Staying calm

arctic2

Forum Crew Member
44
4
8
If anybody can help me out on this or just give some advice it'd be helpful.

I've been an emt for a year doing 911. I've noticed a drastic improvement from when I first started to where I am now. I am more confident in my decisions and feel more competent. My supervisor and Co workers have even stated they have noticed a tremendous improvement. However one thing is still an issue

Just keeping calm.

I don't freeze up on scene or breakdown into a fetal position. It's more of an uneasy feeling on all CRITICAL calls. Everyone says that with experience you get better at managing it. Another part that doesn't make it easy is having partners who can't keep their cool. So what's some advice you seasoned vets have? Any help would be great!
 

mgr22

Forum Deputy Chief
1,558
721
113
Feeling uneasy isn't necessarily a problem. I guess it depends on how much it affects you before, during and after calls. I mean, if you weren't the least bit uneasy about doing some of the things we do, I'd be worried about you.
 
OP
OP
A

arctic2

Forum Crew Member
44
4
8
Personally I feel as though it's the adrenaline from being on a intense call. I feel my hands shaking and I know what I need to do. But I need to take a deep breath and not let it control me.
 

mgr22

Forum Deputy Chief
1,558
721
113
Personally I feel as though it's the adrenaline from being on a intense call. I feel my hands shaking and I know what I need to do. But I need to take a deep breath and not let it control me.

Has the shaking gotten worse, better, or stayed the same during your first year?
 

NysEms2117

ex-Parole officer/EMT
1,946
908
113
just remember:
upload_2017-7-31_19-12-41.png

But seriously, once you get experience you'll start to get that "im unfazed" appearance, which could be good or bad depending who you ask. I recommend just doing what your doing, you'll get there.
 

planetmike

Forum Lieutenant
190
54
28
It sounds like you're doing ok. I'm more concerned by this statement: "Another part that doesn't make it easy is having partners who can't keep their cool." Are these new providers? Are they seasoned veterans? Are you supposed to be overseeing them? Are they overseeing you? Are you the AIC and the partner who isn't keeping cool the operator? Or is it an observer or probationary member? I'd be inclined to think that you and your partner/team need to do some training together on scenarios and skill building exercises. That should help everyone keep their cool on a stressful call. Pre-assign duties. It takes some time, but hopefully everyone on your truck is getting better with time. Good luck.
 
OP
OP
A

arctic2

Forum Crew Member
44
4
8
It sounds like you're doing ok. I'm more concerned by this statement: "Another part that doesn't make it easy is having partners who can't keep their cool." Are these new providers? Are they seasoned veterans? Are you supposed to be overseeing them? Are they overseeing you? Are you the AIC and the partner who isn't keeping cool the operator? Or is it an observer or probationary member? I'd be inclined to think that you and your partner/team need to do some training together on scenarios and skill building exercises. That should help everyone keep their cool on a stressful call. Pre-assign duties. It takes some time, but hopefully everyone on your truck is getting better with time. Good luck.


I wholly agree. I've been taught by the seasoned vets and supervisors that it's best to remain calm and collected and approach every situation in a calm manner (don't go running to the truck, no speeding 80 mph down the road, when on scene stop and think about your next step. Don't go running out and grabbing every piece of equipment you can find) once I adopted this attitude it served me very well. But my other partners don't share it or haven't adopted it yet and our personalities collide. I am 100% on board that we need to do some team building.
 

mgr22

Forum Deputy Chief
1,558
721
113
Arctic2, regarding your partners, I think it's important to be flexible and learn to work with people who don't necessarily meet your criteria. Let me put this another way: If one of your partners felt frustrated by your inability to remain calm, what would you want them to do about that? I doubt you'd prefer they raise the issue on EMTLife. Your best bet, in my opinion, is to concentrate on becoming as reliable and competent as you can. You're going to have much less control over how others behave unless you're supervising them.
 

VentMonkey

Family Guy
5,606
4,931
113
Your best bet, in my opinion, is to concentrate on becoming as reliable and competent as you can. You're going to have much less control over how others behave unless you're supervising them.
This^^^, however the only wrinkle I would add is not to even bother concerning yourself with others behaviors to the point of obsession (e.g., forum thread creating). So your calm, so what? They are where you were, heck, where we all were once.

Also, even as a supe their behavior is only swayed towards said supes favor in front of said supe. Many times this isn't really who that person is, welcome to life.
 
Last edited:

Chimpie

Site Administrator
Community Leader
6,355
808
113
I've received two pieces of advice that I usually share with new people who are anxious or excited on a scene.

First, take your pulse before you take someone elses. Doing so requires you to take a moment and calm down.

Second, when you arrive on scene and you get out of your vehicle, stop, plant both feet on the ground, take a deep breath, exhale, then go to work. This also helps with your OODA - Observe, Orient, Decide & Act.
 

Akulahawk

EMT-P/ED RN
Community Leader
4,809
1,186
113
I've received two pieces of advice that I usually share with new people who are anxious or excited on a scene.

First, take your pulse before you take someone elses. Doing so requires you to take a moment and calm down.

Second, when you arrive on scene and you get out of your vehicle, stop, plant both feet on the ground, take a deep breath, exhale, then go to work. This also helps with your OODA - Observe, Orient, Decide & Act.
My contribution:
Third, never run. You can walk fast, but do not run. This helps keep from rushing too quickly into something that is unsafe. Walking allows you to maintain your footing and easy control of your equipment. It gives you time to consider your options, especially what your likely destination is. It allows you to plan your egress from the scene. You never enter a scene without a plan to leave, in a hurry if you must!

If you ever see me running while I'm working, it means I'm clearing out of somewhere quickly and you might want to follow me in great haste. Me running on scene = big danger, get clear.

When you walk somewhere, always walk with purpose. This makes you look confident. If you're running into a scene, you do not have that... and the only time running looks cool and confident is in slow-motion.

Fourth: no matter what weird and disgusting stuff you see, do not EVER react to it. Doesn't matter if your patient somehow managed to get an appendage stuck in a unicorn's butt, an octopus is somehow a 5th appendage, or your patient sneezes maggots, you don't EVER react to it because you've clearly seen worse... you can always puke and attempt to wipe away what you just saw and worked on with some industrial-strength brain bleach later, but never on scene, never in front of a patient, never in public. Just see it, analyze it, figure your options, and just get to work.
 

MTB24

Forum Ride Along
6
1
1
I believe that we have all had and even still have to a certain degree the anxiousness of being a newer EMT or Paramedic. With repetition and responding to calls, as time passes we build up confidence and tolerance to high stress scenarios. I've been an EMT for 2.5 years and started out on a volunteer rescue squad, wanna talk about nervous and shook? lol I was the prime example. As the time passed, I grew more confident, practiced my skills and became competent in the basic life saving measures. Here I am almost three years later, working 911 as a basic, a poor, tired, heartbroken paramedic student, but the experience of running volunteer calls definitely carried me a long way, and taught me how to be extremely calm, when someone outside of EMS should be extremely concerned.
 
Top