I’ve gotten some feedback here at EMSfun Blog that the Happy Medic seems to be rather bitter. Quite the contrary my friends. I share these moments because no matter how crazy some of these folks make me I always make work on time. I always cut the triage nurse slack if we have to wait to get a bed. I always give a blanket to the little old lady who woke us up at 3 AM for her sneezing.
I really am happy to be where I am and worked darn hard to get there. This job requires us to use humor and distraction to get over what we see and what we feel. I find it best to hold the jokes until after the run, whenever possible, and remember that no matter how bad my shift is going it will always end at the same time.
Some of my dialogue here on the 911 page seems ‘bitter’ I’m told. I don’t see it, really. The role of EMS and the fire Service has changed dramatically in just the last 10 years and the public knows it. We’re now the catch all end all, one call service. The dial a nurse should just be replaced with a recording stating “We are now transferring you to 911 since we’ll recommend you call them anyway.” But when we arrive we take a deep breath and sigh knowing that this is just the way it is.
I got the name “Happy Medic” from a nurse at the local Trauma Center after a rather difficult run. I can’t recall the particulars of that one but not 20 minutes later we had another customer with us, one of our regulars, and I was whistling the whistle while you work song while taking his triage vitals. the nurse came around the corner and said, “Why are you so happy?” I looked around and said, “On my worst days, when I feel like I can’t get through, I think about all these folks and remind myself that my worst day is like some folks best day. That helps me relax. when I’m relaxed I whistle. Whistling makes you happy.”
“Ok Happy Medic” and she wandered off. My partner that day said the name was perfect and now when they see me coming in they know all the drama will be from the patients, not from me.