If you haven’t read this Blog by SALTYMEDIC please do so. It is terrific! There’s something very primal about it, as if you’re looking into a forest while a Native points out all this stuff that you weren’t even seeing! It’s important that people at all levels of growth and development within EMS read this. Mostly because there are too few in the industry who are able to maintain that level of love and respect for the work for as long as she has, let alone see the depth of the experience.
What a crappy thing to say, especially at the close of National EMS Week, but I’d guess that about 80% of the medics working in the streets today view EMS through different eyes, or are in it for completely different reasons than she. As evidence I present the incredibly high percentage of medics who prove to be tourists and end up just pulling in to this port for a little while!
First of all, SALTYMEDIC makes it clear that EMS – or more specifically the idea that you could actually change lives for the better by your actions in such an immediate way — was her first love. Believe me, I completely understand the disease! I haven’t been certified (as a paramedic, anyhow!) since 1985, yet, I can honestly say that a good third of my life since has been dedicated to exploring themes to which I was introduced in the back of an ambulance. This stuff is mesmerizingly rich!
FNGs need to hear more of that balance because the culture bends toward pummeling them with “reality”, which is usually from a burnt out’s perspective. (It’s important we disabuse the new ones of any Romantic Notions right away because our lives depend on it, right?) FOGs need to read this to be reminded of the feeling that they most likely had at one time. Call it “fascination” at least, but I would hope everyone in the field at sometime experienced a heart-directed desire to get involved! Hopefully, they’ll start start asking themselves how they’ve been missing the boat lately and want to get back on.
Well, maybe not the one above in the illustration, but can you see the metaphor? I betcha most medics leave EMS because they percieve themselves on some form of a sinking ship; in their view, they will for sure drown if they stay aboard!
That doesn’t make SALTYMEDIC wierd. To me, it means something is missing for the others and that’s a shame. I 100% agree; EMS is an incredibly enriching human experience to be a part of! 90% of this game is all about how you interpret the things you witness and the attitude you choose to hold on to. Too many medics seem to prefer their own Black Clouds as company over other human beings.
Listen to this passage. That’s right; read it out loud, because it’s pure poetry!
I see EMS as a living, breathing entity.
It has a heart, an intelligence, and a soul. It lives within me.
The heart of EMS is comprised of its people who together
provide an unlimited well from which compassion and comfort flow
for human suffering.
The intelligence or brain of EMS is the vast amount of experiential knowledge
and skill that healers acquire and share
through desired and undesired lessons and experiences.
The soul of EMS is comprised of the collection of wisdom and emotional intelligence
earned by EMS professionals who witness first hand
the trials and tributes of life.
(Please, please PLEASE make sure you read her whole piece! Thanks.)
This is a beautiful vision of a profession aware of itself. This is a vision of a profession whose participants honor each other
because they intimately understand the territory that EMS is and how it can impact EVERY aspect of a practitioner’s life.
Each concept had a word or two that jumped out at me. First was “unlimited well” in reference to compassion. Next was “share” in reference to desired and undesired experiences. Third was “collection” in reference to witnessing the trials and tributes of life. In order for these things to be able to happen universally within EMS, the culture has to change. Medics have to start talking to each other about the things that SALTYMEDIC speaks of as if they mattered. Medics need to seek the Silver Linings.
Dammit, SALTYMEDIC, I honestly wish what you spoke about was what’s really happening, but we’re not quite there.
But you know what? We are a BIG STEP CLOSER, because you are!