The Life of a Paramedic

When people find out that I am a Paramedic, they always ask, “What is your ____ call?”  Fill in the blank with strangest, funniest, scariest, etc.

I shall attempt to answer some of the today….I have changed the names and locations to protect the privacy of those involved…but mainly because after 13 years, I really can’t remember their names or locations…

Funniest…  We were about 8 hours into our night shift. We went to an abdominal pain on an elderly lady.  She had intense pain all over her “belly.”  While I was getting the equipment ready, the student was conducting the assessment and questioning about history, etc.  The student was very new and doing good but not  sure how to do a “hands on” assessment.  I explained to the student how palpate, etc.  Then I proceeded to show her as I was palpated the abdomen for the location, radiation, pain level, etc…  The lady was well-endowed….and of course, her bosoms…well…  Long story short…the patient began to laugh and giggle as she said, “Young Man…thank you very much…but that isn’t my stomach you are touching!!!”  I just quit right there and found a corner of the ambulance to hide in…

Strangest…  Some 20 something year old males bought a pair of cross bows…Why???  Not sure other than they were 20…  One weekend, they decided to play dodge the arrow..after drank at least a keg, i think.  We got the call for a shooting and sure enough… One guy was laughing his heart out at the other who had a cross bow arrow sticking  through his calf. How do you secure THAT impaled object? 

Yes, indeed….friends shouldn’t let friends drink and play dodge arrow!!!

Worst…  This question is not really fair at all.  I have seen really bad car wrecks, Cardiac Arrests from SIDS…  I try not to dwell on these because when it gets down to it, these calls suck…and when someone needs CPR, etc…it is NEVER a good day for anyone involved!!!!

Here is the best way to help you understand…I try to remain distant from the patient.  This allows me to clinically evaluate the patient and focus on the “getting stuff done” side of things.  We intubate, push drugs, stop bleeding, CPR, etc…I can do all the skills really good… that’s my job…

What I am engaged in is a FIGHT…a huge battle to fight for the life of another being…A brother…A father…A Sister.. A Friend.  It doesn’t matter that I do not know anything about the patient, it is hugely intense… It is HUGELY personal… my skills and knowledge against the Angel of Death… It is not a battle I want to lose…… These calls are completely emotionally, physically, and mentally draining…and I give ALL energy…..EVERYTHING!!! 

The problem is that people die depsite all my efforts… I know it’s not my fault… I know that even following all the proper procedures and doing everything, there is nothing I could do to change the outcome.  That is little consolation because it is my job to freaking SAVE people’s lives!!! And when I can’t save them, it sucks!!!

And yes…even though I may have super human powers of emotional detachment, I cry a tear or two each and every time after a bad call…even 13 years later…  because I feel I have failed in my duty.  I am glad that these calls don’t happen that often

And it makes me wonder…What else am i willing to fight that hard for in my life????

(Sorry y’all… Couldn’t think of a funny way to end the blog…But on a brigter note, I have finally admitted in front of the world that I really do have a few emotions…  Dang it…can’t use that as an excuse anymore!!)

4 Responses to “The Life of a Paramedic”
  1. Wendell Ellison says:

    Aaron, you have my sincere respect as totally good person. It takes a special person to be able to be a Parimedic, I know that I was not cut out for it. I tried when I was with Harmony VFD. I took a first responder course, that I passed with flying colors. But, the first time I had to preform cpr until you guys showed up was one of the hardest things I ever done. It left me with Flash Backs from Vietnam. I soon found out that I had PTSD. I would not doubt that many EMT’s have this problem. Thank God that there are people like you out there for people like me. Thank you!


  2. Michelle Brannon says:

    Thanks for sharing. Maybe it’s just too late and I’m tired, but you made me cry. You are an awesome person. God has blessed you with your skills and wants you suceed, but sometimes, you know, it is in His Hands. If I ever need that kind of help, I hope you are there.


  3. Tasha Wittebort says:

    Thank you for doing what you do!


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