Everytime a call goes out my heart jumps. We don’t get a lot of information and the majority of callers aren’t helpful either. I enter every scene intending to give the same level of respect and care as I always do, regardless of the rattling in my head. We have to deal with a level of uncertainty and lack of resources that is frightening. Interactions have become more tense and it’s unfortunate when we have to explain why we didn’t do everything possible to save someone because our protocols have changed again. There’s always that tinge of fear putting on that XL gown that doesn’t quite fit, or that N-95 I’ve worn 100 times and just going for it.
The reason I keep coming to work is because it’s my job. I pursued becoming an EMT not because I had any passion for EMS, but because I was trying to collect clinical hours for either PA or medical school. This pandemic has put in perspective what the medical field is truly like and just how fast it can spiral out of control. To be honest, there was a short period when I thought about quitting. I’m privileged in the sense I have the resources and support to make that decision, but then I had a realization. Not only would that have been a huge slap in the face to other first responders, but if I quit now I couldn’t allow myself to become a doctor. I don’t come to work for the thrill or rush of being a “frontline worker.” I come because I’m learning and this is what I’ve chosen to do.
I’ve been doing this for two years. I’m tired and I’m mad. Not a whole lot feels encouraging. My schedule is consistent and cyclic enough that I don’t necessarily need motivation to come to work, it just happens. This field is already repetitive, exhausting, and often not rewarding. But it’s the career choice I made and I have no regrets. It’s hard to stay positive when we are so unprepared. Everything’s up in the air, but overthinking the situation won’t solve it.
Indulging in [Family Updates] from my mom and making some pretty exquisite meals with friends help me forget the worry for a time. Mostly going home to P. every night to watch anime, play video games for hours while our cat bites at our toes is what keeps me on my feet and I forget this chaos is happening.
Photo credit – Instagram: @jenzafrenza