I’ve run my last EMS call.
For a while, at least. A good, long while. I can’t say when, if ever, I will put on a uniform shirt again. I’m not sure that I will ever call in service again, or ever step into an ambulance again.
I just can’t take it any more. I’m done.
I’m tired of the continued incompetence of my coworkers and colleagues.
I’m tired of having to follow protocols that are written for the lowest common denominator.
I’m tired of stupid policies written by people who have never worked on an ambulance, and policies enforced selectively and for no good reason.
I’m tired of being criticized by management with less experience, and a lower level of certification than myself.
I’m tired of my fellow paramedics harming patients and not facing repercussions, simply because “they show up on time.”
I’m tired of shaking my head every time I hear a new story about a new screw up.
Pronouncing people dead without touching them. Defibrillating (repeatedly) a patient in a paced rhythm who is conscious. Giving adenosine to a patient having a STEMI because the paramedic thought atrial fibrillation in the 130s was causing the problem. Giving solu-medrol to patients with pneumonia, and albuterol to patients in CHF. Giving mag sulfate to a dialysis patient having a mild asthma attack. Refusing to honor a valid, presented DNR in the presence of a family because “I think I can save him.”
I’m just so damned tired.
I love my job, I love my patients (mostly), and I love my partner. But I can’t do this any more.
I realize that these problems may be specific to my service, but I really don’t think they are. Can you honestly say that your ambulance service has none of these problems? Your service doesn’t have incompetent management or incompetent field crews?
If your service is really different from mine, are you hiring?
Right now, I’m taking at least a six-week break. I wonder if I’ll miss it.