Accountability. It’s a strong word with multiple meanings. Have you honestly sat down and thought about it, and what it means to you? I’ve found in recent moments that many people have a very different route of thought versus me when it comes to this word. As I sit here and eat my cheesy puffcorn, I digress….
When did jumping in to help fellow co-workers become a thing of the past? When did admitting to doing something wrong or off protocol end up being the kind of thing you’d rather keep a secret? I’ve seen too many times where people attempt to brush things under the table. Here’s the thing. We are human. As much as we try to get things right all of the time, we are not Wall-E nor are we terminator. Despite popular belief, we are going to fail. It’s time to embrace this. You will not get things right all of the time. You will miscalculate a drug. You will misinterpret a cardiac rhythm. People will bleed a lot because you missed a femur fracture or internal injuries. This will happen, and you are full of it if you think “not me.” Own up to it and wear it like the ugly Christmas sweater that it is. I promise you one thing in admitting that you are wrong: you will gain much more respect with all of your colleagues if you do just that. I would rather work with someone who admitted that they made a mistake and went one step further and researched why it happened and what to do to fix it, than work with someone who has convinced themselves that they walk on water and can do no wrong. Be accountable to yourself, and everyone that you make contact with. It’s about that unspoken respect that we are to have for one another.
In the life and world of EMS, it’s so easy to want to brush this kind of thing off. No one wants to admit that they caused a patient harm. On a side accountability note, I think that it is important that we remain accountable to our fellow EMS’ers. We owe it to each other to half one another’s back in any situation. Especially when it comes to our mental health. I’ve seen multiple blog posts and articles about suicides among our own. We are human. We bend and break. Be the pool noodle for your fellow brothers and sisters when they are struggling to stay afloat. I ask you not to be a psychologist, but to be a support system. Know the resources out there. Know that we are masters of hiding things. I can attest to being numb to feelings and situations that I have encountered that should have enraged me or made me bawl. It’s about having a person to turn to, to talk to that understands the way we work and what we are asked to do. It’s like a quote I saw on Facebook posted by MedicTests.com that reads:
“It’s hard to explain to a non-EMS person how you are able to be woken up in the middle of the night and drive to someplace you’ve never been to take care of someone you’ve never met.” – Josh Pelonio, EMS World
This sums it up quite eloquently. Be kind to one another. Know that no matter what your struggles are, that there are people to talk to. For starters, know that there is a specific resources for our family. Please see the link below:
Drive fast and take chances,