im currently witting a final about emotions in ems, for my emergency medical services class. i know very little about it. im still in high school and college. i was wondering if anyone could tell me what is some of the hardest stuff to deal with, calls and emotions. and does it ever just build up after awhile?

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Hello.....Yes, sometimes it does get to the point that one just cannot do it anymore....BUT, you need to find a coping mechanism that works for you....with me its humor.....No, not in front of family or on scene but with my crew after a call maybe....say a burn case.....was it a regular or an extra crispy..??,,,,Yes, I know...SICK...!!! But thats what works for me....I have been doing this for an awful long time and for me it works...(My NY EMT # is 127_) Yes that's only 4 digits....not many of us left.. Probably the hardest to deal with is when a child is involved....and they can be rough...whether it is a case of suspected abuse, a burn or worse yet a code.....they are indeed the worst type of call you will ever go to......Stay safe and always remember to keep the faith.......Paul
Kendra, hey there how are you? Well I can tell you a little bit I've been in the EMS field for 7 yrs. and was a Volunteer FireFighter for two years and you never get use to calls you go on. Every run is different all thoe it might be another chest for say but most of the time there is different signs.Anyway it's always be more harder for me to deal with children because I have four of my own. Some times it gets over whelming you see people die day in day out yes it's life but I've seen infants take there last breath. Elderly ,Done cpr on many different age pt. some times you ask if it all that you could have done. .
Kids and the elderly are the hardest to deal with. As the others have said that you have to find an outlet. It could be writing, the computer, dancing, or whatever you enjoy. Also talking to another buddy that understands works.
Hello Kendra, I'm Ken....Wierd Huh? Anyway, I've been a volunteer in my towns Fire and ambulance squad, for 10 years or so. I just joined the firefighter nation thing so I'm not sure about all the rest of the crew, but I agree with Paul the hardest is a child, especially if you have your own or young siblings, it doesn't seem fair that they get taken so early. I find it especially hard because the depts. that I am on are very rural. You pretty much know everybody or you know someone that knows an individual, or you might get a call to a family members house or some crazy thing like that. Anyway, yes hunor is a big thing, you seem to develop that morbid humor, and yes its always with your crew or your buddies that were there helping. I have cried, we lost a 1 yr old male in a 1 car mva about two yrs ago, still think about it everyday, but I went home coped the best I could called my son told him I loved him, and cried, you think how is this fair, why would god take a child so young, why couldn't we do more? All questions we all ask ourselves in this business. You hold it all inside you, try to remember this is what we are train for, we did our job to the best of our ability, still doesn't help ease the pain, but you realize you aren't the only one feeling it, all of you are, you get through together, talk about it together, you ever wonder why we are all pretty tight? Its because we do this together and deal together, usually people on the outside don't understand what we deal with, they just usually blame us, they didn't do enough, they didn't get there fast enough, there weren't enough people there. It goes on and on. Yeah it builds up, but you know what saves me? What saves alot of us. The smile on the childs face when you fix their knee after they fell and scuffed it up. Or the old lady that thinks you are the biggest hero for getting her cat out of the tree. Yeah there is alot of sh!@# we deal with, but those little things, those little thank you's and little smiles, they go a long way for me, and they help. Just gotta remember after all....we're only human.
Sorry I may have rambled, but if you have anymore questions feel free to get a hold of me.....Ken
For me, up until I had kids, nothing much bothered me. Once I had kids of my own, calls with kids are hard to deal with. Been involved in alot of water rescues that turned into recoveries. Spending 24 hours with family while you are looking for their child can be hard to deal with. My absolute worst experience and one of the reason I got involved with rescue was watching someone burn alive in a car as we were trying to cut them out. Now that sucked. Had me for a couple of weeks. After 17 years, yeah it builds up. Then sometime you just break down. My advice. Deal with each individual item seperately. Try not to let it build up. easier said then done. but try. We have a program through the county after really bad calls or whenever someone needs it. The only advice is to talk to someone. Talking becomes the outlet.
First of all, Life is precious...and fleeting, no matter how old or how young they are. I don't understand the mindset of responders who say that kids are the worst calls. Is it really any less stressful for an adult to be hanging out of a window, screaming for their life than it is to pick up a blue, lifeless child with a cardiopulmonary disorder? Is it worse to arrive at an MVA with one fatality as opposed to three? Does three fatals triple the emotional shock to the system?
I responded for 22 years. We have an interstate highway that goes through our fire district and the crashes are high speed and violent. Decapitations, bodies everywhere from a bus wreck, bodies burnt beyond human recognition, kids tossed out of the vehicle because they weren't in a child restraint, drunks rear-ending and killing a couple just recently married, young teenagers hitting an elderly couple head-on and all are dead and my personal favorite, a 16 vehicle pile up WITH fire.
Performing CPR on a throat cancer patient and blowing breaths through their stoma, clearing snuff from the mouth of a trucker who went down at the check out counter of the truck stop, taking in your best friend for the last time. You have to remember that, when you volunteer in your community, most of the people you help will be people you know. That in itself can be stressful, if you don't manage it. Despite the unpleasantries that you encounter, you still have to find enjoyment with what you do. Sounds weird, I know. I mean; no one wishes bad to happen to anybody, but you think that you would want someone to HELP. People who stand there with their camera phones and videos a tragedy instead of helping should be arrested for contributing to the pain and suffering. DO SOMETHING!
I have many skeletons locked in the box. I enliken it to the scene in Indiana Jones when they open the chest and all the ghosts fly out. I have quite a portfolio of fires, accidents and rescues in the 22 years that I served. I talked to my peers, I wrote about it, talked to my wife often, so she could better understand me and I managed. I think that it is SO important to keep your loved ones plugged into your psyche. I'm not saying that you give them the "intimate" details, but you let them know that they are a part of the extended firefighter family and should know that it was a "bad" one.
As far as showing emotions at the time of the call? Never! You have to demonstrate an outward calm to the victims, because THEY called YOU to help. If you freak out, you just became part of the problem. Once, I asked one of my new firefighters to grab the very broken foot of a deceased driver and he ran away screaming "I can't do this". Well, at least we found out that he couldn't handle it. Better to find out then than to find out later when a brother could be hurt or killed. Bugging out isn't something to be proud of, but it is nothing to be ashamed of either. It takes work to process ugly stuff. Some don't have the mental strength to do it. Those who can are very special responders. They will help others cope. They will be the ones consoling the loved ones. They will be the ones who will last longer and go farther in a very stressful field of endeavor, because they have figured out how to manage THEIR stress.
Oh; and just so you know, YOU are helping by posting this discussion, because it helps to talk about it, so you get something and you give something. Not bad.
Hope this helps.
Good luck and get good grades.
Art
one of the hardest things that i've had to deal with in the short time i've been in this field is dealing with a family after someone has died. you have to be able to seperate yourself from the situation. for example, i ran one call where a man had committed suicide right outside his home in his car and his wife found him the next morning. having to see someone go through that kind of pain and confusion is really hard. another call i ran on was a man who wrecked his motorcycle and was doa (dead on arrival). i heard the cops talking about how they had just talked to him earlier and he spoke of his children who were in high school. at first i felt concerned because i didn't feel anything for the pt. i felt bad for his family but he was being stupid and irresponsible and he "paid the price" for it. i spoke to an officer on scene and he helped reaffirmed my belief that you have to stay somewhat detached, otherwise you wont survive this field.

children are also one of the toughest calls to run. they're so innocent and most of the time had no control or understanding of the situation that caused their injury. those calls tend to bring the best performance out of everyone and cause the most emotional distress. those who have children tell me it is especially hard for them because they see that child and picture their own it his or her place. i do this with pts who resemble or are near the age group of my brother.

one of the worst parts about these emotions is that they can sneak up on you. you'll be on scene, even leave and go a few days or weeks, thinking it didn't affect you and something will just click. you'll have feelings of guilt for not saving them, empathy for families, all of these different feelings, and then they'll leave and you'll be good again.

people tend to use coping mechanisms to help them deal with these situations. i personally like humor. but with humor comes a little guilt that others may think i'm disrespecting the pt. they dont understand it's how i deal. also, speaking to others in the field directly after a call can really help prevent any of these emotions from sneaking up on you. just talking about a call helps relieve some of the stress it may create and allows you to understand your own feelings and thoughts about it.

if you have any other questions feel free to message me back. hope this helped! good luck with your paper and have a wonderful holiday!

CJ
Feeling helpless when you're trying to save someone's life && knowing they're not coming back ... I felt like crap my first time and I always do still ... I don't think that'll ever change with me but it does help to talk about it to someone who's been through it && can say something back in return ... it doesn't help to talk to someone who doesn't do this job .... for me it's like talking to a dead cat, no one is listening && if they were they wouldn't understand anyways (not that I talk to dead cats or anything ... lol) && humor does help too.
Good luck with your final && I hope you learned a bit about our job :-D
I have a cat...
But it isn't dead.
I don't talk to him.
HE talks to ME!
And he won't stay out of my litter box.
But, we get along.
Art
hi kendra . u pick a very good topic to write about , emotions r a very crazy thing to deal with, i joined the fire service in 1971, iv seen it all during r jaws calls the burnt , mangled ,every thing u can think off the hardest thing still is the kids n young people , i consider my self emotionally strong not much bothers me when i see it ,when on a call . but kids n teens ,its the one thing u never get use to , its the one thing that can n does make me cry, one good thing when u have a job to do u block out every emotion do the job hopefully save a life , then when all is said n done .u go home hug ur kids . then give ur self a little private time n break down n cry , n beleve me ur no lesser a person for crying . ur just human. then u pull ur self back up n go to the next call n do it all over again . but u know what theres one beauityfull thing that u do get from it. that very specail feeling when u do get to save a life . thattt makes it all worth it , good luck, be proud, n hang in there , u r now one of gods guarden angels. i be proud to have u as a freind
I like cats....they are delicious if cooked right.........Paul
I find people understand IF they have been in this business any length of time at all.....Hey, its about all we have got.....a sense of humor and each other......Keep the faith "Sister" and always stay safe....REMEMBER...we are here for you if needed... 8) Paul

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