Paramedic reveals horrifying first encounter with burns victim that almost made him quit
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A paramedic has revealed the moment he almost walked away from his career after his first encounter with a burns victim.
While sitting down with LADbible Australia's new series Hindsights, Paul revealed he was thrown into the trenches during his stint as hospital admin.
Paul was working the front desk a day before his application was accepted as a paramedic when the ambulance brought in a woman with third-degree burns.
He said: “[She had] 100 per cent burns to her whole body, everything was just gone, and there was smoke coming out of her mouth like her tongue was just cooked. Completely cooked, and she’s screaming this awful wail, and I’m like, ‘Jesus, I can’t do that'.”
Paul began to think he had made a grave mistake.
He recalled thinking to himself: “I can’t be this person who goes through that scene and is the first point of contact to save this woman's life. There’s absolutely no way."
However, that night following his shift, Paul received an email that revealed he had been accepted into the ambulance service.
He added: “I just looked at it, and I thought, ‘F**k’."
Another Aussie paramedic by the name of Demi recalled a similar dismal experience during her early days that made her want to throw in the towel.
Demi explained that as she came from vocational training, she initially lacked the clinical understanding of how the human body worked.
She said: “I was probably about four weeks into my job, I went to a very sick patient in the morning who was having a lot of difficulty breathing, and I just had no idea what was happening.”
She continued: “I just remember thinking, ‘What the hell have I gotten myself into?’”
But, after years of experience, Demi admits she is now slightly ‘desensitised’ to death.
“We do get a bit desensitised to it because we do see it so often. There’s definitely some that stick with you a little bit more. I think during that debrief, we let everything out and maybe just leave it there,” she said.
However, Paul revealed a different coping strategy entirely.
“Chocolate,” he laughed.
“Lots of comfort food, lots of talking and being kind to yourself. It’s really, really important in this job to not lose your identity.”
You can watch the rest of LADbible Australia's Hindsight series here.