When Enough is Enough
I seem to have some sort of invisible target on my back that attracts work accidents, vehicle accidents and assaults. Enough is enough. No more. My uniform lies in a crumpled heap where I left it on the floor about 2 am five days ago... When I came home early from my shift - again- due to yet another assault. Again from a female, again intoxicated and most likely involving drugs.
I didn't dedicate the last sixteen years of my life to this career to be assaulted performing my duties. Having to walk into house after house never knowing what we will find, having to think on our feet and make snap decisions to prevent injuries to ourselves and others. I am supposed to think like that to help not to worry about being hurt. I have a certificate, a diploma and a degree which qualifies me to work as a paramedic. To work to help others in times of critical need and tragedy. To treat the vulnerable, the rich, the rude, whatever and however a patient may present. We still are expected to help and have a duty of care to assist in whatever way we can. We are not there to be abused, we are there to help.
I have been involved in so many satisfying and rewarding jobs over the years, so many good stories where what we have done has made THE difference in someones life. It's what keeps you going, keeps you coming back, working all hours of the night and missing out on any kind of normal social life. Working on whatever days of the year that you are rostered; rain, hail or shine, the ambulance rolls 24/7 no matter what. It's what we do. We can all bitch and moan like the best of them, but when it comes to the crunch we all band together and do our jobs 100%+ without complaint. In times like we are confronting now, dealing with major disasters like the current bushfires that has threatened so close to home and destroyed much of my former home town.
This is what I am missing out on, I fight the urge to get back in that big white truck and go and help. To do my job. The one I am trained for. The one that I am good at. But I can't. I'm injured again. Physically, emotionally, psychologically. I have to try and recover, again. To convince my broken body to return to a workplace where there are absolutely no guarantees it won't all happen again. It probably will. It probably won't.
I'll have to go back to feeling unsafe, unprotected and on constant alert for signs of danger, a sudden scene change. To deal with totally unpredictable people, to be sworn at, grabbed at, spat at, pushed and shoved. I'll probably meet some lovely people along the journey, be able to help people along the way. But with all the good comes the bad. I will be called to scene's I can't control, I can't help. It will be too late for that. I can't fix death, not really. Every job is not a miracle. But it is those very few miracles that keep us going, that blurs out the other reality. The problem for me is the other reality is blurring out the miracles.
Until I can turn that around my uniform will remain in a crumpled heap on the floor... Enough is enough!