Mentally Ill EMTs/Paramedics

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bstone

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Yes. At least many services if they hire a diabetic will have a no driving clause for them.

"Many". Are you sure? I never heard of even one.
 

medic417

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If this guy gets a lawyer you can rest assured it'll end up in court.

I believe the chief was wrong. You can't fire someone for a legit medical condition that is under control. If he does something wrong then you can can him, but not before. The EEOC would have a field day with this.

Why waste money to fight for a free position? If he feels he can do the job go hire on at a paid service.
 

bstone

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Why waste money to fight for a free position? If he feels he can do the job go hire on at a paid service.

Oh, I thought he was one of the few paid medics. My bad.
 

akflightmedic

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If this guy gets a lawyer you can rest assured it'll end up in court.

I believe the chief was wrong. You can't fire someone for a legit medical condition that is under control. If he does something wrong then you can can him, but not before. The EEOC would have a field day with this.

So using that logic, can we employ a pedophiliac since it is a mental disorder? I mean if he only had one episode but since then has had treatment, we should just wait and see, right?
 

Summit

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To those saying "no chemically imbalanced practitioners period," well, that would include Attention Deficit Disorder. That would kick out 3/4 of EMS providers. Stop and think before you scream absolutes.

So using that logic, can we employ a pedophiliac since it is a mental disorder? I mean if he only had one episode but since then has had treatment, we should just wait and see, right?
Usually I respect what you have to say, but your analogy here is so inappropriate and outlandish, I'd really like to respond with some innapropriate words.

You are equating a person with a diagnosed chemical imbalance to a malicious pedophile with a criminal record?

You need to sit down and shut up, post haste.

Why waste money to fight for a free position? If he feels he can do the job go hire on at a paid service.

How is he going to get a paid job when his professional history is "fired for mental issues"? He'd sue to correct that, I think.
 
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bstone

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So using that logic, can we employ a pedophiliac since it is a mental disorder? I mean if he only had one episode but since then has had treatment, we should just wait and see, right?

Mental Illness being treated by physician ≠ criminal jerkface

Your analogy ≠ logic, sense, reason, professionalism
 

medic417

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How is he going to get a paid job when his professional history is "fired for mental issues"? He'd sue to correct that, I think.

It is not in any professional history he was a volunteer and he was told he could not volunteer. So it is not in his employment HX. So a law suit again just to give away his services would be outrageous.
 

Summit

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It is not in any professional history he was a volunteer and he was told he could not volunteer. So it is not in his employment HX. So a law suit again just to give away his services would be outrageous.

ok, not getting into debates of semantics of "professional" but his experience history and reputation in the field are at stake.

If he goes to a paid service, will they not ask him his experience in the field? He can't possibly let them speak to his old department for reference. It looks extremely bad when a volly is told to get lost. It looks bad if he can't let them speak to them either. And word travels. Fire, EMS, and Law are small worlds.
 

jrm818

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So using that logic, can we employ a pedophiliac since it is a mental disorder? I mean if he only had one episode but since then has had treatment, we should just wait and see, right?

And you accuse US of ignorance! I just want to add to the chorus saying that was a stupid statement. There is no recognized treatment for pedophelia. There are treatments for bipolar disorder. There is no recognized treatment for pedophilia. There is plenty of evidence that pedophiliacs will act to strike another child if allowed to do so. There is also plenty of evidence that treated biploar disorder can be coped with successfully....and without raping a child in a manic bout. seriously...

I don't think anyone has said he should be allowed to work untreated and subject to his normal bouts of mania and/or depression. That's assuming he even has mania...we don't know the exact sort of bipolar disorder this individual has, and its possible that depression is the primary symptom.

If he has his disorder well controlled such that a psychiatrist is of the opinion that he is stable enough to work, there is no legitimate reason not to allow him to work. Biploar is not untreatable, and there are plenty of people who are successfully working with the disease.

Comparisons of mental illness to criminal abuse of a child is the exact sort of rhetoric that re-enforces stigmas about mental illness, makes it extremely difficult for sufferers to cope with it, and makes diagnosis treatment and research difficult. I would expect more from someone who cliams to be enlightened about the plights of those with bipolar...or any other mental illness.
 

akflightmedic

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To those saying "no chemically imbalanced practitioners period," well, that would include Attention Deficit Disorder. That would kick out 3/4 of EMS providers. Stop and think before you scream absolutes.


Usually I respect what you have to say, but your analogy here is so inappropriate and outlandish, I'd really like to respond with some innapropriate words.

You are equating a person with a diagnosed chemical imbalance to a malicious pedophile with a criminal record?

You need to sit down and shut up, post haste.



How is he going to get a paid job when his professional history is "fired for mental issues"? He'd sue to correct that, I think.

I simply made a non sequitor argument as others were already heading there. Everyone is so quick to defend and say sue sue sue, or the chief is wrong. I am simply standing up for what I feel was a proper judgment call; a tough one, but proper in this case.

A newly diagnosed bipolar patient who experiences a manic episode needs time to get their stuff sorted. There are medication regiments and routines that need to be developed as well as journaling or being observed to see how often the cycles will be. This is not the time to be on a department, period. In most government jobs, this would be a non issue as they would never pass the psychological portion of the hiring process anyways.

At no point have I said ALL mental illness cases are unemployable nor have I said all bipolar patients need to NOT be hired. I agreed with this chief in this particular instance based on my own personal knowledge and familial experiences with bipolar disorder. Since none of us here are mental health experts, that is all any of can do...offer input based on ignorance or personal experience.

I made no mention of ADD or any other type of chemical imbalance conditions.

All of these other issues being brought up are irrelevant. We are talking about being bipolar, a newly diagnosed one following a manic episode which is how they are normally caught. The behaviors are there, sometimes for years, but there usually is finally a breaking point of when the light bulb goes off and we say "AH ha"...

As for my pedophile analogy, what if he has NOT acted on it yet. What if he has sought help because he realized where he was headed? It is still a mental condition. He has no criminal record, simply a mental disorder. He admits it in an interview during the psych profile or it is discovered (hypothetically) in his medical records. He takes medication to control his impulses, his urges. He realizes if he comes off what may happen. Do we deny him a job for his mental illness and wait and see?

By no means am I confused about bipolarism. I know there are many types and I do not think they are a threat to themselves or others. Most manic attacks are not as extreme as portrayed in the movies (especially that one Richard Gere movie years ago), however as a newly diagnosed patient post manic attack, the Chief did the right thing. It is definitely in the patient and the department's best interest.

As for your last comment, it is illegal to state why one is fired. You may simply confirm dates of employment and eligibility for rehire; whether or not that is always the case is irrelevant. I sure as hell would not even mention my vollie job, especially if terminated from it.
 

BossyCow

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Our employment application asks "Do you have any disability which will interfere with the performance of the duties listed?"

The ADA states employers must make 'reasonable accomodations' for disabilities. This doesn't mean its against the ADA to not hire a blind man as a taxi driver. Without knowing the details of the 'full blown manic episode' the vollie had in full view of the rest of the squad, its difficult to know what motivated the chief. It may have impaired the department's ability to trust the guy. The guy may have been unable to listen to or follow the instructions given by superior officers. That is a safety issue if another manic event happened on a scene.

I know of a gal who was hired by a fire department as a medic. They found her seizing twice while on shift. The second time was on the floor of the truck bay after a call. She was let go, because the instability of her seizure disorder impaired her ability to do her job. She wasn't fired for having a seizure disorder, but for an inability to perform the job for which she was hired.

In order to evoke the ADA, you have to be able to prove your fitness to perform the duties of the job, with reasonable accomodation. In my husband's case it required special hearing aids he can wear with his SCBA. In other cases, special adaptors for the end of stethoscopes, or magnifiers for the fine print in the protocols.

One person's seizure disorder may not be an issue while another's is job ending. ADHD is a lot different from some bi-polar disorders. It has to be reviewed on a case by case basis. Not taking your anti-psychotics is going to have much more severe side effects work wise than missing a few doses of your anti-depressants. As in all things.. it's risk vs gain.
 

trevor1189

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First of all comparing a pedophile with someone with bipolar diorder is just asinine. I'm sorry, I would expect more out of someone who is on a forum related to medicine. But that is all I'm going to say about that.

Second couldn't the department place him on temporary leave until he receives medical clearance to work? Why not let the professionals determine if he is capable of doing his volunteer job?
 

akflightmedic

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I did not compare them, I merely stated that they are both mental illnesses.

Since some people felt no mental illness should be discriminated against, especially if it had not affected anyone yet, I pulled an example out of the hat which everyone took offense to.

If people would read, think and use a little logic...while the argument was far reaching, it was done to prove a point. There are no blanket statements, it is case by case and if anyone with personal experience with bipolar (especially those prone to manic or even hypomanic episodes) speaks honestly, they will not disagree with the statements I made in regards to this being a time for the person to adjust to their newly diagnosed illness, medication regiment and cycles.

We still do not know the full details of the manic episode either, but in this situation, the Chief determined him unfit at this time. A tough decision but possibly most appropriate at this time.
 

bstone

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First of all comparing a pedophile with someone with bipolar diorder is just asinine. I'm sorry, I would expect more out of someone who is on a forum related to medicine. But that is all I'm going to say about that.

Second couldn't the department place him on temporary leave until he receives medical clearance to work? Why not let the professionals determine if he is capable of doing his volunteer job?

The interesting thing, it's the SAME physicians who are certifying he has right to work under their license that are also saying he's fit to work. I guess is one case AFK thinks it's fine and in the other case isn't.

No, that doesn't make any sense at all.
 

akflightmedic

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Huh?

Did not quite follow you there.

The physician diagnosing him is not the same as the one who would have him work off his license, not typically anyways. Not many services have psychologists as their Med Director.
 

medic417

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Huh?

Did not quite follow you there.

The physician diagnosing him is not the same as the one who would have him work off his license, not typically anyways. Not many services have psychologists as their Med Director.

I agree. If a reg MD said he is fine I would not accept that either.

I wonder if anyone researched tio see if a pediphile is actually a mental illness especially if they have never acted on the urges? Probably not probably easier to call you names than to prove you wrong.;)
 

bstone

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Huh?

Did not quite follow you there.

The physician diagnosing him is not the same as the one who would have him work off his license, not typically anyways. Not many services have psychologists as their Med Director.

You are right. And psychologists do not prescribe medication. A physician who has done a residency in psychiatry and holds a valid medical license does prescribe medication for mental illness. The protocols about psychiatric emergencies are usually written by psychiatrists and these same psychiatrists sit on the medical boards which license EMT.

I am glad to help explain how this aspect of EMS to you. Any other things about EMS you are unfamiliar with?
 

trevor1189

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I'm out, this one is going downhill fast.
 
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bstone

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What are the odds his psychiatrist/PCP is the medical director? :wacko:

See my above post. I describe how psychiatrists sit on EMS licensing boards and develop our protocols about psych emergencies.
 

trevor1189

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See my above post. I describe how psychiatrists sit on EMS licensing boards and develop our protocols about psych emergencies.

Noted. Thank you.
 
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