Anxiety with new FTO promotion

Baker2334

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Whats up everybody,

Some background I’ve been an EMT-B for a little over 2 years. Most of it being with a busy 911 service.

I recently got a promotion at my small private EMS company to the FTO position. (Primarily IFT with backup 911) Being only 24 with 2 years of experience I was shocked I got it but extremely happy about it.

The only thing is I’ve noticed lately my anxiety has been through the roof in terms of either not knowing something or being unsure of it. I have gotten good remarks about me training new EMTs both from them and the supervisors. It’s just in those instances when something is unsure or I don’t know the answer my anxiety goes through the roof like I shouldn’t be an FTO.

I really want to talk to somebody about this but not somebody I work with. I don’t really want to talk to a therapist either as I want to become a FF eventually and don’t want to ruin my chances if they find that out.

I have never been chewed out here even before becoming an FTO but I’m kind of beating myself up over something that I feel I should know. Its nothing like basic EMT knowledge wise like CPR or vitals etc. More so how this company’s tools work, protocols etc. Idk maybe I just see FTO’s as perfect EMTs in my eyes but just looking for some advice on how you overcame any anxiety or new FTO position if you are one.

Thanks and sorry for the long post lol…
 

MEDicJohn

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First off, congratulations on the recent promotion. Secondly, never feel bad that you don't know something use this as a way to grow for both you and your trainee. Ems is full of ever changing and situational challenges. You will learn something new every day don't question it. Your company should also provide you training documentation on SOPs, company protocols, and position expectations. Just ask no shame.

Lastly, never feel like seeing a therapist will exile you from becoming what you want to become. This attitude is apart of the old macho mentality that had mentally scarred plenty of medic/emt/ff. Mental health is just as important as physical health be sure to take care of it.

be safe.
 

mgr22

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Idk maybe I just see FTO’s as perfect EMTs in my eyes but just looking for some advice on how you overcame any anxiety or new FTO position if you are one.
When you imagine FTOs as "perfect EMTs," you're overestimating the capabilities of educators in general.

Teachers know stuff. They may even know more than you do, but that's not what makes them good at teaching. Knowing the right answers isn't necessarily as important as knowing the right questions. For example, if you were training someone to be an EMT, telling them what to do wouldn't be as important as considering how they could best learn what you know. Asking students questions is one way to establish priorities and judge progress. That's just one technique; think about ways that you prefer to learn.

You don't have to be perfect. You don't even have to be right all the time. An imperfect FTO who knows his/her limitations and is willing to work with students as a coach, rather than as a superior, would be my choice as a new employee.
 
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Baker2334

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First off, congratulations on the recent promotion. Secondly, never feel bad that you don't know something use this as a way to grow for both you and your trainee. Ems is full of ever changing and situational challenges. You will learn something new every day don't question it. Your company should also provide you training documentation on SOPs, company protocols, and position expectations. Just ask no shame.

Lastly, never feel like seeing a therapist will exile you from becoming what you want to become. This attitude is apart of the old macho mentality that had mentally scarred plenty of medic/emt/ff. Mental health is just as important as physical health be sure to take care of it.

be safe.
True thanks for the feedback 💪🏼 Appreciate it
 
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Baker2334

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When you imagine FTOs as "perfect EMTs," you're overestimating the capabilities of educators in general.

Teachers know stuff. They may even know more than you do, but that's not what makes them good at teaching. Knowing the right answers isn't necessarily as important as knowing the right questions. For example, if you were training someone to be an EMT, telling them what to do wouldn't be as important as considering how they could best learn what you know. Asking students questions is one way to establish priorities and judge progress. That's just one technique; think about ways that you prefer to learn.

You don't have to be perfect. You don't even have to be right all the time. An imperfect FTO who knows his/her limitations and is willing to work with students as a coach, rather than as a superior, would be my choice as a new employee.
Thank you that meant a lot tbh. I’ve always told myself and new hires your attitude goes a long way. I pride myself in not being the type of FTO to throw you to the wolves or belittle. I guess I just have high expectations from past FTOs who have been doing this for like 20 years lol and then theres me with only 2 haha.
 

NomadicMedic

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Not really more so what is expected for the position itself such as filling out new hire FTO checklists, CPR training etc.

Do you know anything about objective evaluation, conflict resolution or adult learning strategies?
 

johnrsemt

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Remember back to when you were trained (and be happy if you were trained properly).
Remember what happened when you and your FTO didn't know what to do and didn't know something.

Can you ask other FTO's about what they "would do in this hypothetical situation"?
 
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Baker2334

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Remember back to when you were trained (and be happy if you were trained properly).
Remember what happened when you and your FTO didn't know what to do and didn't know something.

Can you ask other FTO's about what they "would do in this hypothetical situation"?
Yeah but its more so little stuff like today I was in a con ed class and was asked if giving a neb treatment to somebody presenting with wheezing and SOB was per standing order (obviously with no contraindications) Where I am that actually needs the ok from med control if they haven’t been diagnosed with asthma and prescribed albuterol prior from where my past EMS company it was standing orders. Not a huge deal and def know now but my anxiety was pretty bad from not knowing that one thing.

Idk I feel like I can’t get this picture of FTOs being near perfect EMTs out of my head I guess. Or maybe my mind is trying to make me a perfectionist with this new promotion.
 

mgr22

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Idk I feel like I can’t get this picture of FTOs being near perfect EMTs out of my head I guess. Or maybe my mind is trying to make me a perfectionist with this new promotion.
FTOs aren't perfect. Neither are you. Neither am I.

People don't get hired because they're perfect. People don't get promoted because they're perfect.

Do you expect perfection from others? If not, why expect it from yourself?
 

DrParasite

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I mean I feel very confident in conflict resolution but care to elaborate on the other strategies ?
I think the point @NomadicMedic was trying to make is your agency should actually train you on how to be an FTO. Those three topics are good examples of what would be covered in a course or training program.

Too many EMS agencies will promote someone for a position, and then not formally train them in what that position needs. Sometimes they will just shadow an existing person in that role, but that can simply pass on bad habits. Having a new person be trained externally on how the role should be done, instead of simply how your agency does it, allows for programs to be compared to an actual standard, instead of this is how we have always done it.

However, if your role is simply completing a new hire checklist, and maybe teaching a few CPR classes, you might not need much training. But in my experience, and other experiences might vary, a good FTO program actually makes sure the new hire is oriented to how the agency does things, and evaluates the new person to ensure that occurs, instead of just checking a few boxes (which is all too common and leads to a lack of consistency because not even the FTOs are on the same page for how things should be done).
 

NomadicMedic

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I think @DrParasite suns it up well. An FTO should be an expert in protocols, agency SOG/SOP and all things related to daily operations. The FTO should be the person that can answer questions from newbies right off the bat. You don’t have to be perfect, but you need more than just a nodding acquaintance with protocols and SOGs. You should know the employee handbook front to back and be able to answer the typical new hire questions about daily ops.

Here’s some scenarios you might want to think about.

You show a new person how to safely lift but they do it wrong with a patient. You correct them and they continue to do it wrong. What’s the next step?

A new hire is rude to a nurse when you’re picking up a patient. What steps to you follow to fix this?

Your feel as though your new EMT is an unsafe driver. At what do you intervene and how do you remediate?

Your new hire makes what you consider to be an egregious patinet care mistake, resulting in a potential poor outcome for a patient. What’s next?

Your new hire is bad mouthing another EMT. One that you don’t particularly like. Now what?

You and your new hire are going over paperwork and you hear another FTO telling a supervisor that your new hire isn’t going to make it and that you’re not qualified to train him. How do you manage this?

These are all role playing exercises that I do with my new FTOs. And yes, all have happened.
 
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Baker2334

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I think the point @NomadicMedic was trying to make is your agency should actually train you on how to be an FTO. Those three topics are good examples of what would be covered in a course or training program.

Too many EMS agencies will promote someone for a position, and then not formally train them in what that position needs. Sometimes they will just shadow an existing person in that role, but that can simply pass on bad habits. Having a new person be trained externally on how the role should be done, instead of simply how your agency does it, allows for programs to be compared to an actual standard, instead of this is how we have always done it.

However, if your role is simply completing a new hire checklist, and maybe teaching a few CPR classes, you might not need much training. But in my experience, and other experiences might vary, a good FTO program actually makes sure the new hire is oriented to how the agency does things, and evaluates the new person to ensure that occurs, instead of just checking a few boxes (which is all too common and leads to a lack of consistency because not even the FTOs are on the same page for how things should be done).
I honestly didn’t know that. I’ve only worked for 2 companies and both would just have people apply to the FTO position and then promote you if they thought you were qualified. I had no idea they had FTO programs for people to work through ! I might check out some and mention it to my company, thank you for the feedback I appreciate it.
 
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Baker2334

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I think @DrParasite suns it up well. An FTO should be an expert in protocols, agency SOG/SOP and all things related to daily operations. The FTO should be the person that can answer questions from newbies right off the bat. You don’t have to be perfect, but you need more than just a nodding acquaintance with protocols and SOGs. You should know the employee handbook front to back and be able to answer the typical new hire questions about daily ops.

Here’s some scenarios you might want to think about.

You show a new person how to safely lift but they do it wrong with a patient. You correct them and they continue to do it wrong. What’s the next step?

A new hire is rude to a nurse when you’re picking up a patient. What steps to you follow to fix this?

Your feel as though your new EMT is an unsafe driver. At what do you intervene and how do you remediate?

Your new hire makes what you consider to be an egregious patinet care mistake, resulting in a potential poor outcome for a patient. What’s next?

Your new hire is bad mouthing another EMT. One that you don’t particularly like. Now what?

You and your new hire are going over paperwork and you hear another FTO telling a supervisor that your new hire isn’t going to make it and that you’re not qualified to train him. How do you manage this?

These are all role playing exercises that I do with my new FTOs. And yes, all have happened.
I wish I had somebody training/quizzing me on being an FTO like you haha. I honestly thought most private ems companies just assumed people knew everything when applying to the FTO position thats why they never trained them specifically for that role.

Thanks for the role play questions appreciate it
 

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