Recently fired for Falling Asleep

waaaemt

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So, i recently got fired. I been working for a few months, still a probie. an open 24 hour shift came up so i took it. yay first 24! it was a nice busy day, including my first full-code around midnight where the guy died (my first death too)

Then at 0300 we get an interfacility for a postpartum woman to another hospital 1 hour to 1 1/2 hours away. Basically just needed to bring her there cause her baby was brought there earlier. Totally stable, got on the gurney for us.

So we're driving, and i'm in the back. We talk for a good 30-45 min, just small talk, and taking vitals every few minutes. Then she wants to sleep since she gave birth around 8 hours ago. so i shut off the lights and sit back in the captain's seat. look at my phone, it's 0400. i had been up already since the previous 0400 to get to work. so i sit back for probably a good 10 minutes. and the next thing i know my partner whose driving taps my shoulder with the phone to call the hospital. i look at the phone and it's 4:20am.

that's all, i call the hospital, we get the PT there safe and sound. the PT loved me btw. then i offer to drive the 1 1/2 hours back to HQ so my partner can get some sleep. end of story. everything is all good.

1 week later, i get pulled into the Director's office and get canned for dozing off for 10 minutes plus a bunch of BS "small things" like they "feel like my heart was not in it" and crap like that. I understand i was still on probation and the PT was post partum but i still monitored her vitals every 15 min or so, and nothing happened. i just think this would have been an easy fix, just make sure i have a red bull or something on night transports or something. but instead, im out of a job and probably wont be able to get another one for a while.

i was also the first asian or any colored person to be hired in this semi-rural ambulance company.

any thoughts? do i just suck or what?
 
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RocketMedic

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Well, unfortunately, you fell asleep during a patient encounter. Regardless of hos stable she appeared, we have to remain professional. I've been there on transfers, and it's not easy to stay awake, but we have to remain professional at all times, and that means awake with patients. EMS is a very competitive, self-destructive field at times, and people get canned for any reason possible.

I've made mistakes in this field, but I've been blessed with no disciplinary action or negative counselings, and I've learned from every one of my mistakes. My advice would be to learn from this and apply early and often wherever you can. Are you a B, I, or P?
 

waaaemt

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true true. well at least i wont make the same mistake again! but yeah i'll get over it eventually. i'm an EMT-B
 

Addrobo

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It's a learning experience
 

Tigger

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As above, there's not going to be much tolerance for falling asleep with a patient. If I was your partner I'm not sure I'd have told the management but still. Word to the wise, if you're tired stay on the bench seat, much less comfortable and harder to fall asleep on.

Also, realize that working nights when you're used to working days can suck pretty hard. My schedule for a while had me working three 10 hour days and an overnight, it was awful! You're body has to get used to working at nights, otherwise it's a constant fight to stay alert. In my humble opinion, if you work days, try and pick up day OT shifts until you've figure out a way to get yourself "ready" for a night or 24.
 

waaaemt

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yeah i was pretty bugged about the guy tattling. and also everyone was making it seem like long distance transports were nap times. people always talked about how awesome it was to sleep on 8 hour long transports, and the shift after that night, my partner (a different guy) slept for most of an hour long, daytime transport. so, me being new to the field thought it was a normal practice, and even though i wasn't trying to sleep, i think i would have made extra sure i wouldn't fall asleep if i wasn't so misinformed.

i brought that up to my director but he pretty much said that it was the fact of my PT being post partum. so...i don't know.

but good point. bench seat it is from now on haha.
and yeah it's definitely something else working overnight.
 

RocketMedic

Earl of the Wheeled Chair
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Well, what part of the world are you in? If you're in SoCal, I'd recommend hitting amusement parks, etc ASAP. If you're in the Dakotas or parts of Texas, the oil fields are always looking for medically-trained warm bodies...
 

waaaemt

Forum Lieutenant
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I'm in seattle, washington. the company i was with was outside of seattle in somewhat rural area. it's pretty bleak here so i'm really kickin myself for blowing my opportunity! but thanks for the tips!
 

RocketMedic

Earl of the Wheeled Chair
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Well, I have no idea what the job market is like up there. You could enlist in the military...
 

waaaemt

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i'll just keep working as a handyman and try to volunteer with a FD for now. i make $15/hr as a handyman opposed to the $9.35/hr i was making with that company.
 

Tigger

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yeah i was pretty bugged about the guy tattling. and also everyone was making it seem like long distance transports were nap times. people always talked about how awesome it was to sleep on 8 hour long transports, and the shift after that night, my partner (a different guy) slept for most of an hour long, daytime transport. so, me being new to the field thought it was a normal practice, and even though i wasn't trying to sleep, i think i would have made extra sure i wouldn't fall asleep if i wasn't so misinformed.
At no point would it ever be appropriate to take a nap with a patient present, no matter who said it was common. Even if it is common, do you really think that's a good idea? I think it kind of goes without saying that you should not do this. LDTs are great nap time, on the return trip.
 

legion1202

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I agree with Tigger. No matter what you fell asleep with a PT. If something were to happen that would be your butt for abandonment in some regards. Buy a smart phone or something to play games on if the PT is sleeping. Read the protocol book or make chickens out of gloves to stay awake (stuff I have done). You were still a probie so you totally did a no no. i`m sure if you had been on the job for awhile you could have kept you job because i`m sure it happens. I`ve heard of people falling a sleep while working codes before haha....

Good luck with your job search and we have all gotten fired for something or other...
 

TatuICU

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At no point would it ever be appropriate to take a nap with a patient present, no matter who said it was common. Even if it is common, do you really think that's a good idea? I think it kind of goes without saying that you should not do this. LDTs are great nap time, on the return trip.
That's right. Its also not ok to have your 24hr trucks running LDT's in the wee hours of the morning after running 911 all day. If companies are going to pretend to actually give a :censored::censored::censored::censored: about patients then why do they continually encourage and even force practices that place pts and crews in danger without batting an eye? Gotta save that money.....oh yeah and we, uh, er, care about you and your, uh (what is that we do again?), oh yeah, health care!

Guess its a good thing your partner didn't fall asleep at the wheel, which does happen.
 

Sasha

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I'm not going to pretend like I've never fallen asleep. I have. It's hard, sometimes, when you're running all day.. Even when you have your smart phone, and glove chickens.

I'm not advocating falling asleep on a patient. That is DEFINITELY not a good idea.. But I understand that it does happen, so I have empathy for you.

You were a probie, so you're on even thinner ice than everyone else. Take this as a learning experience. 24s are definitely brutal, especially if you've never done them before and you're at a busy station.

Better luck next time, I hope you find a good station to volunteer at. Take this time to work and go to medic school.
 

yowzer

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That's right. Its also not ok to have your 24hr trucks running LDT's in the wee hours of the morning after running 911 all day.
A long time ago, I worked for a certain rural ambulance company located just outside Seattle that loved to do things like send us on a non-urgent 4 or 5 hour long round-trip transport an hour before the end of a 12 or 24 hour shift.

The relatively few options for EMT jobs in the area and the steady stream of fresh new EMTs just out of school looking for work means they have little trouble finding replacements when people get sick of it and quit, or do something stupid and get terminated. I'm surprised I lasted as long as I did there, but it was an experience that made me never want to work for a private for-profit ambulance or other health care organization again.
 

NYMedic828

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Quite honestly, all "good advice" aside, I would have found my "partner" and had words with him outside of the work place.

If I have a problem with you, I am going to talk to you about it first before blatantly endangering your livelihood.

I don't advocate falling asleep on a patient, but as Sasha said, we've all dozed off if even for a second or two at some point. Work is tiring, many of us work multiple jobs at weird hours. IT HAPPENS.

God forbid this jagoff did such a thing to a guy with a family to support, he could cause some serious damage in these hard economic times.

Your partner as far as I am concerned is the real one at fault here and should not be permitted to work with any new employees if that is how he handles business.

As a probie/rookie you should be paired with a knowledgeable and experienced individual who has a pair and does not mind telling you what they feel in the aspect of ultimately improving you.

Unbelievable. These are the scum that ruin this service nationwide.
 

NomadicMedic

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A long time ago, I worked for a certain rural ambulance company located just outside Seattle that loved to do things like send us on a non-urgent 4 or 5 hour long round-trip transport an hour before the end of a 12 or 24 hour shift.

The relatively few options for EMT jobs in the area and the steady stream of fresh new EMTs just out of school looking for work means they have little trouble finding replacements when people get sick of it and quit, or do something stupid and get terminated. I'm surprised I lasted as long as I did there, but it was an experience that made me never want to work for a private for-profit ambulance or other health care organization again.

I also worked for a certain ambulance company, just south of Seattle, that also did that kind of stuff. Hmmm. I wonder if it was the same one?
 

MMiz

I put the M in EMTLife
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I've seen it happen, it was the end of a double shift when we were transporting a stable patient home from the hospital at far-too-early-'o-clock.

I was shocked to learn the the pilot's union advocates for one pilot taking a power nap while the other pilot acts as as a monitor. The survey said that half of airline pilots fall asleep in the cockpit. Most of the time it's no big deal, but sometimes it is.

You made a mistake and unfortunately the consequences included losing your job. Lesson learned.
 
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Aprz

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i was also the first asian or any colored person to be hired in this semi-rural ambulance company.
Trying to insinuate something?

Anyhow, did your company have CODE 7s/breaks?
 
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