Medic no more...

akflightmedic

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The time has come, and admittedly it has been with extreme mixed emotions, confusion, and moments of "lost identity".

As of 12/31/2022, for the first time since 1993, I no longer hold an active EMS License. It's over. I opted to not renew my licenses. I knew this day would come; however, I always expected it to be on my terms. In December of 2019, I suffered a catastrophic work-related injury. I tore my right biceps tendon, and I have not been the same since.

I was lifting an obese, right BKA being discharged from hospital. This was not even a scene call!! I had just dropped off a patient and was assisting the small town ER with a discharge, "please help get this woman into her car". She was very non-cooperative, there were other ongoing things at same time, end result ultimately was she flopped against me during a lift, and my right arm went instantly flaccid then began excruciating pain. I have had surgical consults, I have done PT, I have reached maximum point of healing, and I was not cleared to do what I have done my entire adult life. I continued to complete CEUs, refusing to accept what was. It took me many, many months of reflection to finally just accept it, and let it go. Thankfully, I have my RN to fall back on, with other side ventures, however the one thing I have identified with the most, the one thing I have done my entire adult life, the one thing that has taken me to places I never could have imagined, has now been snatched from me.

30 years of EMS.

I no longer can say "I'm just a Medic".
 

mgr22

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I can relate -- same time in service, same retirement date, similar circumstances. Losing the medic identity cuts deep. Getting involved in other things helps. Reliving the past...not so much. Good luck, give it time.
 

Rubicon Bob

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I am very sorry to hear that.

It's one thing when it happens by our choice.............

I'm glad to hear that you have your RN to "fall back" on.

Best of luck to you.
 

MMiz

I put the M in EMTLife
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I feel for you. I'm sorry your EMS career ended so unceremoniously.

Though we've never met, for the nearly two decades you've been part of our community I've imagined you to be somewhat of a renegade, badass medic.

It's so EMS-like that it wasn't shrapnel in Afghanistan that got you, but instead an obese patient you volunteered to help lift.

Thank you for your service to EMS, your community, this community, and the nation.
 

Jim37F

Forum Deputy Chief
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Def something that can easily happen to any of us at anytime.

I know I would struggle with a career ending injury. All my adult life, from the Army, to EMT, and now Fire, I'm in that sane boat of my identity getting wrapped up in my job (and jobs that all demand a certain physical ability... and have threats of injuries ending them).
Idk what I'd do in all honesty. Maybe I can go over to Dispatch? My only other reap side career interest right now involves learning to fly, and while (non-military) pilots don't exactly need to be athletes, still seems to require a certain amount of "not being broke".

Idk, maybe I'd have to learn to code or something. It's def something needed to be kept at least in the back of our minds..
 

DrParasite

The fire extinguisher is not just for show
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Maybe I can go over to Dispatch?
Many field people have transitioned to dispatch after getting hurt; however, just because you are a decent field provider, doesn't mean you will be a competent dispatcher. They are two completely different skill sets. But it is doable.

I'll be honest, giving up my NJ EMS credential that I had since 1998 was tough; I've been debating not renewing my NC and getting out of public safety entirety, but I am not ready to do that yet.

My full time job is in the private sector, working in IT/Cybersecurity, and going back to public safety or healthcare would likely result in a 40% paycut, so while I do enjoy working special events, being on the ambulance or BRT just doesn't have the same appeal that it had 20 years ago. and the older I get, the more my back hurts, and the more I like sleeping in my own bed at night.
 
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akflightmedic

akflightmedic

Forum Deputy Chief
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I feel for you. I'm sorry your EMS career ended so unceremoniously.

Though we've never met, for the nearly two decades you've been part of our community I've imagined you to be somewhat of a renegade, badass medic.

It's so EMS-like that it wasn't shrapnel in Afghanistan that got you, but instead an obese patient you volunteered to help lift.

Thank you for your service to EMS, your community, this community, and the nation.

Thank you. I agree, the irony of the exit after every high-risk situation I have ever placed myself in. I need to start again on the book I been kicking around for years. If nothing else, a good porcelain throne reader for my kids and friends. :)

"Just a Medic, Homeless in Kandahar"
 

johnrsemt

Forum Deputy Chief
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I haven't been in EMS as long, but I am glad I am working somewhere now that it will take a major accident to disable me out (or helping another crew with lift assist) between power cots/load and fire running with every run a lifting injury is slim to none.
 

CCCSD

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It’s almost always a minor injury that isn’t glamorous that ends careers.
 

Jmock

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I was in your shoes in 2015. I was a police officer for 25 years, and what took me out? A ruptured right biceps tendon that was not repaired. I did this while trying to restrain an early onset dementia patient. I've had two shoulder surgeries with no help. It ended my law enforcement career. I just went through EMT school this past summer and passed my NREMT, and now work with our local ambulance service. It's amazing how what we do for a living becomes our identity. Don't worry, you made a great career and helped many people, probably more than you think. Take it easy, God knows that you've earned that right...
 
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Phillyrube

Leading Chief
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My lady run was in April 2017. 40 years as NREMT. 30 years paramedic, 5 years as cardiac tech. Figure in the gold standard of an Advanced First Aid cards and I was in the game almost 50 years.
When I left I had just renewed NRP, ACLS, BCLS, PALS instructors, and regional RSI certs. Just a source of pride.
Retired and moved to Florida. I tell people I left before things went bad. You know, when I was on the street, other providers said if "I'm in trouble, I want Rube backing me up." Best complement I could ever get.

I got out before they said, "**** , Rube's on a call, we better head over there". I was 65.
 
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