This is a powerful article about the inevitable party question: So, what’s the worst thing you’ve ever seen?
I can’t remember how many times I’ve been in this situation. I’ve been out of the business for quite a while now, so it doesn’t happen much any more, but man…..Always bothered me. My standby answer was: “Depends on your definition of worst.”
That could be followed with: “Do you mean how much blood was spread across the highway? Or how long it took to clean the puke, blood and other bodily fluids out of the back of my ambulance? Or how long it took to get the smell out of my nose? Or do you mean saddest – cuz I’ve got a bunch of those.”
Too many definitions of “worst”. And on the rare occasion when I do share some stories, it’s never even close to the actual worst……
Article: I have ghosts in my head.
Wow, is this powerful….The video in the link below describes a scenario that probably almost anyone who has spent a few years on an ambulance can understand.
While I don’t remember any specific time I told this type of lie, I am quite certain that I did. How can you not? “It’s not your fault…..” “It’s not as bad as it looks….” And any number of little (or big) white lies we tell to comfort the patient or the family……
And our selves……
Here’s the link to “It’s not your fault”
I do not belive I ever told the lie he describes, although I dealt with at least my share of SIDS. However, I was in a very similar situation – the only difference was that Mom already knew….and lying to her would not have changed anything……
(I have written about the emotions surrounding my experience and how it effected my for years, here, , if you are interested….)
I find this very interesting. It is a fantastic idea. And, at the same, possibly a horrible idea.
The article linked below talks about hospital emergency workers “pausing” to honor a patient that has not responded to their efforts to save their life. Essentially, a moment of silence for someone they did not know at all.
In many cases, probably most cases, I think this would be a great way to bring a different kind of closure to a situation that is, in itself, so final – and yet, possibly not completely resolved for those who worked so hard for a different outcome. Taking just a moment to come to grips with what has just happened, might make it easier to step away and move on….
On the other hand, at least for me, there were many times that stopping to accept what had happened would have put me over the edge. The scenarios that were just so utterly horrific……If I stopped to think about it, I would not have been able to get back in the ambulance and run the next call…..
The article is about hospital workers. I wonder if it would have the same effect on field crews. Not to take anything away from the hospital folks – the death is just a real – but it is a different situation. Chances are pretty good that the patient the ER staff has stopped to honor was brought in by an ambulance crew who has already left the room to do paperwork and clean up the rig. Would it be effective for the crew to come back to the patients room? Or stop where ever they happen to be when they get word? If they even get word?
Yep, definitely interesting……….
This is an excellent post! Not about PTSD, but about being a paramedic – It’s about the parts of the job nobody taught you and you had to learn on your own…..
Yep – This one pretty much sums it up. Very powerful.
As I started to read it, I was sure the emotions would well up and come pouring out. But they didn’t. In fact, I’m not really feeling anything. And I’m pretty sure that is not a good sign. The lack of emotion makes me wonder if I have actually made any progress. Or if I have slipped a bit lately…..But his story is mine, right down to the sleep patterns. There was just too much. I simply could not handle anymore. Period. I was done. And I’m still dealing with it – more than 15 years later……..
This is definitely a step in the right direction. Staggering numbers though – One first responder suicide every two-and-a-half days?? This has to stop…..We need to be watching each others backs. Taking care of our crews.
The most important part of this article? The phone number at the end: “Safe Call Now is a hotline specifically for first responders run by first responders and their families. Reach Safe Call Now 24/7 at 1-877-230-6060.”
Please, please, please…..Don’t be afraid to use it.
This is incredibly powerful. It is focused on members of the military, but I think any first responder dealing with PTSD can put themselves in most, if not all, of these pictures. I know I can…..