It’s never easy. For some it gets easier, but never easy. There is always that one guy/gal who’s stance is “na nothing like that ever bothers me, just out job innit”. That guy/gal is the one who is likely at most risk.
Denial is never a good thing, acceptance is sometimes hard to achieve. Putting blinkers on will never work, and if it does short term, you’ll crash and burn at some point when the blinkers stop working.
Mental health in the Ambulance service is one of the least talked about but “most likely to kill you” things we encounter. You could attend countless cardiac arrests or “purples” in your years and none of them affect you, until that one day when for some reason, they’re wearing the same shirt you have, the same bra you bought, the same picture on the wall, and then it hits you.
Brothers and sisters in green are humans. We all hurt. Death is odd, it can be calming, settling the “nicest thing to happen”, but it can also be catastrophic. Screaming parents when you cant revive their child, children begging you to “make mum better” when your breaking their sternum and sticking a tube down their throat. Resuscitation is brutal. We all hurt, just in different ways.
When people ask me what the worst job I have ever been to, I normally make something up. Not because I’m trying to sound clever, but because I don’t really want to re-live that job. It was awful, on many many levels.
You may see Paramedics laughing, joking, fooling around after they’ve just seen a dead body. It’s not because we’re unprofessional or callous, it’s a coping mechanism. It’s so we can STAY professional for the rest of our 12 hour shift. It’s so we don’t turn into a crumbling mess on your door step when we arrive for your mum dad son or daughter.
We will always do our best to be professional, but we are human too.