Welcome to the wonderful world of ambulance driving. I specifically say “driving” because that will be your job until the medic you’re with gets over himself, retires, or dies. Please be cognisant of your own limitations. Just because you intubated airway Annie 92 times does not mean you will be good at it. In fact, pretend you suck at everything and go from there. You may have had straight A’s in school, this ain’t school.
Please understand that I am not angry, burnt out, or too proud. The things I am telling you are for your own good. You may be yelled at by your senior medic. Please understand that this is not a reflection of your stupidity, well probably not; it’s probably a reflection of the “old fart’s” lack of patience. You may feel like you know it all, you don’t, you never will.
Surprise, not every call is a dire emergency. In fact, most calls are more related to comfort than life. This may be hard to imagine after running megacode after megacode in your lab scenarios. You probably didn’t learn this stuff in medic school, be kind. Your patients are not made of stain resistant plastic, they are in fact flesh and bones. Empathy is a word you should look up and try to emulate.
It’s okay to freak out on scene, just don’t let anyone know you are. One day you will be a lead medic and all eyes will be on you. Your partner, the patient’s family, and anyone else on scene will freak out if you do. Move with a purpose, and look like you know what you’re doing. This may be the best advice anyone will ever give you.
Be obsessive compulsive. Nothing is ever too clean. You should know where everything is and how much you got of each. This is the practice of a good medic.
You can’t save them all, in fact you won’t save most. Get over it, learn from any mistakes you have made. This requires you first realize you aren’t perfect.
For God’s sake, give some pain control. If they say they hurt, you should probably believe them. Not everyone is heroin Hank, seeking a fix.
Contrary to what you may believe after reading this far, I love this job. This is the best job you’ll hate to love. Once you think you’ve got it all figured out, something new will humble you once again.
You will be underpaid, overworked, and under-appreciated. Don’t forget what it feels like right now, when you are brand new. If you come into work every day like you did on your first day, you will love coming in and hopping on that rig.
yourself in five years