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Wednesday, February 22, 2012

I'M READY TO TALK!

Hello my fellow emergency worker.  How are you this wonderful wonderful day?  I am super duper, the weather is great, the family is healthy, and I am happy. 

Well, I am ready to talk.  I have been in the Emergency field for 20 years now and I got some serious stories.  Stories as a young EMT, stories as an FTO (Field Training Officer), stories as a 911 Operations Supervisor, stories as a CISM (Critical Incident Stress Management) Peer Counselor, and stories as the CISM Coordinator for the Southern Pacific Region of the largest ambulance company in the United States.

Maybe you have noticed, I have only shared a few personal stories like 'MY FIRST TRAUMA AS AN EMT''MY CRITICAL INCIDENT AS AN EMT', and I discussed my very first psycho partner in the post, 'EMT STRESS FROM YOUR PARTNER'.  The reason I haven't wrote about my personal experiences so much is because I am very very reluctant.  I have a lot in my head, and I know that it affects me daily because I specialize in stress.  When you specialize in stress, you learn to relax, and that relaxed state provides a quiet mind, and a very aware mind of what you are thinking.

Boy do I have memories!  As I was meditating, I realized that I need to get these stories out of my head and onto paper, blog in this case.  I believe that it will be therapeutic for me, and I believe it could really help some of you out there who are having stress.  So, I wanna talk.

When I first started as an EMT, I worked at what everyone thought was a very prestigious company.  I was very honored to work there because many of my friends tried to apply, they couldn't get in, and I did.  It was a solemn declaration that I was very fortunate. 

At the time I was hired, there weren't any other females.  Within my first three to six months, I was sexually harassed, physically threatened, and verbally hazed.  Because I am an advocate for not taking any BS, and I grew up with all brothers who instilled in my mind to defend myself, there were a couple of people who suffered their own consequences by loosing their job.  This was not a very good way to begin my career and I was affected by it for the next couple of years.  Meaning, life was not easy with some individuals.  But, I survived!  MWA HA HA! ;0)

There were a few individuals who were very kind to me.  Some knew what was going on, and they went out of their way to make me feel welcome at work.

Pretty crazy, eh?  All of this 'stuff' I went through really enhanced my B*tch qualities. 

Looking back, what I learned is, I am one tough cookie who could handle a whole lotta lotta.  We are talking about working in a not so easy environment sometimes.  Although I was on an ambulance with a partner, who may have been really cool, depending on who it was, I still had to go to the stations and accept the way I would be received.

I am so very grateful for this experience because it taught me a lot about myself.  I learned that I could go through the appropriate channels, although it did not sit well with some supervisors, and get results when dealing with inappropriate behavior.  It taught me that not only do we have stress running calls on a busy day, but we also have a lot of stress in the work environment.  It taught me the beginning steps, and gave me glimpses on how to handle stress in the work place.  It also taught me to help others who had similar situations.

What I wish I would have done differently?  I wish I would have been less angry, and I wish I had not been such a B*tch at this time in my life.

How could I have done it differently?  I could have learned to not let things get to me so easily, and I could have learned to manage my anger better.  If I was more easy going and less angry, I would have enjoyed me more, I would have had better quality relationships, and I wouldn't have gotten so burned out so easily.

Anger and unkindness, towards yourself and others, is a very big part of burnout.

For all of you out there who are having a hard time because of your environment at work, there is a better way.  There is a way that we can not let others get to us, and there is a way that we can enjoy life even though others are so unkind they are making our surroundings unpleasant.

One of the most important things is to work on your own way of reacting.  We can react in better ways, we can overcome anger, and we can overcome unkindness.  When people are being unkind, we don't like it, and so why would we be unkind in turn?  Wouldn't that make us just like them?  That would be becoming what we don't like, right?

We can become more understanding to people's crazy crazy inappropriate behavior, recognize that they are inappropriate, and approach them with professional appropriate communication.  Never alone, by the way.  Always have a witness who is aware of the situation.

The first step to any conflict is to discuss it with the person.  If that doesn't work, you go through the appropriate channels.  Many of you will say, or think, ya right!  That's not how things are done, we do not snitch.  Ya well, if you don't take care of it others may not ever become aware, and the behavior may never stop.

Lastly, one of life's greatest lessons is, learn to not let people get to you.  Now I am not talking about holding it in and festering with anger, and not showing it.  I am talking about knowing that their behavior has nothing to do with you, it has everything to do with their ability, or inability rather, to be appropriate and professional.  They are just not smart enough to know how to treat people right?  I was guilty of that by being a B.  Get it?

No longer do I let people get to me.  Well, maybe sometimes for a minute or so, but then I am over it.

You can do this as well!  I know you can!  You got the power within you!

By not letting people get to you is how you destress yourself.  You do not destress yourself by changing the other person or controlling their behavior, all be it bad behavior.  You destress yourself by changing and mastering your thoughts, feelings, and actions.  That is the school of life, getting better and better at mastering your self-confidence, your happiness, and your success. 

Hopefully, my story has helped you.  If it has or you have a comment or question please post a comment below.

Stay tuned for more of my self therapy with stories.  Be advised, they may get a little gruesome at times.  Oh, your in the EMS, you enjoy that ;0)

Have a great day!  Big Hugs!

Elizabeth

email me, elizabethstanfill@gmail.com, I would love to hear from you and help you anyway I can.