Maybe you've wondered, maybe you haven't. Either way, we all go through it, and it's nice to see it in writing. Here's the 6 stages of an EMS career, as told by the hit show, "The Office."
1. The Newbie
Sorry to say it, but you're a "whacker" at this point, and Dwight is your role model. You're new, you're fresh, and you may have some good ideas. The problem, you have no experience. You don't know how it all works yet. Basically, at this point, you're just good at not killing people, not necessarily doing anything positive. Who knows, you probably have a disaster plan should your crew chief go down, and it puts all the power in your hands. Just a disaster plan, all they have to do is give you the power.
2. The Full-Timer
At this point, you've been around the block a few times, and you've seen a few things. You have a loose grasp on what it means to do emergency medicine, but you're insecure. And that's okay. What isn't okay, you're also probably a little arrogant at this point. That's why Andy is your soul mate. Everything is fine, all is good, or at least that's what you tell everyone when they see you stumble. Don't worry, I see you.
3. The Crew Chief
Who else can better represent the crew chief, and this stage of an EMS career? I'll wait. Michael Scott, the boss, the big man. That's what you are now. Sometimes you're outgoing, but most times you're not. Oh you have insecurities, too, but those have been forged in the fire of EMS, and you control them like a lion. You know exactly what's going on, and though some may question your sanity, you're completely in control. (Or, at least you're faking it until you make it.)
4. The Bitter Old-Timer
The only thing standing between Michael and Stanley is a whole lot of hate. Welcome to the fourth stage. As much as we hate to admit it happens, burnout for EMS is 5 years. The non-emergency calls at 3am, the dialysis transports, the long hours, the newbies, it all catches up. Now, there's two ways this goes down. Either you evolve, and suddenly all the workplace gossip, the crappy pay, and the mean patients roll off your back like water on a duck, or you get out. Some choose the former when they should have chose the latter. And if you survive...
5. The Retiree
You either become Stanley and get out, or you live long enough to see yourself become Kevin. The years of breathing exhaust and hearing the siren have numbed your senses and your mind. Everyone loves you, and some probably feel bad. You probably have great chili that everyone asks you to make, too. Suddenly, you really don't care very much about anything. But this one is more euphoric. You're happy, you're content, you're free! Then you realize that it's all over, it all happened way too fast. But it's not quite gone, EMS will always be a part of you.
We all go through the stages, which one are you in now? Are you Dwight? (I hope not!) Are you Michael, going in to work screaming? Or maybe you're farther along. Wherever you are, I wish you the best of luck, remember, you want to get to Kevin, keep striving!