Attempting to bridge the generational gap

MEDicJohn

Forum Crew Member
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I made the transition from being in a box to management about 4 years ago. I started in EMS in January of 2007 and worked until late 2018 . I understand thats not a huge amount of time compared to some of the legends that frequent these boards, but I believe that I have done my time. Now im going to sound like that old man yelling "get off my lawn", but the latest generation of EMS worker isn't the same as when I started. I am not sure if all of us during our careers go thru this mentality at some point and this is my time. I feel like the willingness to work and the resiliency has deteriorated for some. I field time off requests for "my favorite YouTube couple broke up and im sad" or "can you just give me a couple calls today I have a hang nail and im afraid it will get infected." Its frustrating and yes I have tried to be proactive and understand what my employees needs without compromising integrity, and seem to make no headway. This isn't about them being able to do the job cause they can they are all educated and understand protocol and policy.

yes HR is trying to find the best candidates for jobs and we give everyone an opportunity

and please take no offense im not implying that all of this generation is like this.
 

M3dicalR3dn3ck

Idolizes Johnny and Roy
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I know I'm actively trying to get on a truck. I want the suck, I want the 24 or better yet 48 hour shifts. I want the low appreciation and supposedly low pay ($30k is more than I've ever made in my life), but most of my generation that I've met on my path wants nothing to do with a ground ambulance, so from my perspective you're close to the mark.

Then again I'm one of the anomalies in my generation that will show up to work if I ain't dead or physically unable to show up
 

DrParasite

The fire extinguisher is not just for show
5,987
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the latest generation of EMS worker isn't the same as when I started.
Every generation says the exact same thing about the next generation. If you ask the previous generation of EMS providers, they will likely say the same thing about you.
I field time off requests for "my favorite YouTube couple broke up and im sad" or "can you just give me a couple calls today I have a hang nail and im afraid it will get infected."
Are they vacation requests or being out sick? you can deny vacation requests, but you can't deny a sick day (but you can request a Dr. note). They are calling out sick: do they have enough sick time in their PTO bank? Who cares if they have a hangnail or pneumonia, that's not your call to make. Now, if they don't have sick time, you should be following your company's rules on how to handle that. I started in the late 90s, and I knew plenty of people during my career (myself included) who came to work while sick.
Its frustrating and yes I have tried to be proactive and understand what my employees needs without compromising integrity, and seem to make no headway. This isn't about them being able to do the job cause they can they are all educated and understand protocol and policy.
So what protocol or policy are they violating? Staffing is a management responsibility and concern, and if they have PTO, they should be able to use it.
yes HR is trying to find the best candidates for jobs and we give everyone an opportunity
That's always good to hear.
and please take no offense im not implying that all of this generation is like this.
I would wager your salary that if you asked people who started in the 90s, they would say the providers who started in the 00s aren't the same as when they started. And I can guarantee you that the manager and supervisors (who were often field providers in the 90s or earlier) wouldn't allow their crews to do half of the things they did when they were on the road.

I completely understand your frustration, but if they aren't breaking any policies then it's your issue, not theirs. If they want to call out because they are sad, for whatever reason, that's their prerogative. I mean, you can probably fire them, but will their replacements be any better? and how much will it cost you to hire and train the new guys? Maybe you can implement a call out / recall system, so if there is a callout, you have someone to come in and cover, or over staff with a part-time person, assuming you will have at least one call out. It's not easy, but staffing is 100% a management headache.
 

spimx

Forum Crew Member
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The complexity and work load has only gone up. Scrutiny and supervision has only increased, now days everything is on camera and just being "rude" can cost you your career. The pay has not increased respectively to inflation. Competitive culture does not help new EMS workers. Entry level jobs like Target and Walmart are paying higher, nurses have elevated their pay significantly and EMS looks less attractive.
 

johnrsemt

Forum Deputy Chief
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Things I have learned from watching management and working hard.

keep track of leave (vacation) requests. If you have to deny someone; write down who and what days they want. They may call in sick. if they do it a few times ask them for a doctor's note. If they keep bringing in a note from an ED doctor, call them. A co-worker gets his next door neighbor who he skis with to write him notes. Doctor got in trouble for it with the hospital he works at, along with my co-worker.

Try to rotate the crews getting off on time. If you nail the same crews every time staying late you will find them interviewing elsewhere.....That is why I got a job 1,500 miles away from where I worked before: I didn't complain often, but when I did I did it with a letter of resignation.

Reward hard working crews: don't split them up so they can teach others, let them mentor others. Put new employees with them.
Give real rewards: The owner of the Private service I worked for (before he sold it) used to give gift cards: I got approx $100-250 worth a month, I went 3 months without buying fuel for either of our cars. My wife and I ate out pretty nice a few times.
I used to go out of town at the drop of a hat (or beep of a pager) due to some of the rewards: I went to 15 States from Indiana, and I went to every Hospital and every Nursing home in the state of Indiana. One month I got $$1,500 in cash and another $500 in gift cards for out of state trips.
Give the productive hard working crews the newest ambulances.

Put new street employees in dispatch (if you do your own dispatching) so that they see what it is like: and new dispatchers on the street, for the same. Nothing worse that a street crew getting written up for cancelling the medic and diverting to a different hospital when the medic is 10 minutes away, and the hospital in another city is 3 minutes away, but the dispatcher won't figure it out on their own.

Understand that crew members blow off steam in weird ways. Don't write up people for joking around. and having fun. If they don't burn an ambulance down, it is a good thing.

A lot more: but remember that the street crews and dispatchers are more important that the management. Give them a way to move up in the company
 
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