Enough to make an Old Medic Melt

I’ll admit it. Lately it’s been getting harder to do EMS. I didn’t want to say anything about it but in my part of the country there are only a few specific ways that one can make a good living providing EMS and being the best medic that you can be isn’t always one of them. I love the job, but the working conditions are getting to me lately. It’s hard to feed my family on a rural paramedic’s pay. I work in a pretty busy area but you can’t really call where I am urban. The biggest district that I work for is approximately 30k population, the other is less.

So, more money to pay the medics isn’t always on our cities’ agendas. And it hurts a bit. And it wears on a guy. And after ten or so years of everything that EMS brings to a career, struggling to pay bills gets a guy down. So that guy works like 200 hours in a row, and he gets tired. So I’m tired, and today is a reverse 24 after a 12 hour break from my last 24, which followed a 24.

Cue the break in the pity party:

Tones go off for an uninjured fall victim at some address somewhere. We respond non-emergently and arrive about ten minutes after the call. Family directs us in to a sweet elderly lady who was on the floor next to her bed. She had, obviously, fallen there. She said that she wasn’t hurt and she was pretty wary about our wanting to assess her. She just wanted to be picked up and put back in bed.

So I turned on the ol’ charm, and was able to find out after a good trauma assessment that she was right: She wasn’t hurt.

It took the two of us to get her positioned and set right to pick her up in the small, cluttered room. She was petite (not frail) and wasn’t heavy, so in the course of picking her up I ended up cradling her in my arms and lifting her to sit on my knee as I knelt down to hold her. It was a real Spaghetti Western “My Hero” pose. You know the kind.

Then, this lady did something that has never happened to me before in my career. She leaned over and gave me a kiss on the cheek.

“poof!” is the sound that my built-up cynicism made when it went, well… “poof!”

A career, thus far I’d say, well spent.

  • medicblog999

    Nice! – I think that's all that needs to be said.

    As I have said in the past, sometimes it's the really little things that make all the difference. You don't always have to get an arrest back or deliver a baby etc etc to have a good day!

    I'm glad you had a good moment to pick you up a bit. Come and move to the uk – we will give you a nice 42 hour week job with a good salary!!

  • Ckemtp

    42hours!? A paramedic working 42hours!? One week? wtf?

    Wow, I'm doing 48hrs between Saturday and Sunday morning.

    And that's after a 24 Friday and before a 24 Monday.

    But at least old women think I'm hot :) and so does Gkemtb, thank God.

  • The Happy Medic

    Oh man! I totally thought she was going to pee on you. Hang in there, it always gets better.

  • Ckemtp

    I thought so too ;)

    As I tell a lot of patients: "Don't apologize, people tend to throw up on me, I get that a lot"

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  • Lili

    You put that so beautifully, I could see it. Don't get me started on pay and conditions, I'll shout all night.
    Next time someone asks why I work with the elderly, I may send them to this very post.

  • Lili

    You put that so beautifully, I could see it. Don't get me started on pay and conditions, I'll shout all night.
    Next time someone asks why I work with the elderly, I may send them to this very post.

  • Lili

    You put that so beautifully, I could see it. Don't get me started on pay and conditions, I'll shout all night.
    Next time someone asks why I work with the elderly, I may send them to this very post.

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  • http://twitter.com/orlandomedic1 Shannon Kisch

    awwwwwwwww.. really does make all that negative stuff take a back seat, for just a bit.

  • http://twitter.com/orlandomedic1 Shannon Kisch

    awwwwwwwww.. really does make all that negative stuff take a back seat, for just a bit.

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Chris Kaiser aka "Ckemtp"

I am a paramedic trying to advance the idea that the Emergency Medical Services can be made into the profession that we all want it, need it, and know it deserves to be.
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