I didn’t like who I had become. I knew I needed to step up my game, but had no idea how to do so. Then, a friend told me the secret.
“It’s not the situation, it’s the way you respond to the situation that matters. How you act is entirely up to you. You can think the world is ugly, unfair and useless, or you can think the world is beautiful, harmonious and full of opportunity. How you make your way in this existance is completely, 100% up to you, and nobody but you.”
Responding to the hospital parking garage for a report of a 47 year old male complaining of chest pains and difficulty breathing.
The old me said to himself, “this is ridiculous, sending an ambulance to a hospital!” and put himself into a self-righteous snit.
The new me says to himself, “poor guy, tried to drive himself to the hospital and almost made it.
My old partner would have driven like an idiot because it was nearly shift change, complained all the way to the patient and treated him with barely concealed contempt upon arrival.
My new partner, the one that I replaced my old partner with is asking questions, going over chest pain protocols, watching where he is going and getting us there quickly and safely.
The old team would have arrived on scene, put the patient into the truck, skipped treatment and delivered him to the ER as is where precious time would be lost as the triage team assembled their information and the man’s heart continued to die.
The new team took one look at the guy, immediately recognized an MI, assessed vitals before getting the man on the stretcher, had an IV going two minutes after arrival on scene, aspirin and nitro on board as soon as the initial EKG was done and transmitted, delivered the patient to the ER where the cardiac team had assembled and gave our report as he was wheeled to the cath lab. Seventeen minutes from time of dispatch to treatment.
Falling into an EMS rut is easy. Missing the opportunity to be great at what you do is easy. Failing your patients is easy. Being an idiot is easy.
Changing the way you operate simply by looking at a situation differently is even easier. Every call is potentially the real deal. Every patient needs help. Every responder needs to show up with the proper mental focus on every call. I managed to dump the old me and my old partner when we became stale and had become ineffective. It wasn’t hard, I just needed to change everything about the way I had been responding. Once I did that, everything fell into place.