Sink Before the Swim

In the time I have spent in my field of choice, I cannot help but asking myself whether or not I chose the right field. Sometimes I let the cynic in me really come out, and other times that part of me is a little more contained. However today at work, I felt it come alive in a strong way. Please know right now that no one died today due to my cynicism.

About a month ago, I had an internal conflict that became externalized in a very noticeable fashion. I asked myself, “why am I working in this field?” “Did I pick the right job field?” “What am I doing with my life now?” I began to try and make sense of the working situation that I am in.

Right now I am working with sick people. I deal with a lot of issues that require my help. Deep down inside I know I cannot save everyone out there. Not everyone in the world wants to be saved and better themselves. The weight of the medical troubles of the world can be overbearing. I could very easily buckle under the tremendous pressures that come with medical issues. There needs to be a balance between optimism and cynicism to maintain a forward-thinking frame of mind with the medical line of work.

There are people who abuse the system wherever you go. They are the type of people who never wish to better themselves. They want to take medication that helps the pain go away for the rest of their lives, and see nothing wrong with becoming dependent on a substance instead of striving to be self sufficient. Just today at work, I transported a father and a son, both of whom were transient. The son looked just as burned out on life as his father was, and the son was only 25. Both my partner and I could tell that they had a history of narcotic use (they had junkie acne and a dazed look on there faces.) As I was investigating more about this patient I noticed that his medication history included painkillers and copd medications since he has a history of chain smoking and filled the ambulance with the scent of cigarettes. This guy had a history of chronic pain, but was looking in the wrong direction for a solution. This man is never going to get better. Him and his son are going to slowly either away and rot on this planet.

One thing that stood out to me was how comfortable they appeared in the ambulance. Once we hit the road, him and his son immediately fell asleep snoring. This told me that he had taken these types of trips before and felt comfortable with us. No one should feel this comfortable in an ambulance without being on that company’s payroll. It is people like these that keep me balanced inside.

Then the internal questions come flooding in. I began to realize that I am working with the filthy garbage of the city that society has turned it’s back on, and wants to ignore until it goes away. Who would pick a job like this? Who wants to start up a company that deals with this? They must know what really exists out there in the world and find the opportunities for others to feel that type of connection between two people. Something inside me pictures them ( the employers) saying something like, “You want to work with sick people and potentially save lives right? Well here you go. Here are the sick; have at it.” So we see those who take advantage of the system and they have to know that we see that. And they still are able to go to bed and sleep at night.

It’s thought processes such as these that have me asking myself if I am doing the right thing. Way deep down inside, I know there is some type of justification for all of this running around. It is this situation why the idea of an operating room is comforting and soothing as a work setting. There are no abusers or the medical system that end up abusing the services of surgery. You either need it, or you don’t. Surgery seems to me like a bigger necessity than other things such as medication for chronic pain. I tell myself more and more that I want to work in an operating room for this reason. That and I am a sadistic weirdo that likes getting to know people on the outside and the inside both figuratively and literally.

So although I may not be exactly where I want to be for a career choice, this journey helps me focus my sights on what I wish to do, and what I am currently engaged in. I need to experience these types of setting to learn what it is a genuinely want. They say that we all learn best from our mistakes and while I am not calling what I do for work a mistake my ant stretch of the imagination, I am putting myself in less desirable situations to learn from.

-Figure out more about yourself through others


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