TOTWTYTR has a post on his blog about the public perception of EMTs as adrenaline junkies, managing life-and-death situations every shift. That perception is borne out by the Hollywood portrayal of EMS in shows like Trauma, and, truth be told, is probably one of the main things that attracts new people to our profession.
The thing that drives them out, however, is the ugly realization that it ain’t all saving lives and stamping out disease and pestilence all day long. This is the constant lesson I try to impart to Rookie Partner each and every shift, and that lesson can be summed up as:
The more competent you are, the less exciting it is.
And I can truthfully say, it’s been a damned long time since I’ve felt particularly excited on a call. That’s not to say it isn’t rewarding and stimulating, because it often is… but exciting? Not so much.
That’s something that RP is just beginning to grasp as he discovers that a resuscitation works smoothest when the person directing it is calm and matter-of-fact in demeanor and leadership style.
In fact, it makes a tough call downright… dull.
And dull is a good thing for the patient, folks.
If the calls still give you a bit of an adrenaline rush, there’s a strong possibility that you haven’t quite reached that level of competency.
Keep trying, though. You’ll eventually get there.