I need advice/help badly

Williams60601

Forum Ride Along
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I’ve been a paramedic for 8 years. I’ve always worked at busy 911 services that also do 1 4+ hr transfer per 24 hr shift. We average that transfer plus 4-8 e calls. Most of my ems career, iv also had a second, slower, ems job as well. I use to love ems and strive to learn and do better. I use to enjoy coming to work. These past 2 years or so, I HATE EMS. I hate everything about it. I have zero compassion for patients. They all feel like a burden to me, no matter the age, sex or seriousness of the complaint. I’m extremely hateful minded toward the BS e calls we all love so much. I don’t show it or course, cus I need my job, but in actuality I hate them all and have no compassion for any of them. I absolutely dread going into work. I have a terrible attitude about the job with my (not to him) partner, due to my unhappiness at work. I seclud myself in my room when not on calls. My patient care doesn’t lack... I still fake compassion and provide optimal care but I just hate it all. I’d rather take a bullet to the arm than go to work (but I obviously have to work). I particularly despise working the night section of the 24s and being woken up for calls and transfers. When this happens I’m literally in the mood to strangle an entire bus of nuns.
Not really a question but WTF do I do?
 

ZombieEMT

Chief Medical Zombie
Premium Member
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It sounds like you need to step out of EMS. You probably got involved in EMS with good intent and I am sure it was awesome at first, but that fades. For some people its not a career and its not a lifetime job. It is very easy to burn out. It looks like you have reached that point. If you think your patients dont know you are faking compassions, you are in denial. I am sure many can tell. I am sure many of your coworkers can tell. Maybe it is time to take a step back.

This is what I will say that maybe is less hurtful. Find a good balance. I found myself in a similar spot as you but I knew at the bottom of my heart, I loved this job. What I did to balance this, was to find a new full time job. I found a job, outside of EMS that I worked full time, and maintained a part-time position with a local ambulance. It allowed me to take a step back, and calm down. The one or two days a week was a lot more manageable. My stress went way down and family time went way up.
 

DrParasite

The fire extinguisher is not just for show
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1) change from 24 hrs to 12 hour day shifts.. getting a good nights sleep can do wonders for restoring your sanity.
2) Avoid driving by any convents, especially at night. Those nuns didn't do anything to dyou.
3) look for a new job, one that is either slower or allows you to work days only vs nights.

Serious question: Assuming your EMS career is ending shortly, what do you want to do? what can you do? You don't need your job; you need the income from the job. Can you get a different job that brings you in the same amount of income while allowing for better mental health?
 

mgr22

Forum Asst. Chief
952
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Williams60601, I think the first priority would be to step away for a few days, at least. Take vacation or sick time, try to unwind a bit and start considering alternatives to EMS. Just think about it -- maybe jot-down some thoughts about things you still like to do, and how you might be able to turn some of those things into paying jobs. You don't have to come up with a firm answer; just take some time to think.

I also suggest you involve someone else -- a close friend or family member, if possible. Don't see this as something you have to solve by yourself. Also, don't beat yourself up over it. It's not surprising you feel the way you do after 8 years in EMS. It's a hard life and most people wouldn't have made it as far as you.

If I felt the way you describe, I think the most important thing to me would be to just start changing my life -- not having all the answers or knowing how everything would turn out. I'd probably list things I could do to earn a living, short-term and long-term. I'd try to put myself in a position to try some of those things, even if they were part-time at first. Sometimes even hobbies can turn into occupations.

How do you feel about that?
 

Williams60601

Forum Ride Along
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3
3
It sounds like you need to step out of EMS. You probably got involved in EMS with good intent and I am sure it was awesome at first, but that fades. For some people its not a career and its not a lifetime job. It is very easy to burn out. It looks like you have reached that point. If you think your patients dont know you are faking compassions, you are in denial. I am sure many can tell. I am sure many of your coworkers can tell. Maybe it is time to take a step back.

This is what I will say that maybe is less hurtful. Find a good balance. I found myself in a similar spot as you but I knew at the bottom of my heart, I loved this job. What I did to balance this, was to find a new full time job. I found a job, outside of EMS that I worked full time, and maintained a part-time position with a local ambulance. It allowed me to take a step back, and calm down. The one or two days a week was a lot more manageable. My stress went way down and family time went way up.
I’m sure my coworkers can tell, but I find it difficult to talk to them about being burned out when some of them have been in ems since I was before I was born and they don’t seem burned out. :/
 

Ensihoitaja

Forum Captain
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I’m sure my coworkers can tell, but I find it difficult to talk to them about being burned out when some of them have been in ems since I was before I was born and they don’t seem burned out. :/
It might be worth a shot- burnout's not a one and done thing. Most of us who have been doing this for a while have gotten ourselves into and out of it. They could be a real good resource for you.

I also second the mention of the EAP, if you have one.
 

joshrunkle35

Forum Asst. Chief
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I would also utilize an EAP if you have one. I used it about 3 years ago and it practically saved my life.

I also think that you should just openly talk about it with your crew. They can most likely recommend specific local resources. Some of them have probably also been there before.

You should also take a vacation. Get plenty of sleep and exercise. Avoid the alcohol. Get physically healthy for a few days somewhere peaceful. Then use that time to question why you feel the way you do now vs how you felt when you wanted to get into EMS. What changed?

Lastly, if this is more than a temporary thing, it isn’t fair to yourself to be doing something you hate so much. You’re wasting your life away for a job that pays nothing. It’s also not fair to your patients who need/deserve someone who is giving 110%.
 

Qulevrius

Nationally Certified Wannabe
830
432
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I particularly despise working the night section of the 24s and being woken up for calls and transfers. When this happens I’m literally in the mood to strangle an entire bus of nuns.
Not really a question but WTF do I do?
If it’s the call volume or the nature of the calls - bid out of that shift. I’ve had something similar happening to me (barring the lack of compassion, I never stopped caring for the patients who deserve it); moved on to a different shift, re-evaluated my options.
 

FLMedic311

Forum Lieutenant
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Also, can I just take a second to tell you WTG on getting this far and reaching out and asking for help. Even on a mostly anon forum, reaching out and asking for help is not easy and you should be proud that you have at least been able to recognize a problem and then take action to trying to improve it. I don't know if I have much to add that hasn't already been said but I just want to wish you the best and commend you!
 

KingCountyMedic

Forum Lieutenant
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How's your sleep? Fatigue is one of the leading causes of everything you're experiencing. You should get a good set sleep schedule going if you haven't already. Sleep in a bed without your smart phone or TV on. The light and whatever is on your phone or TV is stimulating your brain. You need to sleep for at least 6-8 hours a night. I don't know if you've had bad calls or just too many calls. There is PTS to think about or compassion fatigue as well. I would highly suggest you talk to a pro that specializes in First Responder mental health. Look for someone that is current in "EMDR" therapy. I would also add that if your life can support it, a good dog does wonders for us. Many fire stations are now having a station dog there as a "therapy animal" and it really helps after bad calls. I have a little furry dog at home and he's the first person I go to when I get home. If I've had a bad shift my wife knows when we make eye contact and that I just need to hold my little buddy and be quiet for a while. A good dog is better than just about anything in my opinion.
 
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