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  • Welcome to the Blackbelt Medic. This is the web home of Nathaniel Bland: Former Firefighter, Paramedic, EMS Educator, 2nd Degree Blackbelt, and student.

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Being Young

Being young in EMS is an interesting thing. You go through Paramedic school being called a “para-pup” or other such things and then, when you actually pass and get to the field, you are usually a young person to begin with coupled with no experience thinking and working at that level. That’s not a bad thing, but it’s how it works in everything: you start with no experience and gain some.

It’s talked about, looked down on by others, whispered about, and spoken about with distain by even senior EMT partners who talk about not letting some young para-god run their truck. TO be fair, I understand this attitude. Paramedic school has a way of sending you out thinking that you know a LOT and that you’re ready. You have the knowledge. You have the skills. You have the drugs. You’ve run hundreds of scenarios…thousands of test questions. You’ve got this on lockdown. Sure, inside you may be nervous as heck because you have never been the ONE in charge, but you still think you’ve got this. It’s a fine line of balance between egotism and self-confidence. With some this is egotism as a “para-god” when YOU know it ALL. You don’t. Some swing the other way and have fear that you’ll mess up. You probably won’t in the way you’re thinking of. The middle ground is self-confidence.

But we’re still young paramedics. As B.J. Honeycutt once said, “It’s ok, you’ll grow out of it.” Being a young paramedic is an opportunity to learn in ways you didn’t know you could. Internship is great and we soak in the information as much as we can while under our preceptors wing. However, you can’t take their years of experience and own that for yourself. You must get your own. Through that, you will learn yourself some valuable lessons.

Published in Blackbelt Medic Blog