Mentally Ill EMTs/Paramedics

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akflightmedic

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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?


Ahh, so we resort to cheap pot shots now instead of logic when someone asks you to explain a jumbled post. I am with you but will not sink to that level. Cheers...
 

medic417

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Ahh, so we resort to cheap pot shots now instead of logic when someone asks you to explain a jumbled post. I am with you but will not sink to that level. Cheers...

Names are easier than researching and proving you wrong dont cha know.
 

akflightmedic

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

See and you are referencing your particular area where it seems that you have statewide protocols...am I correct?

In most states, protocols are service driven by individual physicians, not a statewide thing.

I still do not see the relevance of your protocols for psych emergencies and how they apply to one's employability with a diagnosed mental illness.
 

bstone

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See and you are referencing your particular area where it seems that you have statewide protocols...am I correct?

In most states, protocols are service driven by individual physicians, not a statewide thing.

I still do not see the relevance of your protocols for psych emergencies and how they apply to one's employability with a diagnosed mental illness.

Nor do I see the relevance of your comparing a stable, medicated, treated bi-polar patient with a pedophile.

I'll be taking leave of this thread now. It's irrelevant.
 

Mateo_1387

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It is hard to believe that all of these 'medical professionals' cannot recognize that a sexual offender, such as a pedophile, is suffering from a mental illness (MI). I think AK's argument is justifiable.

Sexual offenders do not suffer from the more pretty MIs such as schizophrenia or OCD, but SO's do suffer from mental illness. It is still a chemical fix, as with anyone who suffers from OCD, drug addiction, serial raping or killing. Just because we, as a society, do not fully understand the disease, does not exclude it from being a MI.

We consider things far outside of abnormal to be issues of mental illness and of a mental origin. I, as anyone else in their right mind (pun intended), can see that SO's are in that range of abnormal. They do suffer from MI.
 

medic417

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Nor do I see the relevance of your comparing a stable, medicated, treated bi-polar patient with a pedophile.

I'll be taking leave of this thread now. It's irrelevant.
1

:rolleyes::rolleyes::rolleyes:
 

akflightmedic

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Nor do I see the relevance of your comparing a stable, medicated, treated bi-polar patient with a pedophile.

I'll be taking leave of this thread now. It's irrelevant.


I explained my position quite clearly, several times actually. Have yet to be disproven in that regard but oh well, I digress. It is easier to insult and run than explain your position with logic or facts so that others (including myself) may learn something new and walk away a better person for it.

And I never said a stable, medicated bipolar patient could not work in the field. This particular individual is not any of those things yet as it is too soon.
 
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Lone Star

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The way I see it, AK is fully justified in the 'leap' he took from newly diagnosed bi-polar and the pedophile. As it's been said many times, that while pedophilia (or any other sexual predatory behavior) IS in fact, a 'mental illness', certain actions MUST be taken to protect the integrity of the employing organization.

What most have failed to realize is this...even though the firefighter/medic offered a 'contract solution', the agency is STILL an 'at will employer', which means that they don't need to fully justify the termination of employment agreement.

Do I agree with what the chief did? YES! It is the chief's responsibility to protect that agency from any and all potentaial litigation.

Was the firefighter's 'contract solution' enough to correct the 'problem'? Probably not.

While AK brought up a very 'distasteful' analogy, it IS valid. Aside from the 'knee jerk emotional outbursts' that I've read following his example, shows that there are alot of people here that are unable to debate this topic with LOGIC and FACT!

Bottom line is this, since the agency is an 'at will agency', there is no real recourse for the firefighter/emt. And to bring litigation in order to get back into a position to donate their services is just a waste of time and money.

In today's job market, there are certain questions that a potential employer cannot ask the applicant, as well as certain questions that cannot be asked of previous employers. Furthermore, there are certain topics that the previous employer cannot breech with a potential employer.

As far as taking time to regulate med levels, and adjust them ....it only makes sense! Even a newly diagnosed epileptic needs a year to regulate their antiseizure meds (speaking from personal experience), (no, I'm not an epileptic, but was on anti-seizure meds after the repair of a cerebral aneurysm). We don't know that the chief has made this termination an ABSOLUTE. No one knows that after a year of regulating the meds that the firefighter/emt can come back to that agency.
 

MSDeltaFlt

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So I have a general question for you all courtesy of one of my friends who volunteers at a combined Fire/EMS department. First a little background info, the department has about 60 or 70 members, there are 6 24 hour people (2 per shift) and everyone else is volunteer except for 2 chief officers and a couple of admins.

Several months ago one of her friends, a FF/MICP, starting having a lot of issues, and eventually showed up to a training class in a full blown manic episode. They were able to convince him to go to the hospital and he was admitted and diagnosed with Bi-polar disorder.

He took 2 months off from the department, got on meds, and from all accounts is stable and doing pretty well. Last week the chief dismissed him from the department on the grounds that his bi-polar disorder made him a risk to the safety of everyone else both co-workers and patients. He offered to get a letter from his psych saying he was ok to stay there, and to sign a contract saying he would stay on his meds and if he didn't they could dismiss him but the Cheif was having none of it and said there was no room for discussion. Since the state this happened in is an "at will" work state and he was a volunteer he has no legal recourse against the Chief.

Now, my question is, do you guys think this was fair? Should someone be blocked out of fire/EMS strictly because they have a mental illness?

OK, getting back on topic. Your comfort level and my comfort level might necessarily be the same level; especially when the tones go off and lives are at stake. What makes us think that the crews at the FD are any different? Their comfort levels might be different within their own ranks. Did the other crew members not feel comfortable? Did they feel unsafe with him? Did they "vote him off the island" for lack of a better phrase?
 

medic417

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OK, getting back on topic. Your comfort level and my comfort level might necessarily be the same level; especially when the tones go off and lives are at stake. What makes us think that the crews at the FD are any different? Their comfort levels might be different within their own ranks. Did the other crew members not feel comfortable? Did they feel unsafe with him? Did they "vote him off the island" for lack of a better phrase?


We had a diabetic fall out on duty twice. He was finally voted off the island.
 

AJ Hidell

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AK is correct on all issues, including the pedophile analogy. If it's in DSM, it's mental illness.

Of course, what is and is not in DSM is a political football these days. I personally see zero difference between pedophilia and homosexuality, in psychological terms. Both are an unnatural sexual attraction, and nothing more. Yet political correctness caused homosexuality to be removed from DSM. So now, even though it is an abnormal psychological condition, it no longer is qualified as a "disease" because, well... I dunno why. Because they gave up on trying to cure it, I guess. But since it is no longer in DSM, they had to write it in along with handicaps, race and religion as a protected status since ADA would no longer apply to homosexuality.

But BPD is still in DSM, so it is still a protected status under ADA. And since there is no state board requirement in any state that medics meet some kind of mental fitness certification, as do cops, it's going to be a long and expensive battle for any department to exclude these people, even with compelling evidence that they represent a threat. If he wants it -- and if this actually is a job, and not just some volly hobby thing -- he will get the job back.
 

MSDeltaFlt

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We had a diabetic fall out on duty twice. He was finally voted off the island.

And that's my point. I don't know where I stand with regards to the prudency of what the Fire Chief did. One thing I do know is that, with that state being an "at will" state, it's not my call. I'm not in that situation. I can't say what I will and what I will not say, think, or do.
 

sir.shocksalot

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AK is correct on all issues, including the pedophile analogy. If it's in DSM, it's mental illness.

Of course, what is and is not in DSM is a political football these days. I personally see zero difference between pedophilia and homosexuality, in psychological terms. Both are an unnatural sexual attraction, and nothing more. Yet political correctness caused homosexuality to be removed from DSM. So now, even though it is an abnormal psychological condition, it no longer is qualified as a "disease" because, well... I dunno why. Because they gave up on trying to cure it, I guess. But since it is no longer in DSM, they had to write it in along with handicaps, race and religion as a protected status since ADA would no longer apply to homosexuality.

But BPD is still in DSM, so it is still a protected status under ADA. And since there is no state board requirement in any state that medics meet some kind of mental fitness certification, as do cops, it's going to be a long and expensive battle for any department to exclude these people, even with compelling evidence that they represent a threat. If he wants it -- and if this actually is a job, and not just some volly hobby thing -- he will get the job back.
But if you exclude everyone with a mental illness, what about the few of us that are able to adequately work while suffering from a mental illness? Personally I think there need to be better psych exams so that those that are unstable aren't eligible to work in the field for the time being, those of us that are aren't excluded from our career choice.
 

akflightmedic

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But if you exclude everyone with a mental illness, what about the few of us that are able to adequately work while suffering from a mental illness? Personally I think there need to be better psych exams so that those that are unstable aren't eligible to work in the field for the time being, those of us that are aren't excluded from our career choice.

First, thank you for not attacking and bringing the topic back into relevant tangents without being an arse.

For the sake of exploring the tangent you just mentioned, I do believe we have had similar discussions before about this.

Even though it is YOUR career choice, it does not mean the career needs you. There are tons of job and careers in this world that exclude on many various qualifiers. Unfortunately, some people who are "unaffected" or able to perform their job despite being afflicted are going to have to be singled out or excluded due to the fact that not every employer or state can make rules for individuals. Sometimes, they have to make large blanket policies which fair or unfair are legal and a necessity.
 

ffemt8978

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Well, since this thread started to get back on topic as I was closing it, I'll reopen it for now....with a caveat. If I have to close it again, it's going to stay closed.
 
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Aidey

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I honestly don't have answers to the specific questions you guys have asked because I never worked with the guy (or at that department), and I don't know him personally. My friend told me about the situation, and I was mostly just curious if other people thought the chief was overreacting, or he was justified. I don't know if he was "voted off the island" or not, but my friend told me she had no problem working with him, and since he had been back from his LOA he had been acting perfectly normal.

From what my friend said he showed up to a documentation training and it was as if he was on speed, or had drank way too much coffee. He was hyper, bouncing off the walls, fidgety, couldn't hold a conversation or topic for more than 10 seconds etc.

She didn't know specifically what kind of Bi-Polar disorder he was diagnosed with but she said it was the kind that has manic episodes and then normal episodes. (Hopefully that makes sense to someone because I haven't looked it up yet).

I personally think the chief overreacted a little bit. I can definitely understand not wanting someone around who can't perform their job, but if they can, why fire them? It sounded like the FF/Medic was willing to make concessions and prove he was fit to work and the chief wasn't working with him at all. In the examples given in this thread, even people with seizure disorders were only let go after they proved they couldn't perform their job.
 

JonTullos

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Let me preface my comments by telling you my story. In November of 2007 I was diagnosed with generalized anxiety disorder and mild depression. I was so stressed out with life and had let things build up for years that I was having panic attacks at the drop of a hat for no apparent reason. I was working in radio at the time and that was a huge stresser, so big that I had to just walk out on my job in order to protect my health. I was on Welbutrin and anti anxiety medication (I don't remember the name of the second one but the first one I was put on was Tranxene - that was some wacky stuff) for several months and then I weened myself off of them. I haven't been in meds for about nine months and I honestly don't remember the last time I had a panic attack. Blood, guts, stuff like that never bothered me and doesn't to this day and yet being in a radio station was enough to make me run out of the room (although not anymore but it was at the time). So, there you go.

Now... knowing that about me, would you now say that I shouldn't go forth with my plan to be an EMT?

Being an EMT is something I've wanted to do since I was a kid and I really think that not initially following my dreams, and instead following the wishes of other people, is one of the things I bottled up. At any rate, I'm also no longer under the care of any kind of doctor or councilor for anxiety or depression and I'm not taking any drugs. Granted, my situation is different than other peoples but my take is that as long as its controlled and there's reasonable belief by a qualified pro that things will be fine, I say go for it.

The chief was right if he really believed that this person wasn't going to do his duties safely. However if he did it simply because of a blanket judgment on people with mental issues then he was totally wrong.
 

trevor1189

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Let me preface my comments by telling you my story. In November of 2007 I was diagnosed with generalized anxiety disorder and mild depression. I was so stressed out with life and had let things build up for years that I was having panic attacks at the drop of a hat for no apparent reason. I was working in radio at the time and that was a huge stresser, so big that I had to just walk out on my job in order to protect my health. I was on Welbutrin and anti anxiety medication (I don't remember the name of the second one but the first one I was put on was Tranxene - that was some wacky stuff) for several months and then I weened myself off of them. I haven't been in meds for about nine months and I honestly don't remember the last time I had a panic attack. Blood, guts, stuff like that never bothered me and doesn't to this day and yet being in a radio station was enough to make me run out of the room (although not anymore but it was at the time). So, there you go.

Now... knowing that about me, would you now say that I shouldn't go forth with my plan to be an EMT?

Being an EMT is something I've wanted to do since I was a kid and I really think that not initially following my dreams, and instead following the wishes of other people, is one of the things I bottled up. At any rate, I'm also no longer under the care of any kind of doctor or councilor for anxiety or depression and I'm not taking any drugs. Granted, my situation is different than other peoples but my take is that as long as its controlled and there's reasonable belief by a qualified pro that things will be fine, I say go for it.

The chief was right if he really believed that this person wasn't going to do his duties safely. However if he did it simply because of a blanket judgment on people with mental issues then he was totally wrong.
I asked a similar question a few pages ago. I take medication for anxiety. That is a psychiatric condition, should I not be allowed to be an EMT or eventually a paramedic? Just curious as to what your thoughts are.
 

firecoins

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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?
pedophiliacs are banned in NYS from operating ambulances. Bi Polar disorder is not. Not all mental disorders are created equal. There is a big difference between the common cold and TB.

AK is correct on all issues, including the pedophile analogy.
As I said Bi polar controled on meds is not equal to pedophile. Meneal Illnesses are not equivalent.

I personally see zero difference between pedophilia and homosexuality, in psychological terms. Both are an unnatural sexual attraction, and nothing more.
Really? One is mutual attraction between two consenting adults and the other has one consenting adult/party attracted to a party than can not consent. Yes they are exactly the same.
 
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Aidey

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Guys, can we move on from the pedophilia thing? I really don't want this thread to get locked again.

I think if your condition (and the side effects from the meds) don't interfere with your job then it's fine.
 
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