Paramedic School Politics?

Trauma Angel

Forum Probie
Was wondering if anyone could share some insight or suggestions...
Im in medic school, its an accelerated class with a smaller class size. Somewhere along the line i became the odd man out. There were some miscommunications earlier on, which i addressed once the instructor pulled me aside and told me that "some of the students had an issue with me but none wanted to be named". Medic school is hard enough as it is.
(This whole thing baffled me being that we're all adults with a lot riding on this plus the fact that our field revolves around helping people.)
Even after being informed and correcting the issue theres still this really cold shoulder thing going on. I dont get it. I keep my opinions to myself, I do whatever is asked of me, I dont disrupt class, its really stressing me out and finals are next week.
How can a group of young "professionals" that are dedicating their life to helping others be so mean and catty. Its like hig school cliques.
Do i like EVERYONE in class? Of course not, were all human lol but does that matter in class? Heck no. If i can help someone or answer something for them i do, without a doubt, no matter what my personal opinion of them is. Is that not what were here for?

Sorry, not trying to rant. Maybe venting a little but definitely needa some words of wisdom because my career in EMS is literally EVERYTHING to me. Its my reason for getting up in the morning so this is really important to me.

If youre still reading, thank you for your time... Any/all suggestions, advice, words of wisdom, study tricks, anything at all are more than welcome.

Respectfully yours,
- TA


Forum Deputy Chief
TA, I'm sure you've been in lots of classrooms before, and you're aware of how cliquey they can be. I think a big part of what you're experiencing is just that: generic classroom behavior. It's harder not to be one of the popular kids, but that doesn't necessarily mean there's anything wrong with you. It's tough to say why you're the "odd man out," given the limited details you've offered.

Another factor that might apply to your class is the nature of medic school. It's stressful for many who are forced outside their comfort zones. Patient care isn't a natural act for most of us. It certainly wasn't for me. I also hated having instructors looking over my shoulder. Sometimes that kind of pressure is partly responsible for socially awkward behavior. I can think of several instances in my class when students behaved in aberrant ways that I'm pretty sure they regretted later.

I suggest you focus on doing what you have to do to get through the class, and worry less about static from classmates. If you have significant problems with individuals, try really hard to solve them one-on-one. That's what most employers will expect of you.


Critical Crazy
It will help you if your treat EMS more like a profession instead of an identity.

That said, people are political and catty. It's sadly human nature. Be above it.


The fire extinguisher is not just for show
How can a group of young "professionals" that are dedicating their life to helping others be so mean and catty. Its like hig school cliques.
At my first EMS job, I put in for a transfer to move to a different division. after the 3rd time of being passed over for the transfer, I scheduled a meeting with the agency operation manager to see why.... he listed that certain people were concerned about my "clinical competency," to which I responded "well, I speak to the clinical coordinator on a weekly basis, and she has never mentioned any of these concerns to me...." He must have thought that was interesting as well, because a few weeks later, a full time position became available in that division (actually several) I was asked which one I wanted to have.

If it makes you feel any better, my sex life was apparently the topic of discussion among my opposing night shift when I was at work (who I only work with once a month).... how did I find out? one of my coworkers brought up some information involving a former girlfriend of mine (who had no association with my current employer or EMS) in front of the woman I was dating when we were all going out socially.....Suffice it to say, I learned to keep my job and my social life separate after that.

Unfortunately, EMS is like high school: same cliques, the rumor mill runs rampant, and the facts don't always matter. and certain people still have their job not because they demonstrate any level of competency, but because they are liked (or sleeping with) the people in charge. And some people will exaggerate issues (or even make stuff up) if you aren't one of the "cool kids," or let is slide because you are part of the "in crowd"

here is some advice: if someone has an issue with you, or pulls your aside for a talking to, ask for concrete details on what the issue is, and provide examples of when you messed up. If it's an objective and correctable issue, correct it. if not, don't lose sleep over it, because not everyone is universally liked.

Focus on completing the class and passing; while sometimes a classmate can help you get a job, more often than not, once you finish and get a job, than you can worry about what others are thinking about you (and once you are a released medic and demonstrated competency, you can worry about it even less)


EMS Guru
You are receiving some wise advice. Unfortunately, using the term "profession" needs to be redefined when discussing EMS (other than a job). Majority of those that are attracted to EMS are usually in the mid-20's to 30's ( some still are very emotionally immature). Of course no one should paint that all students are one way or another; but, as an EMS educator for over 30+ years, I have seen very similar traits within the EMS student.

Most of the EMS students
  • First real career move that required a lengthy or dedicated education
  • First medical class ... they have ever taken
  • Most have never been employed what would be considered real profession before.
  • EMS classes can and do become very cliquey .. alike what was discussed above, exaggerated stories of being a Paragod seems to feed their egos.
  • Some students tend to turn against those that are not in the clique and do not appear to be " cool" and don't participate in their reindeer games.
As was stated, complete and pass your class. There is a very high chance, you will never see them again. Ironically, what I have seen of those that are in the "clique" usually fade out fast after classes. Unless you are attending a course; sponsored by an EMS Service only a small amount actually go into the profession or stay within the profession over 2 years. Those that take this medical profession serious usually are the one's that persist and make it a career.

Learn to grow thick skin, you'll need it. You will find that not everyone will like you, no matter ....(patients or EMS partners). Later on .. try to get along, be a good employee and a good medic (yes, there is a difference) and you will do great!

R/r 911


Family Guy
Pretty much what everyone else has eluded to, though I do believe @Summit sums it up best.

I also think this here will be the bane of your “EMS career” existence be it student, apprentice, mentor, or any other role.
my career in EMS is literally EVERYTHING to me. Its my reason for getting up in the morning so this is really important to me.
My advice, change your identity to a not-just-EMS one. Treat it like something you really enjoy, not something that you love.

It will never love you back, people will life. All I got.