10 things medics love/hate

Is EMS a job you love to hate or hate to love? Which of these reasons makes you love or hate EMS?

By Michael Morse

Ask any medic about his job and you will hear how much they love it, shortly followed by how much they hate it. Depending on the day, or the hour, or even the minute you may hear how much they hate it before they tell you how much they love it. It is definitely a job that we think we love to hate, but actually, it's the job we hate to love. Except on the good days, when we absolutely LOVE it. That is until THAT call we hate comes in…

10. Emergencies
You just get into a groove, picking up intoxicated people, dizzy little old ladies, a fender bender or two and BAM, somebody goes and has the BIG ONE.


9. Shootings
You‘re dispatched to a shooting; glove up, monitor the radio, run some protocols through your head, get waved in by the cops, roll through the police tape, part the crowd like Moses parting the Red Sea and find your victim, a guy with a BB in his thigh. Or a giant hole in his head, you just never know.

8. Intoxicated Male
Report of a “Man Down” on Broadway, the same spot you go to every day and pick up the same intoxicated male. And there he is: ass up, head down, three empty “halfs” littering the ground next to him. When he‘s out cold he‘s easy, pick him up, put him on the stretcher, do some vitals and away you go. When he‘s not, well, that‘s a different story. Haymakers and vomit mix badly in a moving ambulance.

7. Emotional Female
Aren‘t they all emotional?

Seizure, schmeizure, what‘s with all the seizures? If I had a nickel for every time somebody needed a ride to the hospital and said they were having a seizure I‘d have a stack of nickels. But there‘s nothing better than pushing some meds and feeling like “The Exorcist” when they take effect on a real seizure and your seizing patient returns.

5. Maternities
Okay, you‘ve had nine months to prepare for the BIG DAY, nine months to arrange transportation, nine months to get ready and what do you do? Wait until the contractions are a minute apart and call 911, that‘s what. But every now and then you get to click the mic and announce to the world, “Time of birth, 0415 hrs. It‘s a girl.” Oh Yeah!

4.Pedestrian Struck
Oh boy. Nine times out of ten times somebody walked into a car, or a bus or a motorcycle and has minor or no injuries. Nine out of ten is good. One out of ten is the one that you hate. But you kind of love it too, especially if the person who was struck pulls through.

3. “Nature Unknown.”
Ah…we all love a mystery. Until we solve it, then what becomes truly mysterious is why the person who called for “the ambulance men” refused to tell the dispatchers why. Perhaps it is because he knows that the ambulance men would not come for his runny nose.

2. Need Transport
Oh the fun we shall have when the doctor‘s office on the hospital grounds calls 911 to transport their stable patient to the emergency department for a routine CT-scan or something similar. Love the patient, hate the always-absent doctor who had “his people” call.

1. Trauma Code
Nobody likes to see other people killed or badly injured. But bad things do happen whether we want them to or not. We are the best chance those victims have of seeing another day, and when it‘s time to put away all the nonsense and put our training and experience to the test the love for our jobs shines through. Even if sometimes we hate the outcome.

So, what did I miss? What do you LOVE/HATE about being a paramedic or EMT? Comment below.

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