Blatant unprofessionalism‎ on display

How often do we complain that we don’t get the ‘respect we deserve’ from the public and other healthcare workers? Usually we deserve respect but then something like this happens.

I do not “like” or follow The Most Interesting Ambulance Crew in the World on Facebook, but some of my friends do, so I will occasionally see their posts. This one caught my eye this morning:

The medic I’m working with is openly gay. He’s a great guy and one of the better medics I have worked with in a long time. 

I told you that so this part will make sense. We got a discharge out of a VA hospital taking the Pt back to the nursing home. We got the guy over on the stretcher and I began some small talk with him. Asking him what branch he was in, what his M.O.S. was etc. I told him I was in the Marine Corps what I did. We talked a little about our war stories, etc. 

Then out of nowhere my partner goes “My god I love semen so much. It’s like my favorite thing in the world(in the gayest voice possible) The old man didn’t catch on to it. 

So for the next 5 minutes on our walk down to the truck my partner talked of how he wanted to personally thank all of the seamen for their semen on submarines and on any ship that would let him board.(slurring all of his “S’ s”,) How men in white uniforms do it for him etc. The old man still didn’t catch onto it. So when we finally got him loaded up and I climbed in the back the old man says “it must be nice being a Veteran and working with someone so patriotic. “

I almost lost it.

This is why are looked down upon. Because we laugh when childish coworkers act inappropriately around patients.

As I write this, there are 80-something comments on the post. It seems to be evenly split between those that think this is incredibly distasteful, and the other half think it is hilarious. Some of the commenters think this could be sexual harassment, which it certainly is. Sexual harassment is a very broad brush.

This behavior in the station is one thing. This behavior in front of any patient, much less an elderly veteran, is unprofessional. The fact that a member of this community who thinks this kind of behavior is neither, and is in fact, funny, is just disgusting.


  1. Termination is the only cure for this particular incident. The problem is that while they give lip service to all types of sexual harassment, the truth is that it’s generally only male on female harassment that is aggressively dealt with. Men are often embarrassed to report sexual harassment by other men, let along women.

    Gay men are not always the victims of sexual harassment, they sometimes are the perpetrators. I know that there were some openly gay guys that went over the line, but no one dared to complain about them. I never complained because as distasteful as I found it, I never felt threatened by it.

    • See, I didn’t even look at this as a sexual harassment issue, but some of the comments on Facebook were going that way. I just think it is distasteful and disgusting to discuss such things in public, much less in front of patients, even much less more in front of a member of the greatest generation.

      But this is what we have become in EMS: kids making crude jokes in front of patients, then patting themselves on the back for it. If you read through the comments, it is pretty easy to pick out the EMS veterans and the EMS newbies.

      • That is how most people in EMS, at least those of my generation, would look at it. No big deal, just a guy being a jerk. Now, if you were to make disparaging comments about his actions, HE’D likely complain to management that you were gay bashing and you’d at the least be sentenced to sensitivity re-education camp.

        I just think that this treatment should be equitable. If you don’t think that you can tell the guy directly that his statements are inappropriate without him complaining about you, then you have two choices. You can just put up with it, or you can file a formal complaint. Of course you can tell you boss that you’d rather not work with the guy, but that sometimes causes more problems than it’s worth.

        All of which sucks, but it’s the point that we are at here in the 21st century.

  2. Flash Larry says:

    This is quite simply disgusting. I would have called my supervisor and made an immediate report and demanded to be allowed to come in immediately and discard this partner. I’ve done that twice in my career. Normally I’m a reasonably nice person (I think) even in difficult and contentious situations. “Nice” is inapplicable here. I would have told him to shut up and apologized to the patient, and given him my supervisor’s phone number – assuming he heard and understood what he heard.

  3. And just like that I’ll never bother to look or “like” their page. Thanks for saving me.

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