Working on Holidays Tips for EMS Professionals

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Steve Kanarian, EMS educator and retired paramedic, shares his tips for working on the holidays. Steve writes:
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Be a realist. You knew when you became an EMS professional you were going to have to work some holidays so make the best of it. Wear a clean uniform and a tie (if that is part of your dress uniform). Come to work ready to make a difference and be understanding of people who call upon you. You may be missing a holiday, but for some you treat this will be their last holiday.

Leave time to rest and eat balanced meals each day. In EMS we tend to run ourselves ragged during the holiday season. Pace yourself with overtime and family obligations.

The two tips that worked best for during my 25 year EMS career were:

First, plan an alternate holiday with your family on a day you are off. A quiet family day when you are rested is much more enjoyable than doing the impossible on a long holiday.

Second, while at work organize a station dinner. Put up a sign up list for dinner and step up by volunteering to bring a main dish. Others will follow your leadership. Having a nice dinner at work with your co-workers is a great way to make the best of the day.

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