the situation. Two calls never the same. Singular focus care for the patient during their most dire emergency.
Paramedics undergo hundreds to thousands of hours of training before they are certified. A paramedic will learn how to keep the situation calm. To assess the emergency. To take action. Textbooks, video training, and classroom will teach you how to become a paramedic.
Have you heard of “ABS?”
“ASB” is an acronym for Attention Seeking Behavior. Paramedics spend hours talking about the subject of post traumatic stress. ABS is the unwritten street term for post traumatic stress. A new paramedic hire should not talk about any tragedy call they respond to publicly.
Don’t discuss it with the media. Don’t discuss it out loud on the field. Ever. New hires must show they have the stomach for the job. Each new paramedic must suppress any emotions during and after any tragic event.
In Chesterfield, New Jersey, a trash truck hit a school bus. Killed an elementary school child. Placed two children (siblings of the one who was killed) in critical condition. Around seventeen elementary school kids injured. Paramedics on the field asked if they were okay. They responded positively because paramedics don’t talk about the tragedy openly.
The pendulum swings from extreme tragic events to absolute boredom. Nothing can prepare a new paramedic for long hours driving around in a truck. The long waits for a call. The job calls for standby for any emergency. Irregular hours will cause a strain on any relationship.
New paramedics will quickly learn to bring spare uniforms when they are on the job. Why? Vomit. Excrement. Urine. Wasteland of humanity. Patients sick, drunk or hallucinating on substances. Anything can happen. Extra set of clothing essential.
A new paramedic will quickly learn that not all 911 calls are emergencies. Civilians treat 911 as a service. A call may come over the radio that someone hurt his or her foot. Upon arriving, the medics will discover that person stubbed their toe.
Or, a wife had a fight with her husband and calls 911. Why? Because her husband is unresponsive. While unresponsive to paramedic means a person is not breathing or unconscious. To the wife it means her husband is not talking to her.
Spousal relationships will take the hardest hits. New paramedics should expect to experience the very worse emergency scenes such as vehicular accidents, rapes, suicides to murders. There must be an understanding between spouse and a new paramedic of the emotional strain the job brings. A new hire may need space. Need alone time. Or need family and friends for support.
New paramedics will not find a textbook on how to prepare for everything that is out in the field. Civilians will blame you for not saving a life. Hospital staff may yell at you for not performing the proper procedure, even if the new hire followed proper protocol. New paramedics should expect to leave his or her emotions at home. Prepare for the worst. Stay calm through the storm. And don’t ever talk about a tragedy in a negative manner publicly, ever.