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How to Handle Stress as a Paramedic OR EMT?

Jul 12, 2021 | Paramedic

Being a medical professional like a paramedic officer and EMT in 2021 has been more challenging due to the Covid-19 pandemic. The challenges and stress levels have raised exponentially for medical professionals in Canada and around the globe. Most likely every professional in the emergency services sector loves their job as they are in this profession to help and aid people but the job comes with baggage.

It’s rewarding to help people maintain their health. However, it’s not always easy. Depending on your role, you are likely to experience a certain level of stress. Paramedics and EMT workers often see critical cases where people either lose their lives or are close to them.

It is considered equally rewarding when your patients make it through to the other side and survive but on the other end, it is extremely heartbreaking when they die. To avoid burnout due to extreme stress and pain felt by the Paramedics and EMTs in the medical field, there are several ways to cope with it.

What Are Ways To Avoid Stress as a Paramedic?

Here are some methods Paramedics or EMTs can use to deal with their stress levels as someone working as a medical professional :

Keep Time For Yourself

The emergency services sector as a career can be both physically and emotionally taxing. Whether you’re a home health aid, doctor, EMT  or paramedic, you’re working with people who need and depend on you. The patients might also look to the medical professional for a level of emotional support and connection. They expect you to help them maintain their health, but part of staying well is maintaining emotional wellness.

This goes hand in hand for your patient and you as well. One thing you can do to make sure you stay well and mentally healthy is scheduling time for self-care. That means focusing on yourself and your needs when you are not working. Doing things that you enjoy and make you feel happy as your downtime is extremely crucial for your mental well-being. That’s why it’s important to get outside and be active. These are activities that help you stay grounded and better able to do your job well.

Keeping Your Professional And Private Life Separate

It’s easier said than done to keep your professional and private life separate as it’s a common human tendency of talking about your job with friends and loved ones. It’s not going to make you feel better if you keep doing that as you might obsess and stress yourself out about situations that you can’t control. You’re not at work, so you can’t do anything to help clients.

 Furthermore, you need to have boundaries about work. It’s great that you’re proud of what you do. That means you’re in the right line of work. However, you need to have space from your role, so you can enjoy yourself. You don’t need to be talking about your work as a paramedic when you’re on a date or at a family gathering for the entire time. You’re a person outside the healthcare world. When you’re not on the job-saving lives, focus on other things you enjoy and talk about those with friends, family, and loved ones.

Therapy is The Right Solution

A safe place you can talk about working in the healthcare profession is with a licensed therapist. Instead of talking about your work stressors when you’re out for coffee with a new love interest, save those for a therapy session. This should be a natural space where you can easily vent about your issues.

Therapy is a safe and comfortable environment where you can prioritize your mental health. A mental health professional wants to help you learn ways to confront and cope with your feelings.

It’s not easy working in a field where you’re helping people out of scary situations. You need to prioritize your mental health, and going to therapy is one way to do that.

Taking care of yourself

Paramedics and EMTs should at any cost avoid consuming drugs and alcohol as they can add to the stress. Eat a well-balanced diet, get enough sleep, and exercise regularly.

At Paramedic Academy, our instructors are active paramedics and bring years of on-job experience. Our paramedic training is designed to ensure students are prepared for on-job challenges. In our 60 weeks program, special focus is given to psychology and healthy communication, which enable students to handle stress during training and on-the-job.

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