10.21.2008

Anonymous

On my last post, I got a comment from an anonymous person.
Get another job, you're obviously over this one.
Patients don't have medical knowledge and can think they're very sick.
Nice ATTITUDE...
Now, I wasn't mad or mildly perturbed; I didn't even laugh it off. I was actually really hurt. I'm a very sensitive person, obviously, but let me explain.

I know that the things people say from an "anonymous" handle really shouldn't bother me. Obviously this person didn't have the chutzpah to say it to me face-to-face, in a private email, or even using his/her real name. That's fine. I don't allow anonymous commenting so that I can be attacked; I allow it so my friends, family, and other readers without accounts can comment. But whatever; it's a risk I take.

But to say that I'm "obviously over" this job? Wow. That couldn't be less true. I absolutely adore my job--both volunteer and paid. If I didn't love it, why would I give 18 hours of my heart, soul, and time to the rescue squad without pay? If I didn't love it, why would I forgo parties, plays, speakers, and other fun things on campus and with my friends so that I could try to help others? If I didn't love it, why would I want to do it for the rest of my life?

I curse because it is cathartic. I have seen too many things in my short time in EMS; I have to have a catharsis. And, anyone who knows me can tell you, I do not wake up easily. It is a miracle that I'm able to function on these calls. I can sleep for thirteen hours straight (easily) if I'm uninterrupted. When I wake up, I'm not happy about it. But like I said in the post, it's not about running the call, it's about waking up. I have to get myself ready to run the call, or else it's not going to go well.

My "b.s. flag" went up on that call because by now, I can tell when certain things aren't an emergency. I didn't mean to say that this woman wasn't in real pain. I'm sure she was; I'm a chronic migraine sufferer, and there have been headaches in my past where I literally thought I was dying. But what I do know is that this was not an emergency. The first call--the man with the chest pain--warranted an IV, an EKG, and lights and sirens all the way to the hospital. He needed immediate, emergent attention. The second woman did not need immediate attention, and could have driven herself to the hospital (or been driven by her boyfriend). At the very least, she could have called a taxi.

I treated her like I treat any patient. I asked the appropriate questions, did all the things I needed to do, and explained to her what would happen upon our arrival to the emergency room. Just because I think her complaint is not an emergency doesn't mean I'm going to risk her care and my license by not doing a full work-up.

And, in the words of EE, she who put it best,
Anonymous:

The patient wants some dope. It is painfully obvious. The patient is also impeding the care of a very sick man...
Feel free to give me advice, or suggest other ways I can go about it. Feel free to say whatever you want, really; it's a free country after all. But if you say that my attitude is wrong, or that I'm jaded to the profession...well, you just couldn't be more wrong.

Ask my partners, my coworkers in the emergency room, my boyfriend, or my family. Ask my mom about how I beam when I tell her about a call I ran where I had the chance to save someone's life. Ask my fellow lab-tech about the victory dance I do every time I get an important IV (it's a sight to see, really). Ask Drew about the way I held a patient's hand all the way to the hospital, or assured the woman with "radioactive urine" that she wasn't going to hurt me and that I took her complaint seriously. Ask Ben about how frustrated I am when my best efforts fail in the ER or the ambulance and I feel like a failure myself.

Hear what they have to say, and then tell me I need to find a new job.

To the rest of you who commented; thank you. Thank you for sticking up for me, for relating to me, and for supporting me. You guys rock.

Take care out there,
Sam

17 comments:

Anonymous said...

Committed. Passionate. Sensitive - yes, but really passionate about what she does.

Samantha?
How could someone believe that you should find another line of volunteer or paid work? You LOVE what you do! But even in a response to a post, you show nothing but class...you are absolutely world-class Evelyn. Keep it up...continue to write, dream, live, laugh, cry, love what you do...because we all are enjoying what you are sharing with all of us...

Take care of your self Sam...and continue to be the superhero that you are!

Sincerely,

"Someone who is never listened to, yet who seemingly have many answers"

Epijunky said...

Sam...

Anyone who knows you, either through your blog, or in person, knows that you are an amazing person, an excellent EMT, and one hell of a caring individual.

Anon needs to get their head out of their ass. And grow some balls. Seriously.

I love ya, girl. The anon is clueless as to what you're all about. And gutless to boot.

Anonymous said...

YEAH! what they said!

Ben.

Jedi Master Daryl said...

Huh? I guess I must have missed a post or two. Going to have to reread your stuff.

I am sorry somebody hurt you. I know you care for your patients. And I know the BS calls are frustrating.

You are a really sweet person, and I am sure that carries over into the way you treat your patients!

Have a nice day! :-)

Bernice said...

Just coming in to show my support. You know I think you are amazing. :)

Michael Morse said...

I have my five minutes of rage every time I'm woken up in the middle of the night. It's quite infantile, really, but I've learned to accept it and know that it will go away. By the time I get to the truck I'm nearly human, by the time I get on scene it's business as usual.

You have to let the anonomous commenters keep commenting, it give us somebody to goof on. I get a few and their comments are so off base it's hilarious. Watch out for the sharpshooters, they are sneaky little buggers who like nothing more than find something wrong with other people!

Love your stuff, please keep it coming.

Lodo Grdzak said...

Can't please everybody! And its amazing how stupid 85% of the human race really is. Don't know if you find that supportive or depressing, but thats how I see it. And besides, people say stupid thing via email and blogs. I'd wait and see if this turns into a pattern with this person.

Christopher Mader said...

Just remember, if they really had any clue they would have used their name. don't let them get you down. This field will do that to you all on its own.

Beaker said...

I've NEVER met an EMT that doesn't get frustrated with the non-emergency calls that we have to put up with. So Anon must not be an EMT.

As you can tell from the other comments, people know that you still treat the patients with respect even when you're frustrated with them and that's all an EMT is expected to do. So don't feel guilty or upset about being frustrated, feel proud that you can get through the frustration and still treat your patient.

Perturbed Paramedic said...

who cares about the haters...


keep on keepin on

Evil Transport Lady said...

Sam,

Don't let the asshole get to you. They most likey are not in EMS, and haven't a CLUE! Nobody does this job if they hate it.

Keep doing what you are doing and ignore the assholes!

a day in the life said...

So, I read this. Just telling you. This is my comment.

Oh, and I love you. Anyone that knows you knows that you LOVE your job. When I start doing this, I'm sure I'm going to do about the same thing when I get called on BS calls in the middle of the night. It's all good in the hood homie.

Regardless of what anything says, you're my hero and role model. I look up to you as a bug sister. :)

Love.

Lindsay said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Lindsay said...

hon i love you :) and any shmuck (sp?) that doesnt think you enjoy the hell out of doing this is an idiot. Ok yea you dont have sonic ears like our favorite squirrel but from someone that volunteers with you, i know you care. Some people just dont get that, obviously ems isnt in their blood and thats fine, they dont know what they are missing out on. XOXO

Chapati said...

just ignore the anons- i know how hurtful they can be! People seem to use it as an outlet when they are hurting...not exactly right, but anyways!

Anyone who reads your blog properly will know how much you love your job.

Keep going, exactly as you are.

XX

marcia said...

I don't know if you're reading this far down the page, but there are a lot of bitter people out there who just like to strike out at others. I've seen other compassionate healthcare professionals receive similar nasty comments. They couldn't be more off-base.

Whatever was going on with that person wasn't about you, it was about something inside that person. You just happened to be the target. Displacement, you know?

I hope all the support has helped you feel better. Someday, maybe this stuff will roll off easier.

Ellie said...

Hey, just catching up on your posts. I wouldn't get down about what a lay person says about the job. I've never met anyone not in EMS who truly gets it and fully understands what we do. It's impossible to explain sometimes. Don't worry about it, just keep doing what you do best: helping people who are down.