Ways for EMTs to Wind Down After a Stressful Long Shift
Apr 7, 2015 | 11:00 am
Everyone has had a bad day at work. Perhaps the boss is being a jerk or a new tool won’t seem to work. That sounds like a bad day, right? However, for EMTs, these issues can be coupled with uncooperative patients and the already high stress level of an emergency scene. It’s important for EMTs to keep their cool in order to properly work with patients and their fellow coworkers, so dealing with stress positively is a must. How can EMTs deal with days when nothing seems to go right?
Let it Out with Loved Ones and Coworkers
After having a bad day, it can feel like you’re all alone or that others don’t care, but the fact is everyone can relate to having a hard time at work and can easily sympathize—especially coworkers. It’s important to note that family can also play a huge role in helping you de-stress. Spouses, siblings, and parents can be talked to and your own children can remind you that you’re more than just your job. Isolating one’s self can create fillings of hopeless that can manifest as depression, so don’t forget to allow others to know if something is bothering you.
Make Sure to Enjoy Your Time Off
After a bad shift, it’s not a bad idea to relish in your time off work and do something you enjoy. Good hobbies for those with stressful jobs can be ones that are calming like fishing or painting or hobbies that allow a healthy release like martial arts or paintball. You can couple this with the above idea by taking time out to do something with your family or friends say a cook out or taking a trip. While taking your time off, try to leave the job behind and focus on having fun, if you’re unable to do this, it may be a good idea to talk to a therapist.
Being out in nature can have massive restorative effects. Go camping, take a hike, or take the bike out just to get some fresh air. Sunlight has been proven to boost serotonin that help creates an overall feeling of wellbeing. Getting outdoors can also help you see the world in a more positive way, it’s hard for negativity to set in when you’re surrounded by beautiful scenery. Even if you’re not one for the wilderness just visiting the local park can give you benefits.
Volunteer in Your Community
Sure, you spend your workday helping people, but it helps to see yourself doing good when you’re not on the clock. There are plenty of relaxing ways to help out. You can work at a community garden, cooking at a local soup kitchen, or even sharing your medical skills by teaching first aid to a local boy/girl scout troop. By getting out in the community, you can be reminded of why you took the job in the first place—to help people who are in need. Volunteering is a great way to separate your self-esteem from a bad workday.
How can you unwind after a tough shift? Remember, you’re not alone, so make sure to enjoy your days off, volunteer, and don’t forget to get outside! If none of these ideas seem to help, there is nothing wrong with seeing a therapist to share and work through your pain. It’s a tough job and it takes someone strong internally and externally to succeed. Remember, taking care of heart attacks doesn’t have to mean having one yourself!