Discontent is growing. As I've settled into my job, I've realized that 80% of it consists of making phone calls. And even though they are a minority, the Crazy People make up a very loud and demanding percentage of that task. Week days are so busy that I don't notice too much, but as soon as I report to the fire station for training - especially EMS training - or watch an ambulance fly by as I'm leaving work, it gets a little harder to go back and take auto-cuff blood pressures and refill Lisinopril scripts for another day.

Fire station hours are not helping. I have been pulling my required 60 hours worth of shifts a month, not to mention having my pager on whenever I am home. However since earning my Paramedic License, I have run on Zero calls. If I'm at the station, the tones are dead all night. If I'm at home, anything that we get paged out for is on the other side of the district. This weekend, I had my radio on from Friday night through Monday morning. The only tone-out we got was for a chimney fire on Sunday night. The tone came out five minutes after I left the house, without my pager, to buy some printer paper in town. By the time I got back to the cabin 45 minutes later, all units were pulling back into the station. My white cloud status followed me all through Paramedic Academy & my internship, but this is getting a little ridiculous. If I ever had an edge, I can feel it slipping away now.

I love prehospital medicine, and I have a knack for the book-learning part of it at least. I got 100% on my recent advanced medic standing orders test at the station, and didn't do too badly on the scenario testing (besides some major and yet-un-resolved ACLS conflict-of-opinion with my proctor.) But without the dirt under my fingernails, the nagging feeling that a year of my life and thousands of dollars was flushed away keeps growing. I'm frustrated and even a little angry, all the while telling myself that this job, this life in a black hole of EMS, will pass. Most days, though, it doesn't feel like I will ever get to where I want to be.

As if I ever knew where that was.

In the mean time, I grit my teeth for eight hours and count my blessings for the rest. Three of them are in bed with me now:

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