Things that bother me: Lazy students

I loathe the lazy student. Seriously, education costs money, be it is your money or money belonging to someone else.

Students should have more respect for themselves and/or others.

Every once in a while, about 10 percent of the time, I will have a student third rider who doesn’t want to do anything. They don’t want to start an IV because they “don’t want to miss” or they are scared to touch people.

That’s what we do. You can’t get good at starting an IV if you never miss, and you can’t be any sort of competent provider if you don’t touch people. A large part of what we do is learned through trial and error.

Anyone else remember MAST trousers, or the blind administration of bicarb, or atropine in asystole?

The students who come to me for tutoring that are lazy bother the crap out of me as well.

Without fail, the lazy ones never studied in school, and usually don’t care. I usually get the same story time after time:

“I failed National Registry, and have to pass the next time, or I don’t have a job.”

Then they balk when I give them reading assignments and tests to take home. Like they can’t find 12 hours over the next 7 days to dedicate to studying.

I know that studying takes time, and lives are busy these days. People have full-time jobs, and kids, and other responsibilities, but if you can’t make school a priority, then you shouldn’t be surprised when you fail.

I have a house, and a full-time job, and a part-time job, and two children, and a wife, and I run a business as well. I make studying and reading a priority because it is important to me to be the best paramedic that I can possibly be.

If you can’t put your education near the top of your priorities, how can you expect to have any notion of a successful career in the back of an ambulance?


  1. Medic Minx says:

    Agreed! I had a laid back partner that basically nothing could make him mad & he never yelled. Well he told me how he once had a medic student that came in a few minutes after 0700, & dove on the couch. Never assisted with washing the truck or checking it. Then in their first call he sat in the jump seat texting; said he is only there to get his time in & he’d get vitals later. Partner left him at the hospital & called a supervisor saying this student was not coming back on his truck & unless he was picking him up, he could walk back to the station.

    And I was getting off duty one morning & chit-chatting with some coworkers I had seen in a while. It’s approaching 0730 when a car pulls into the parking lot, parks, & this chick gets out. She asks if this is a certain station & my coworker says yes just as the tones go off. She looks dishevelled & is wearing a tank top, sweats, & flip-flops. Coworker asked if she had a uniform & she (all frustrated) undressed in the parking lot throwing her student uniform shirt, boots, & pants. She had no belt & her shirt wasn’t tucked in. The guys said because she was hot she got to stay. She was late, not appropriately dressed, & looked unprofessional. Behaviors like that, that are condoned are the reason why they lead to their actions when/if they are hired.

  2. The “Everyone gets a trophy” mentality pervades modern education. Kids don’t have to work for anything and so aren’t motivated to do anything. Even worse, they won’t take correction or constructive criticism.

    “Kids” is not age related, it’s mentality related. Fortunately, my kids aren’t kids in that sense. Both work and study hard.

  3. flabbergasted says:

    had a student who tried to nap on the bench next to an awake/alert patient on purpose. said student was never allowed on my ambulance again.

  4. Agreed, but while there are several factors at play here, culpability is also owned by the education program to protect the trained preceptors and host agency from these type of students by clearly outlining student expectations in the cognitive, psychomotor and affective domains of learning while in field rotations, providing open communication loops for timely feedback when such instances occur, and enforcing an appropriate disciplinary action to change or modify the students inappropriate performance and/or behavior. Some programs need to lose the “everyone’s a winner” mentality as well and not be afraid to remove a student from the program who does not and will not meet the professional expectations of the Communities of Interest in which they serve.

    My two cents!

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