Having recently graduated from my program, I have now struck a very exciting and terrifying reality: I’m actually a paramedic.
It’s a common experience apparently: working for years towards a goal and then waking up the next morning once it’s achieved going “well now what?”
(As Tim Keller says: one of the cruelest things God could do is give us exactly what we’ve always wanted).
As I accepted the certificate handed to me (well actually it was an email) stating that I was now qualified…. I could feel the wonderful get of jail free card being torn from my hands: you know the one: it has ‘student’ or ‘intern’ or ‘he’s only new at this so if he screws up it’s part of the process’ written on it.
I could now be fully and totally held accountable for my actions and decision making.
Odds are I could well end up working on sick patients by myself, or even be the officer in charge.
Yet as intimidated as I am by this new found responsibility, I like many other professionals have found it immensely liberating.
I now have the autonomy to make decisions about hospitals, treatment pathways, extrication and whatever else I want to.
And if someone disagrees with me for no good reason……
I can politely and professionally tell them to go have sex with themselves.
So yes I still have a lot to learn. And yes, I still crave feedback and learning opportunities just as all professionals should. Yes, my heart rate still climbs and I still start running through guidelines drug doses when I read my pager.
But despite it all I feel more confident and competent than ever before, and I’m sure once you qualify you will to.