Paramedic reflects on the good and the bad
When his back started to require more attention on some calls than his patients, Mike Rubin decided to walk away from active EMS duty while he still could. In an article on emsworld.com, Rubin talks about the aspects of being a paramedic that he will miss — and those that he won’t.
Most of his EMS memories are pleasant, Rubin notes. Among his favorites:
Good calls with good outcomes: Rubin writes that “seeing patients wake up made me wonder why I’d waited so long to get into EMS.”
The value of paying attention in class: Rubin was always gratified when something he learned in class actually worked on a real patient.
Partners with good advice: “Nothing against wives,” he writes, “but sometimes you need a friend who doesn’t know you that well.”
Partners with good ideas: “I can’t count how many times my coworkers knew a better way and made it so.”
Among the things about EMS he won’t miss:
Unstable respiratory patients: “Watching someone struggle to breathe is especially hard, I think, because we’ve all been short of breath. Ninth-inning Red Sox rallies still do that to me.”
Parents who don’t advocate for their kids: Rubin was stunned when parents placed their own interests above the need to deliver care to their children. “The worst part was knowing even clueless parents have the final say,” he says.
Harsh tones from telephones, pagers and radios: “I still flinch when the phone rings,” Rubin writes. “I’ve read it has something to do with a heightened startle reflex. Good thing I don’t do IVs anymore. Or serve the soup course.”
All in all, Rubin is satisfied with the career he chose, and looks forward to new pursuits: “I’ve learned more about the human condition than any engineer I know. I’ve been to the brink and back; it’s time to move on,” he writes.