So I’ve been thinking about this for the past month or so:
Am I going to post any of the calls I do from work?
The first thought is the obvious answer: No (due to patient confidentiality and the fact that I’ll be starting in a rural area). The last thing I want is to work so hard into getting a job I really love and then getting fired for creative writing.
In the past, the calls I have written were taken from the big cities since we cover a huge area of events (Lower Mainland Fraser Valley) so it’s easier to “hide” due to the probabilities. I’ve also changed the names, locations, age, randomized gender, and generalize the calls. As well, I try to keep most of the posts related to my impressions, reflections, and what I’ve learned, hence a lot of the times it seems as if I’m running the call on my own (which is of course not the case in real life).
The thing I enjoy about writing is that I’m able to give people a glimpse of pre-hospital care, but more importantly, it often allows me to reflect and learn. I catch things that I may have missed or could have done better, I think more about what I could have changed, my behaviours and actions and how I can perform better the next time around. Overall it is a tool that facilitates me to grow.
There are many reasons as to why I started this blog.
At first I just wanted to keep a journal of all the events and challenges I had to go through to work as a paramedic in BC. There were a lot of friends who were very supportive of me and I started the journal not just for myself but also for them to see my progress. Then starting in around June this year (when I started my paramedics-basic course/EMR) the blog really took flight and has been growing ever since (I have to say this took me by surprise). Deep inside though, there were other reasons as to why I started to write things down.
When I first wanted to start this career, I found that there were not a whole lot of information about how to get started, what it all involved, the hurdles that one may need to overcome, etc etc. So I thought I might be able to help others who felt the same way as I did when I first started by writing what I, myself, have gone through: The uncertainty, the fear, not knowing if it was the right thing to do, not sure where to start, how to start and so forth.
I know that it is easy to be all riled up when first starting anything. That’s because it is fresh, everything is new and nothing is routine. I had the same feelings w hen I first started capoeira. Eventually though, the ride isn’t so smooth, it isn’t all up hill, it goes up and it goes down or it could plateau. There are days of utter joy and euphoria and other days where I just don’t know if I can continue. I wanted to log my initial thoughts so that in the future if I ever do get a bad call, have a bad day, or burn out (*knock on wood* and hope that never happens), I can see the reasons why I pitched myself into this career in the first place. Perhaps that’ll help me reason it through, or maybe I’ll think I was silly and naive. Whatever my thoughts looking back, I think it’ll be valuable.
Related to my thoughts when looking back, is perhaps I can get a glimpse of how my perspective in pre-hospital care may change. How will experience change the way I deal with patients or certain scenarios from when I’m a rookie to when I have 5-10yrs on my back? Would the change be for better or for worse? The posts will give me a basis for comparison and something to learn from.
I find that the general public doesn’t really know what first responders and paramedics do and some of the challenges they have to deal with. It is easy for people to see a first aid tent and assume that all they do there is give out band-aids, but they don’t consider the fact that the people there are also trained to deal with cardiac arrests, strokes, trauma, and much more. It is easy for people to call paramedics “ambulance drivers” because that’s usually all they see them doing on the streets. The ambulance doors are closed to them, they don’t see IV starts, defibrillation, intubation, the calming of an aggressive patient, or the tactful interpersonal skills used to gain the trust of a psych patient and so forth. The public also don’t see the possible stresses pre-hospital care involves (although many do try to empathize), such as dealing with the grieving family, aggressive or violent patients, the death of a young child, or the risk of infection from bodily fluids. I know if I continue down this path long enough, eventually, I will encounter all of these calls, whether I want to or not, and perhaps I can raise public awareness of what paramedicine involves.
Of course the most important: I find blogging fun and a good way to de-stress.
So back to the question about work and this blog. For now, if I do get a blog-worthy call, I will be keeping the content to my personal feelings and what I’ve learned from it. Despite having the option of not differentiating whether the postings are from volunteering or work (hence keeping the call area large), I will prefer to first talk to my supervisor about this issue and the guidelines before posting in this specific area.