Sunday, July 12, 2009

Top 5 tips for surviving in an ambulance service

1. Be nice to everyone you work with. Someday they may be your boss even if they did start 10 years after you!!

2. Check your truck off properly. Yes its boring as hell but its actually surprising what you find. Last check I found 8 pairs of safety glasses (there was only supposed to be 2) and most of the supposedly sterile needles had torn packaging (something to do with people trying to jam 10 of them under the elastic tie in the IV kit)

3. Your patient report form is going to get sent back to you cause someone else is determined to find something on it that you missed out or didn't write an entire chapter about. Just accept this as a given and remember point one above.

4. Sometimes you are going to be called an ambulance driver. Does it really matter. Just smile and nod. After-all it is 50% of our job isn't it?

5. If you are going to leave a patient at home at least make them feel like they got their monies worth. Measuring their SpO2, HR, BP while nodding and saying uh huh lots is a good start.

6. Remember that what a patient tells you on the way to hospital and what they tell the triage nurse are often two different things. At some point in time this is going to make you look really stupid at the hospital. But don't worry everyone goes through it at least a dozen times.

7. Stay calm at all times, or at least look like you are calm even when secretly your thinking WTF is wrong with this person or you have come across a major incident. Refer to the second half of point 5 is a good start.

8. Patients are customers. What's your Customer Service like?

9. Take up a hobby, study or something you can fall back on when you are burnt out and need to take a break. Its gonna happen so be prepared.

10. If you are burnt out do everyone a favour and take 12 months leave. You will feel much better for it and so will everyone else.


Anonymous said...

Good points in general. I disagree with a few. #8 Well, I think what we do can not really count as customer service..sometimes I have to be not nice to help. They usually thank us afterwards. I have poor customer service to the people who spit at me, try to hit me and the few who have pulled knives on me and that time I was stabbed.

#10 A leave would be great, but who is going to pay for that 12 months? I just can not afford that.

Anonymous said...

Take a break - I've tried this a few times in various ways....Changing services is good (change is as good as a rest!). Getting promoted - after 15 years on the road I moved up to instructor, 6 months of intensive study and no sleep worked for me!! A few years in Training and some inept management convinced me to have a 6 month sickness break (went back when the pay dropped to 50%!!). Total of 10 years as a trainer and I was seriously burnt out so emigrated and joined a service in another land. Been there 10 years now and a recent change of management has convinced me that after nearly 40 years the ambo service is no longer the place I want to be....the job is still great, the people I work with are fantastic but the organisation haven't got the first clue - they lie, they have no idea how their own service works and the manager that the previous organisation had problems with is still in (greater) power!