Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Demands and Distractions

Another semester of school halfway done, and I can't help from feeling like I've been here too many times before. These classes have been such a mediocre experience; sheer drudgery as I force myself to stay awake in complex lectures after 12 hours of busy days running calls in the city. I drag my feet into the classrooms each night, often still wearing my uniform, and pour myself into the desk-chair less than half ready for the important topics to follow.

Though I sometimes find interest in the concepts discussed in class, more often than not I have trouble shifting gears between work and school. Just a few hours before I took this seat I was sweating in a dim hallway, pulling the weight of an obese man in congestive heart failure down three flights of stairs as I struggled to balance my treatment regimen with the pressure of a true emergency. Now here I sit as an elderly man in a chalk-stained tweed sportcoat dryly lays out the principles of chemical equilibrium to a hushed classroom. Bound up in my job and the impression it makes on me, it is becoming increasingly difficult to find hands free to do well with almost anything else. All the while, relentless school marches towards the increasingly complex, demanding more time that doesn't exist, more energy that I never had, and more effort than I have ever had to put out.

It now seems little wonder to me that EMS has become a trap for so many. To break out of this is to strain and pull, consistently, against an almost overwhelming lure of the presently interesting and financially stable. ...All traded for classes that really are no fun, demand an incredible price, and promise nothing but a chance at more.

Much more, though. Supposedly.

Things have not been good lately. The classes are getting tougher and more demanding. Work continues to distract from that which should matter most. I think there is going to have to come a time where I will be forced to cut loose from this job so that I may take my shot at something bigger.

Otherwise, I fear, I may never move on.


Anonymous said...

As an EMT-B who's working full-time and taking 19 hours this semester in the last semester of pre-reqs, I'm kinda glad my salary doesn't yet signify financial stability.

I've experimented with different shift and class time over the last couple years. Easiest is 11p-7a, that is if you can get an eight-hour, with night classes before the shift.

Do you not find PA tempting?

NJ EMS said...

School will lead you to a degree a degree will get you more money.

Anonymous said...

Seems like you've been saying this since the blog started...when's the big leap?

RC Huder said...

I am a retired medic. I became a medic in 1977. We went to school eight hours a day on nothing but specific knowledge and skills needed to be a medic. This lasted for something ten weeks. Then we went into hospitals and rode on ambulances for street experience. Then we were spit out as new medics. I thought that was a better system than the way new medics are forced to the number of classes they are today. If that knowledge is wanted then they can go back and get a degree at the local college. Being a medic remains a unique combination of hands on skills and medical knowledge. Longer classroom time does not necessarily translated into a better medic on the street. Good luck to all of you new guys and welcome to club.

Anonymous said...

Why don't you try to get a couple days off? Theres different ways you can supplement your income, sell your blood, plasma, take a different job.

equine005 said...

Eww, equilibrium. Remember, products over reactants and kw = 1.0 X 10-7. Good luck; I know you'll do great!

Bernice said...

When I was in school I had to break things down into small goals and celebrate them accordingly. (IE - end of the semester, first year, etc)

Now looking back, I have no idea how I pulled all that out of my rear end. Nor how I functioned as a somewhat normal human being on such a small amount of sleep.

What I am trying to say is hang in there.