24 Brutally Honest Confessions From EMTs And Paramedics

    We have to care for everyone, and sometimes that means the person who got stabbed...and the person who did the stabbing.

    For this post, BuzzFeed Health spoke with one EMT and two paramedics based in Honolulu, and a paramedic based in New York City. And by the way, although all paramedics are EMTs, not all EMTs are paramedics; which we explain in detail below.

    1. It's not often that you make it out of work without someone's bodily fluids on your uniform.

    2. We only turn on our sirens when we're transporting someone with a life-threatening emergency.

    3. We have to care for everyone — whether it's the person who's hurt, the person who caused the injury, or both.

    4. There are different levels of certifications for EMTs and all of them are trained to do more than just drive ambulances.

    5. It's not OK to call an ambulance when what you really need is a prescription refill or a ride to the doctor.

    6. We're literally a mobile emergency room, so we start treatments for really sick patients immediately.

    7. Sometimes people call us for ~serious~ non-emergencies.

    8. Okay, that being said, it's ALWAYS better to be safe than sorry.

    9. We see and help people who are at their lowest points and in the middle of an intense struggle.

    10. We are often verbally — and sometimes physically — assaulted by patients or their family members.

    11. The job rarely gets boring because you never know what type of calls are going to come in and when.

    12. You never get over the feeling of being able to save someone or make a difference in someone's life.

    13. One of the hardest things about the job is that we can't save everyone, even though we tried everything we could.

    14. And it's equally as hard to break bad news to family members.

    15. Trying to figure out what happened when patients, family members, and bystanders are yelling at you all at the same time is the bane of our existence.

    16. A lot of people don't know that, depending on the state or region, we sometimes work 16- to 24-hour shifts.

    17. And if your shift is busy, it can leave the whole crew hungry and frantically searching for the nearest bathroom.

    18. The call that no paramedic wants to hear is the “pedi-code,” which is when a young child or baby goes into cardiac arrest.

    19. We wish everyone learned how to give CPR.

    20. And learned how to use an Automated External Defibrillator (AED).

    21. The most annoying part of the job is the paperwork, especially when a patient changes their story every few minutes.

    22. Every day we come to work prepared for literally anything, and are expected to make life-saving decisions in split seconds.

    23. People think we're adrenaline junkies, but most of us do this work because we have an innate desire to help others.

    24. You get to interact with people from all walks of life and it really broadens your understanding of others.