I hate this job.

WyMedic

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I fell in love with EMS when I first started. I loved being in the ambulance, being independent in the field, making life or death decisions and feeling like I accomplished something,

Now, Nurses look down at me. Doctors look down at me, All I am is medical transport. A taxi 80% of the time. Get them from A - B. Does anyone give a **** that I can recognize a LAFB w/ a RBBB on a 12 lead, nope. all they care about is if I got an IV and blood so they don't have to do it. Does the ED staff care that I just made the decision to discontinue resuscitation on a 25 y/o from a traumatic arrest. Nope, I'm just the paramedic, and they will always be more educated and better than me.


I want out, and I hate the fact that I do. I believe that experienced paramedics truly save lives, I really think that, but the number of experienced paramedics out there goes down every day and it's sad.
 

planetmike

Forum Lieutenant
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Take a vacation, some time away to clear your head may be a good thing. You sound very burned out. Maybe IFT isn't the best place for you. Can you get into 911? Career change? How about teaching? Nursing? PA?

Check out The Code Green Campaign. Talk with someone at your place of employment. A friend. Your OMD. Family. Your PCP. Don't keep it all bottled up.
 

hometownmedic5

Forum Asst. Chief
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Happiness in life is all about managing expectations. It sounds like you're expecting to be treated as if you were a physician when in fact you are a technician with a short, mainly skills based training. The people who look down on you(me, us) are educated professionals. That doesn't mean that some(many) of them aren't two IQ points away from a state check, but they exist on a plane that society says is higher than ours because they have a degree. I'm not saying it's right or that I agree with it or like it; but it's what I expect and therefore it doesn't bother me when it happens. It's sort of like being called an ambulance driver. If you try to get all righteous with it, you'll get nowhere; but if you just recognize that being called an ambulance driver comes from a place of ignorance then it's easier to get past.

Also, recognize that the vast majority of this job is transport. Not life saving, not hero moments, not life and death decisions but providing a ride to someone who needs to get from here to there. If we only allowed people into the ambulance who legitimatley needed to be there, fully half of us would be out of a job in less than a month. So you can crusade against bs calls, but understand you're talking yourself out of a job...

If you can't get your head around the realities of the business, then you should go find another means of gainful employment. There's lots of other jobs out there.
 

mgr22

Forum Deputy Chief
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WyMedic, at 29, you're certainly young enough to try other jobs -- even other industries. The fact that you got through medic school makes me think you'd succeed in other curricula -- maybe something very different from EMS. The key is to see each prospective career path as something to try, not something you necessarily have to do for the rest of your life.

You might even find you'd fit better in EMS if you lowered your expectations. To me, you sound a little unrealistic about the proportion of lifesaving you're expecting. Also, the fact that hospitals treat you as a technician isn't necessarily a sign of disrespect. I think many nurses and even some doctors see themselves as relatively unimportant in the overall scheme of emergency medicine. That feeling can come from many years of dealing with the same kinds of cases.

Lowering your expectations doesn't mean you can't still be ready to save lives -- you should be. But part of lowering your expectations means learning to enjoy -- or at least not to dislike -- the little things about your work. Maybe it's the camaraderie, or the practical education, or the mental and physical challenges of prehospital care. You pick. While you're working that out, remember that there are very few people, relative to the general population, who are even willing to try doing what you do. That, alone, is distinctive and should be a source of pride for you.
 

Carlos Danger

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Welcome to healthcare, OP. It turns out that taking care of people is hard, mundane work, and very rarely glamorous. Doctors, nurses, paramedics, and everyone in between has a hard job. We all have a lot of responsibility. Most of us work long hours, rarely get thanked, and in many cases aren't compensated to a level that matches what we feel our skill and efforts are really worth.

"Medical transport", "getting them from A - B" is important. Someone has to do it, and also be able to recognize and manage the occasional urgent or emergent situation. Just because the nurses and doctors don't bow down in awe of your expertise doesn't mean that they necessarily look down on you. They are busy taking care of people, and it probably never occurs to them to stroke your ego. If they think about you much at all, they are, quite frankly, probably not at all impressed by you and EMS as a whole, but that doesn't mean they look down on you. They just see you for what you are: an important but not particularly special cog in the huge machine that works to care for sick people. Just like they are. Are you impressed by them? Do you go out of your way to show them respect and make them feel valued?

If you want out, get out. But keep in mind that the grass isn't always greener elsewhere. Every job eventually becomes routine and mundane, and it is human nature to focus more on the negative than the positive. If your sense of satisfaction relies on other people patting you on the back and thanking you for your work, you might never find a job that you feel satisfied with. It's much better to learn to find your contentment internally, or at least outside of your vocation.
 
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epipusher

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I embrace the fact that the majority of what I do are taxi runs. I am paid very well to do very little. It beats digging ditches.
 
OP
OP
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WyMedic

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thanks for all the replies guys.

I'll level with you, I had a few beers and was feeling pretty down when I wrote that so I apologize if it seemed dramatic. I have a good understanding of what EMS is and isn't, and I know that it's not lifesaving hero work all the time I get that.

I think that a lot of my bitter attitude with what I do sometimes actually stems from the fact that even as a paramedic I feel uneducated. It frustrates me that I can't move on formally. CCP is an option, but that's it, And maybe that's not true Community EMS, tactical EMS there are other options but it frustrates me. I see the value in a formal education. I think that general education (Anatomy & Physiology, Med Mirco, Chem, Biology) is essential for critical thinking and problem-solving, I also really believe that paramedics, especially experienced ones save lives, and we're not given the tools (clinical experience and formal education) to do that as well as we should.

Remi, I appreciate your response, and frankly part of what keeps me in the job is the knowledge that the grass isn't always greener on the other side. Even if I went into nursing, or hell NP, PA, MD. There is no guarantee that I would love my job. I have it pretty good with what I do and I forget that sometimes I guess.
 

VentMonkey

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I also really believe that paramedics, especially experienced ones save lives.
Appreciate the honesty, but I really want to know why you think this is so? I know plenty of experienced paramedics I would never trust with my own family.

Also, I highly recommend ditching the "saving lives", aka, hero complex posthaste.
 
OP
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WyMedic

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Appreciate the honesty, but I really want to know why you think this is so? I know plenty of experienced paramedics I would never trust with my own family.
Haha that's true, maybe that was a bit broad. Experienced paramedics who improve from their mistakes and are passionate about what they do save lives. :)

Sent from my XT1565 using Tapatalk
 

Carlos Danger

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Remi, I appreciate your response, and frankly part of what keeps me in the job is the knowledge that the grass isn't always greener on the other side. Even if I went into nursing, or hell NP, PA, MD. There is no guarantee that I would love my job. I have it pretty good with what I do and I forget that sometimes I guess.

It is true that the grass isn't always greener elsewhere, but that certainly doesn't mean that you might not find something else more satisfying. There's nothing at all wrong with making a career change, as long as you do it for the right reasons and with the right attitude.

I think many of us who moved on from EMS did so largely because of exactly what you describe: limited educational and career options. You just need to figure out if you think you'll remain reasonably satisfied with your current career despite it's limitations, and if not, what to do about it.
 

VentMonkey

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Honestly, the happiest people I know are genuinely content...with life. They're not defined by what it is they do for a living. They have many more important, and pressing things outside of whatever it is that they've chosen as their paid profession.

Also, I can honestly say I don't think that in the past 15 years I--personally--have saved a life. At the end of the day this line of work (all of public safety really) is chocked full of would be heroes in need of some sort of self-reassuring ego-driven need to feel that what it is they do matters so much to everyone else that they're self absorbed with entitlement. The sooner you let that go, the happier you will most likely become.
 
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Gurby

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Also, I can honestly say I don't think that in the past 15 years I--personally--have saved a life.

Do you not count opiate OD's, unresponsive hypoglycemics, status epilepticus, etc? I feel like I personally directly saved lives pretty regularly when I was working 911.
 

StCEMT

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Do you not count opiate OD's, unresponsive hypoglycemics, status epilepticus, etc? I feel like I personally directly saved lives pretty regularly when I was working 911.
I'd say the answer is more in the middle. While I have had opportunities to shock the not normal rhythms multiple times, it was a combined effort of my partner, FD folks, and myself all playing our roles. My team(s) have saved lives (albeit not many), not me.
 

VentMonkey

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Do you not count opiate OD's, unresponsive hypoglycemics, status epilepticus, etc? I feel like I personally directly saved lives pretty regularly when I was working 911.
Nope, intervened? Perhaps. Prolonged? Definitely. I can't say I feel that I have saved their life. They made a life choice to do whatever drug it was to cause their "near death" experience, but because I carry the knowledge and tools to provide care to fix whatever ailment it is that they've suffered hardly makes me a life-saver.

I'd had a slew of cardiac arrest walk outs prior to going to the airship, none of which I followed up to see that I was awarded some medal. It's just not my thing. Many of my co-workers and peers would beg to differ; that's fine. That's also what I personally feel leads to quick burnout, and rants such as those as the OP's, our trained mindset, but perhaps another thread...
 

SandpitMedic

Crowd pleaser
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Go be a hot air balloon pilot... the views must be awesome, and the chicks will really dig it at the bar.

In all honesty, I have several friends who are providers in Emergency Medicine (i.e. Doctors and mid-levels) and they get **** on pretty regularly by people who think they are "higher up the totem pole" than they are too...

It doesnt end with the letters after your name, it ends when you check your ego at the door, and you just do your job the best you can for your patients and your team without seeking glory.
 

Summit

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Expectation is the mother of all F-ups.

You came in with the wrong ones. Most do. How we re-calibrate to reality determines our individual outcome and path.

Like all healthcare, EMS is about problem solving, patient care, and people. The technical hooha and life saving woo woo is an occasion added bonus. Take some time, clear your head, examine your motivations and outlooks. If the true reality of EMS is not to your liking, and you cannot make it acceptable with a change in venue, there is no shame in finding a new path.
 

DesertMedic66

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I think that a lot of my bitter attitude with what I do sometimes actually stems from the fact that even as a paramedic I feel uneducated. It frustrates me that I can't move on formally. CCP is an option, but that's it, And maybe that's not true Community EMS, tactical EMS there are other options but it frustrates me. I see the value in a formal education. I think that general education (Anatomy & Physiology, Med Mirco, Chem, Biology) is essential for critical thinking and problem-solving, I also really believe that paramedics, especially experienced ones save lives, and we're not given the tools (clinical experience and formal education) to do that as well as we should.

If you feel uneducated what is holding you back from becoming educated? Take college courses and earn a degree or two. Even if it means only being able to take 1-3 classes a semester.

Once you get those degrees you can move on to more advanced care levels (RN, CRNA, NP, PA, RT, MD/DO) or you may find out that you enjoy something else outside of healthcare. We have a decent amount of people who work full time jobs outside of EMS and only work part time in EMS just to have fun because it is something different.

In my EMS system it is really based around the lowest educated paramedic. My system is unable to advance because, partly, we have a refusal of providers who want to or are willing to get more educated. As a county we are only required to have BLS CPR and ACLS to be licensed as a medic. Talk about low standards.
 

KnightRider

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I can understand your frustration. I have been an EMT-B since April.Though I have been with my Fire Dept for about 2.5 years and learning EMS in the meantime, I just started with a private EMS company. I can not find one happy person there, unless you are management. Pay for a Paramedic is about $15/HR or $16/HR, $12/HR for EMT-B, $11/HR for the wheelchair van drivers and $9/HR for dispatchers. Most work other jobs to make a living and the place seems like a revolving door. When we go to a bigger, out of town hospital, they act like we are in the way or they get pissed when we ask for required paperwork. I am trying to stay upbeat but I feel the morale in the company is going to rub off on me but I do realize this isnt a place I am going to stay. Taking grandma from her nursing home to dialysis and back or waking up in the middle of the night to take a bariatric patient to the ED and stuff like that just isnt really my bag. I got my EMT-B to be more active in the fire service. Its just depressing that for our work we are poorly compensated and treated worse.

For the Paramedics, I feel its alot of work for little return, unless you can get on a fire department or big city, non-private, EMS.
 
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