dealing with anxiety and stress

Stirley

Forum Ride Along
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0
0
hi guys, im a 19 yr old emt b student. im having a problem with how to deal with this stress now that class is coming to an end. im really good in high stress situations that happen quickly and develop rather rapidly. However not so good with the long term. we have 3 weeks left till the final and its really getting at me. all the skill sheets,+ the other stuff i need to know so i actually know what to do.

I feel sick all the time, eating is hard to do, and i just feel really stressed out. i almost always feel like like im going to vomit, especially if i think about the class. and i always have a dull headache.

did anyone have this problem when going through the class? if so how did you deal with it.
 

sunbee

Forum Probie
23
0
0
hi,
i totally understand how you're feeling. although i didn't have same responses, i was nervous abt passing the course n the NREMT

try to study a few chapters each day until the final, straight memorization wouldn't help much instead try to understand why things happen and why some certain tx works best

doing yoga/exercise should help relieve some anxiety and just know that if you don't pass 1st time, it's okay, u'll have other chances
if you worry or think too much abt it u won't do as well as you could've
 

EMSLaw

Legal Beagle
1,004
4
38
I suggest Xanex, and only half-jokingly. If your life is seriously disrupted, you might want to speak to your doctor about whether this is more than just stress.

Think positive thoughts. As silly as it sounds, "self-talk" is important to our self-image. And relax - EMT class isn't rocket science. Just take your time and use your common sense. You'll be fine.
 

usafmedic45

Forum Deputy Chief
3,796
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If you're getting this simply from the class and do not have any other MAJOR stressors in your life (terminally ill parent or child, divorce or crumbling relationship, etc) you probably need to seriously reconsider whether EMS is truly something you should be doing. The texts we use for class are written at roughly a fourth grade reading level and you are not talking about a tremendous amount of information (try taking a class on biochemistry or an upper level physics course and then compare those with an EMT class).

It simply sounds like you are part of the unfortunate trend we are dealing with in EMS due to our tendency to do a piss poor job of weeding people out of courses and having an open door policy for EMT class admissions. This lends itself to attracting the attention deficient, high strung adrenaline junkies as well as bleeding heart martyrs who take everything personally and finally those who wanted to pursue other professions but found themselves unable to hack it academically. We have- and continue to- shoot ourselves in the foot by diluting the profession with the uncommitted, unprepared and unworthy through lax standards, poor self-policing and a misguided allegiance to tradition. In other words, the problems you are encountering are not entirely of your own making, but you still bear primary responsibility for your own success or failure.

If you are seriously having that much trouble with this, you are likely not as good at dealing with moderate levels of stress as you think, whether they be chronic or otherwise. Most of the stress in EMS is chronic in nature, contrary to popular belief. Ince you get your head around the realization that <5-10% of cases are in any way shape or form a true emergency, you very quickly realize the stress in EMS is truly the same as you encounter with almost any job (crappy bosses, long hours, low pay, :censored::censored::censored::censored::censored::censored::censored: coworkers, stupid assignments, etc). The only difference is that- assuming you get a position on a 911 service- you are more likely to see someone die as an EMT than you are in other jobs. Dealing someone you don't know dying in front of you is pretty simple compared to the hostage negotiation-esque task of dealing with an irritable boss. I should know...I've been on both ends of that. Truth be told, from simply the perspective of stress, I would rather work back to back to back bad traumas day in and day out (but I hate working them because of the other aspects) than handle minor piddly cases for the duration of my shift . Then again, I'm kind of burned out and a little weird in this regard.

I don't mean to be rude, but rather just want to give an honest assessment and not provide an unfairly optimistic "YOU CAN DO IT!" response.
 
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mycrofft

Still crazy but elsewhere
11,322
44
48
Not that Uncle USAF doesn't love you...

;) He always has good points.
Being 19 doesn't help, it takes decades and a couple guaranteed fixed incomes to grant you the serenity of an old tortoise like me and some others.

Use SEARCH and you will find others' posts and replies about test anxiety and people "surviving" (HA! yeah, real life and death) EMT school.

EMS classes don't screen going in, some instructors try to "boot camp" it to scare some folks out. You are there to get somehting you want and have paid good money for it. It balances and works out.


If you worry about failure too much you will; can't walk the wire looking down.
"EMT" is a set of skills and hopefully some spirit, not your life or a judgement of you per se. Good to set yourself a bar and work hard, but you will have to learn also how not to sit and chew your nails to the second joint waiting for something.
And never stand in the bight of a line fastened to two separate objects.
(Old firefighter axiom, not really appropriate).
 
OP
S

Stirley

Forum Ride Along
9
0
0
If you're getting this simply from the class and do not have any other MAJOR stressors in your life (terminally ill parent or child, divorce or crumbling relationship, etc) you probably need to seriously reconsider whether EMS is truly something you should be doing. The texts we use for class are written at roughly a fourth grade reading level and you are not talking about a tremendous amount of information (try taking a class on biochemistry or an upper level physics course and then compare those with an EMT class).

It simply sounds like you are part of the unfortunate trend we are dealing with in EMS due to our tendency to do a piss poor job of weeding people out of courses and having an open door policy for EMT class admissions. This lends itself to attracting the attention deficient, high strung adrenaline junkies as well as bleeding heart martyrs who take everything personally and finally those who wanted to pursue other professions but found themselves unable to hack it academically. We have- and continue to- shoot ourselves in the foot by diluting the profession with the uncommitted, unprepared and unworthy through lax standards, poor self-policing and a misguided allegiance to tradition. In other words, the problems you are encountering are not entirely of your own making, but you still bear primary responsibility for your own success or failure.

If you are seriously having that much trouble with this, you are likely not as good at dealing with moderate levels of stress as you think, whether they be chronic or otherwise. Most of the stress in EMS is chronic in nature, contrary to popular belief. Ince you get your head around the realization that <5-10% of cases are in any way shape or form a true emergency, you very quickly realize the stress in EMS is truly the same as you encounter with almost any job (crappy bosses, long hours, low pay, :censored::censored::censored::censored::censored::censored::censored: coworkers, stupid assignments, etc). The only difference is that- assuming you get a position on a 911 service- you are more likely to see someone die as an EMT than you are in other jobs. Dealing someone you don't know dying in front of you is pretty simple compared to the hostage negotiation-esque task of dealing with an irritable boss. I should know...I've been on both ends of that. Truth be told, from simply the perspective of stress, I would rather work back to back to back bad traumas day in and day out (but I hate working them because of the other aspects) than handle minor piddly cases for the duration of my shift . Then again, I'm kind of burned out and a little weird in this regard.

I don't mean to be rude, but rather just want to give an honest assessment and not provide an unfairly optimistic "YOU CAN DO IT!" response.
I appreciate your honesty. But now that i think about it my dad had a stroke a little over a yr ago and is not pretty much worthless(might sound mean spirited but hey, this is how i deal with it) and cant do for others. my mom has 3 compressed vertebrate and can barley walk, so i have to feed her and make sure she is ok. and my sister has a foot fracture, so i have to take her EVERYWHERE(parents cant do anything). so so maybe not all my stress is coming from the class. and i also think im looking at it as a live or die situation in terms of passing the class.

and on top of all that i stopped working out about 2 months ago because of a back problem thats not going away, and i dont have insurance.

thanks for all your input guys.
 

Veneficus

Forum Chief
7,301
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You probably shouldn't be an EMT if you have a back injury...
Getting hired anywhere reputable with an unresolved back injury may be extremely difficult.
 

joeshmoe

Forum Lieutenant
124
0
16
Look on the bright side, youre only 19. If school is the bulk of your life experience, EMT class might be a stressful experience, especially with family stuff going on. Just remember the sun comes up tomorrow regardless of what happens. You fail a test, life goes on, and at 19 you got your whole life ahead of you.

I was surprised when an emergency room nurse told me her experience taking the NREMT written and practicals before she became a nurse was the most stressful experience of her life. Shes obviously handled more serious situations since then. Stress tolerance is something people can gradually build up, but it's not a pleasant process.

In the Marines I just use to deal with stress by saying FIDO, F*ck it and drive on. Learn from the bad stuff but dont dwell on it.
 

Melclin

Forum Deputy Chief
1,796
4
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I would agree that you will need to learn to deal with chronic stress. Its part of life, let alone EMS. Still, simply saying that doesn't help.

You are 19 after all, its not unreasonable that you are still developing those coping skills.

I suppose it seems pretty obvious, but do you have a form of stress relief? Do you fish, paint, drink, herd goats? Might be a good idea to work some stress relief into the schedule..preferably something that involves exercise. EDIT, didn't see the working out/back probel bit...thats a :censored::censored::censored::censored::censored:.

I feel the fact that the emt curriculum aims so low, may actually make it harder to learn. More wrote learning, less conceptual stuff. More "remember this" rather than "understand this". I can't remember something unless I understand it. Regardless of the fact that the course material in the emt is ridiculously simple, the way its being taught may not be. It is amazing how much a crap teacher can complicate a simple issue and EMT instructors may not be the best of teachers. Hit up some different textbooks and websites instead of just skills sheets. Wrap your head around some concepts. Also, you tube has some great videos for your BLS skills, so get googling.
 
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TransportJockey

Forum Chief
8,621
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Getting hired anywhere reputable with an unresolved back injury may be extremely difficult.
Not to mention only being 19 most companies won't hire him for at least two more years
 

medic417

The Truth Provider
5,104
3
38
and on top of all that i stopped working out about 2 months ago because of a back problem thats not going away, and i dont have insurance.
Back problems and you are joining EMS WHY???????????????
 

medic417

The Truth Provider
5,104
3
38
iv wanted this my whole life. its a minor sprain, nothing more. its not like iv had it for the last 3 years or something.
Doesn't sound minor if it keeps you from the gym for so long.
 

mycrofft

Still crazy but elsewhere
11,322
44
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Stirley, you are doing a man's work already with your family.

Most yong adults your age would find a way out of their duty to their family. Concentrate on that, and you might find you just sail through the EMT course.
And that bad back thing...a sprain is not "just a sprain", a sprain can be seriuous and if it was not dx by a pro, it could actually be anything from a sprain to a comressed nerve to having actually snapped a process off of a vertebra or torn something.
Consider dispatch?
 

mycrofft

Still crazy but elsewhere
11,322
44
48
Or "Woman's work", sorry.

:blush:......
 
OP
S

Stirley

Forum Ride Along
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thanks crofft. but i guess i wont know. its been the first time in my life iv never had insurence, pretty crappy feeling.

no way to dispatch, i feel made for this. sure i have wanted a few other jobs but they where police,military and all still come back to the basis of helping people. but i want to be a ffer more than anything in life. if i dont reach that goal i honestly believe i wont be happy doing anything else in life. +the ride alongs where i actually got PT interaction(taking vitals, seated c spine, etc) i know i enjoy it.
 

joeshmoe

Forum Lieutenant
124
0
16
Lets not make too much out of some back pain. Straining your back hardly disqualifies someone from working in EMS, especially if they are 19. You'd be hard pressed to find someone who has never strained their lower back, unless they've never done any real labor or lived in a bubble all their life.

If you are at the end of your class, just finish the class, then hold off on seeking employment until you're completely pain free. Then work on strengthening your back and abs to prevent future injury. Poor posture can play a role as well, along with diet, stress, etc.

Obviously if the pain is severe, doesnt go away, you have other related symptoms, or ends up being a chronic condition, you dont want to risk permanent disability working in EMS.
 

firetender

Community Leader Emeritus
2,552
11
38
Little Braddah...

Right now, the reality is you've got an overflowing plate. All the stress you can't feel and express with M & D is dribbling out your over-textbooked mind. No one can predict your future usefulness as a medic. Not even you. But here's one thing you do need...help.

Get some of that weight off you.

Good luck!
 

EMSBLONDIE24

Forum Probie
18
0
0
Just remember that if you find the EMS class stressful, you have yet to actually be in the field with real patients and serious problems. The hours are long and stressful and can lead to a quick burnout if you don't take care of yourself both mentally and physically. Just consider the situation you are in now, and how that might change once the shifts with real emergencies start, compared to just classroom lectures and tests.
Exercise or stress-relieving exercises might help. Running keeps me going :)
 

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