I’ve been an EMT now for about 2 years. I’ve worked in an ER and in a commercial EMS service. Healthcare is a broken system. We know it’s broken. The problems trickle down and all too often I have jaded coworkers, whether it be the Nurse, Doctor or other EMT. In the ER I don’t remember how many codes I worked.
What I do remember, especially before I close my eyes to sleep, is the last time I had to close some else’s eyes. I can still hear the screams of the family saying goodbye to their mother after she coded for a third time and we had to call it. Or even the family who was told after their brother overdosed that he couldn’t be revived. It may have taken me a little while to realize, but Emergency Medicine isn’t for me. I’m compassionate about people who need and want help.
When the “town homeless person” gets looked over, someone who actually listens may know he has some real issues. No one wants to take the time and when you do, you get eye rolls or ignored. On the road, i’ve dealt with that many times. I just try to do my job and go home, but my anxiety flares up before every shift. Most days I can’t eat during my shift I’m so anxious.
I take an SSRI. I go to therapy. Twice this year I’ve thought about suicide. No one at work knows I feel this way. I know I need a good paying job, but I’m not sure how much longer EMS is for me.
– Story written by a 25 year old female EMT-B