Anyone who has been in emergency services for more than six months has encountered burn out. You might not have recognized burn out at first glance, however I am sure you’ve seen this first hand. This edition of The Handover, I asked our participants to tell us their stories of burn out. Many people have personal experience, either themselves or their partner. The average lifespan of a person employed in EMS is only 5 years. I have seen this as short as two years and I’ve met people that should have left fifteen years ago. Weather it was working too much, or the realities of abuse of the ambulance system, everyone will be touched by burn out at some point in their career. The only solution is early recognition and early assistance. Abuse of alcohol, controlled substances and street drugs is not unheard of in EMS. We are only human and subject to all the imperfections that humanity brings. Some of our capes are worn and tattered. Sometimes we forget how to remain passionate about our chosen field of work.

Unlimited-Unscheduled Hours (UUH) Faces burnout in the volunteer service. An resignation email from a member of their department leads to inner reflection of the current predicament. UUH is on the brink of relinquishing the captain’s badge but holds out for one more year for the wrong reasons read more It’s Official, I’m Burned out.

Flobach (@flobach) over at the Flobach Republic takes issue with a partner who is burned out. His advise? Learn to overcome your problems and have a little fun in Just One Look

EMS Chick tells us about a shift that will not end & how to look out for burnout in Burn out? Oh no, it’s just a flesh wound.

Grindermedic (@grindermedic) shares his story about burnout. Apparently working every waking hour can lead to burnout. Take a break and go read  Burnout: It’s real and it hurts.

Ambulance Junkie (@ambulancejunkie) recalls a run. The kind of run almost every emergency responder fears. The kind you can never forget. The run that will live with you, and the run you have to learn to accept in The Night Terrors

Insomniac Medic’s (@insomniacmedic1)day drags on and on. The multi-drop delivery van driver takes another patient to the hospital. Sometimes all we need is to feel like our job matters. Breathing again

Johnny Gage (@johnnygage51) of the Magic of 3:00 AM blog takes a look at dealing with a partner who is burned out. He shows us how to identify burn out and ways to handle a partner who needs a little help in How to Deal with a Grumpy Partner.

Nathan, the Transport Jockey (@transportjockey) has a personal tale about burn out and some advise to people new to the profession of prehospital medical care. Take time for your self, go read Burnout

The TPN Taxi blog (@in_the_city) has  a unique view of burn out. Sometimes a little indifference can keep you from becoming burnt out, his story is called I’m a crispy critter and proud of it.

Just My Blog (@justmyblog) takes a slight psychological and sociological look at the causes of burn out in  Burnout amongst EMS providers.

Greg Friese (@gfriese), author of Every Day EMS tips blog interviewed paramedic George Steffensen, as part of his Medical Author interviews and provided a book review of Mr. Steffensen’s book Paramedic- Buff to Burnt. You can learn a lot from some one who has been there and overcome the psychological stresses of EMS. Read the book review here, and listen to the interview on his Medical Author Interview here.

Finally, welcome a first time contributer to The Handover, Burned-Out Medic. I asked them to contribute a story to this edition, since their moniker tied right into the theme for the month. Burned-Out Medic gives us a look at how we can dread change, but still find salvation, even if we didn’t know we needed help in Brink.

A gianormous thanks to all the contributers of this month’s Handover. Burn out will put the best people on the edge of leaving a profession they once loved. Please encourage your friends and coworkers to get some help, find solace. We lose too many good medics and EMTs.

The December edition of the Handover will be graciously hosted by Just My Blog. She has picked Holiday Cheer for the topic. She wants to hear your funniest, most knee-slapping-laughter-inducing holiday EMS moments. Keep you eye on her blog for details.


About Joel

I am a paramedic, firefighter and I work for an organ procurement organization. All stories related to work have been altered to HIPPA standards and for the protection of those involved. The personal stories are different. Photography, flying, aviation, hiking, camping, travel, geocaching, amateur radio are a few of my hobbies.
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5 Responses to Burnout

  1. Johnny Gage says:

    Actually, this link is from my blog, not @flobach

    Florian (@flobach) of the Flobach Republic blog takes a look at dealing with a partner who is burned out. He shows us how to identify burn out and ways to handle a partner who needs a little help in How to Deal with a Grumpy Partner.



    • rescuemonkey says:

      Yes. Sorry, Florian sent me an email saying this might be a good addition. I do apologize for not asking permission, I thought it was his blog yesterday. That’ll teach me to compile a post on 4 hours sleep. If it is ok with you, I’d like to keep the link and I’ll correct the author information.

  2. Pingback: Brink | Burned-Out Medic

  3. Pingback: Posts Outside the Service Area: 2nd December Edition

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