We, who do what we do, live with the persistent knowledge of what we have done.
It's so very easy for those who have not done what we have done to dissect our actions.
"Yeah, maddog, but I would have done THIS. "
All I know is that I came on scene and there were people, and blood, and gunk, and a big mess.
I put tubes where they should go. I pushed on the things that needed pushing and I gave the drugs that needed giving.
The whole time I'm sweating how well or how poorly I'm doing. It's not about me, It's about my patient.
You can sit back in your "armchair" all you want but, it was ME that was doing CPR, Intubating, pushing the drugs and otherwise making the decisions that helped the family know we had done all we could.
You will never be the medic that I was at that exact moment.
Me? I'll spend the rest of my life thinking about what I could have done. I don't need you to ask me stupid questions.
EDIT: This post was written in response to the casual comments by a less-than-professional jerk after a particularly difficult call. It is NOT directed at you, my dear and loyal readers! Thanks for reading.
An earnest young student asks me a serious question:
"What's the hardest part about being a paramedic?"
I look her right in the eye.
I say this with all seriousness.
She leans back in her chair, blinking her disbelief.
It's the social that's the most difficult.
Here I am, out with a bunch of people who have no idea what they'd do if someone died right in front of them.
I, on the other hand, know exacttly what I'd do!!!.......Pump and blow, Load and go!!!
(If the preceding phrase has no meaning for you, then you're definitely not an EMT. )
We, who do what I do, live with the persistent knowledge of how easily and how frequently people die.
We also live with the constant assurance of our role in that process. We know what we are to do and when we are to do it.
I find that I alternate between the responsibility of being guardian of all life around me and the honor of being the shepherd of the passing of life around me.
At times, it makes me dizzy.
At cocktail parties, it's awkward.
Posted by --maddog at 07:08