I have been a Paramedic for 23 years, and in that time I have learned quite a few things about life, medicine, and people in general. Here are my top 5 lessons I have learned.
- Always assume the worst. Just like I learned in Paramedic School over 15 years ago, if a young lady is complaining of excruciating abdominal pain, and is doubled over, assume that she is having an ectopic pregnancy until proven otherwise. Life follows the same formula, it is always better to have better news come that it was not as bad as you thought, than to not be mentally prepared for the worse case scenario when it is actually occurring.
- Remember that what might not be an emergency to us, might be an emergency to someone else in their mind. What not to do? Do not berate them, instead calmly educate as you deal with the situation at hand, to better have them understand why it is not as bad as they are thinking.
- Never believe that you are infallible or can never be wrong. If someone suggests something to you, don’t dismiss it saying “You don’t know what you are talking about” but consider the fact that you might actually be wrong, and to keep an open mind.
- Don’t be afraid to ask for help. I admit, there are times I got the mentality that I could be better off doing it myself, but in reality could have really used help. Being humble and asking for the help you need does not need to be an embarrassing moment, but could make the difference in getting the job/task done right!
- Continue to learn. Just because you graduate from school, it doesn’t mean you are going to know everything you need to know to do your job. In actuality, I can say about 70% of what I learned in life to be a Paramedic came from my experiences on the street, in the ER where I worked, and from all the continuing education I followed up with throughout my career. So keep seeking out ways to learn, you never know when it will come in handy!
So, this really applies to anyone in their life, just not to EMT’s and Paramedic’s. I am positive that I have many more lessons I have learned to share, and I will, but these 5 I think are the most important to me.