Freelance Author, Illustrator, Photographer
During a 44-year career as an EMT, paramedic and EMS thought leader, Thom Dick authored more than 500 articles and three books advocating for sick people and their caregivers. His most recent book is People Care: Perspectives & Practices for Emergency Caregivers. Based on input from dozens of seasoned caregivers, it's a primer for taking care of sick people and their caregivers.
People Care describes burnout as a manageable dynamic in the life of every caregiver, rather than a terminal event in the span of a failed career. Fully a third of the book describes practical ways to stay safe in the field, and manage an EMS career as a lifelong source of joy.
Our texts don't tell us about the biggest challenges we'll always face in medicine. People Care does. For instance:
Many emergencies have nothing do do with medicine;
People lie when they're scared. We all do; it's not personal. So, we get lied to for a living.
People can be dangerous when they're scared. We need to get them past that barrier.
Some public servants don't do their jobs. Often, that means we have to clean up after them.
Sick people can be dirty, stinky and nasty. Sometimes they don't appreciate us very much.
It's easy to do so, but nothing in our training qualifies us to judge anybody.
Our work is about others. It's never about us.
We help people, but people die. All people. That's not about us, either.
We're not omnipotent. In fact, one of our most valuable, most powerful tools is humility.
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