So, I have been a Paramedic since the day that I was born!
Ok, not really. To hear some people tell it though, you would think that.
Have you always been an excellent EMS provider? If you have, I congratulate you. For most of us, including myself, the answer is no. Think back to when you started, whether it was six months ago, five years ago or 25 years ago.
Go back to when you started, and I think most of us would agree that we were scared out of our minds. The first call you responded on, your heart pounding, shaking and maybe feeling like you didn’t know as much as you should. We knew what we were taught in our EMS provider initial courses, but now it’s real. Real-world with real patients and real partners. Some of those partners you liked and some of them, well not so much. What can you say about the ones you liked and gravitated to? I bet those were the people that made you more comfortable and were willing to show you how to do things without being critical.
As the years go by, sometimes we as experienced and seasoned providers, we often tend to forget about the early days when we were the “new person.”
When we first started, we didn’t know as much as we thought we did. Everyone can play a role in nurturing new employees. I know it can be a challenge, but we must have patience. Sometimes crews will complain about the new employee for not doing something. My first question to the crew is, “did they know that they had to do that task?” We must make sure that we have established the expectations for them to learn. They maybe are hesitant to jump in on runs, more than likely they are just not wanting to step on anyone toes and they don’t want to mess up. Be a mentor to these folks without having the title. Show them the ropes and help them. Take time to show these folks the right way every time.
Yes, there is a shared responsibility between the new employee as well as the agency. We can even learn from these new people as well. Most of these new hires are like a breath of fresh air. They are excited, motivated and wanting to learn every aspect that the can. For me, attitude is key. Someone can be really good on paper and they have a ton of experience, but sometimes they also have a ton of bad attitude! Everyone on the team whether it is an EMR, EMT, Advanced or Paramedic, have the ability to help the team to succeed.
I see people that sometimes want to do this job and yet I question if they even like people. Let’s not forget the responsibilities of being a public servant and what this job is about. We must be mindful of the customer, our patient. Take pride in what you do and who you are. As a provider It should never be a competition, always strive to help one another. Those new people that you helped along the way; they will always remember what you have done for them. Make yourself look good by making others look good around you. You don’t have to be the best at anything, just do your best. Always.
Scott W. Brooker, Hocking County EMS chief