1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

24/7 peer support for paramedics

Discussion in 'Military & Emergency Services' started by shimmerz, Jan 29, 2018.

  1. shimmerz

    shimmerz My silence spoke a thousand words you never heard Premium Member

    8,918
    30,413
    12,138
    leehalf, Abstract and scout86 like this.
  2. Register to participate in live chat, PTSD discussion and more.
  3. Freida

    Freida Been There, Done That, Lived to Tell the Story Premium Member

    3,849
    13,499
    4,783
    We started this in dispatch a couple years ago and YES!! It's a great option between just bitching to a co-worker and doing a full on debrief with the dispatch shrink. I think this is the group we used Home for our training. It was a three day class that taught how to do peer support and also how to structure a team, confidentially, choosing team members, blah blah

    It has been very successful because you are talking to people who do the same thing you do -- no more trying to explain to an outsider about calls and codes and all that. And the volunteers get enough training to be able to constructively help - not just share opinions on how it should have gone
     
  4. brokenEMT

    brokenEMT Well-Known Member

    887
    2,870
    643
    brilliant program! we have peer support, but not a dedicated huggy buggy as in the article, and it can take several days after you ask for help before you're put in touch with someone. The gradual return to work is important too, you can't just shove a returning paramedic back on car for a 96 hour tour, just because the doctor's note says they can return.
     
  5. shimmerz

    shimmerz My silence spoke a thousand words you never heard Premium Member

    8,918
    30,413
    12,138
    Great link, thank you @Freida . I had no idea that we had these programs here in Canada, @brokenEMT, thank you for letting me know.

    This peer support stuff is getting some rave reviews it seems, regardless of the industry it is involved in. Apparently, in our area, there is a lawyer who is hiring 4 peer support workers as well. Thanks so much for your feedback. It is a great help. And hopefully any other workers in the paramedic/emergency lines of work will give this a read and look for one in their area as well.
     
    Freida and leehalf like this.
  6. Daph

    Daph Active Member

    85
    131
    33
    I think the idea and theory is great...don't get me wrong
    Our official peer support program started just over two years. They are only for employees working (I have been told) so if on a leave, for not only PTSD, you get cutoff from accessing any of those supports.
    I am a bit leary on confidentiality personally with it and I have had bad experiences. Plus, in my opinion a lot of the ones who signed up did it for the wrong reasons as initially the first members were not interviewed, they just had to send in a self nomination and got a spot. It has changed a lot I heard and it is suppose to be better with proper interviews/training, but I am cautious. I annoy some managers as I say, "we don't have actually have it or real genuine peer support". Until I see it or experience it, I don't believe in our peer support at my job site." Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me."
     
  7. Freida

    Freida Been There, Done That, Lived to Tell the Story Premium Member

    3,849
    13,499
    4,783
    I attended a two day class on setting up a peer support group and they told us this over and over. It only takes one breach of confidence to ruin your entire program. Beat it into our heads! I am so sorry it happened like that to you -- and also just appalled that you can't access it while on leave. That is idiotic
     
  8. brokenEMT

    brokenEMT Well-Known Member

    887
    2,870
    643
    the paramedic who got my ptsd ball rolling was on our peer support team, before I went on leave in 2016. And an acting Sup who actively engaged in gossip about other paramedics (cough cough.... including me, within my hearing). That told me everything I needed to know about our "peer support" program. It really looked more like a popularity contest, based on the first groups I saw roll out. Definitely not something I would trust or access.
     
    Freida likes this.
  9. Daph

    Daph Active Member

    85
    131
    33
    @Freida yeah, I asked if someone should/could check on me from time to time. I was told nope, that falls out of peer support program. You can use EAP or see if disability offers something.
    @brokenEMT Agreed!

    It is also difficult if in the future these peers become supervisors and managers. Again, do they use what they know or discriminate like when you apply for jobs?... wouldn’t put it past them.

    The hard thing is I don’t feel I can recommend that service in good conscience to my peers when they are struggling or I notice something. I recommend looking for an 100% external source. But yeah- you lose that sort of understanding of what the job is like that peers have with most external sources.

    So I believe more in a contracted/ in scope psychologist/ mental health therapist who does periodic ride a longs etc to understand the job and is there for the employees. Not to climb the ladder in the EMS world.
     
    brokenEMT and Freida like this.
  10. Freida

    Freida Been There, Done That, Lived to Tell the Story Premium Member

    3,849
    13,499
    4,783
    wow. just. wow
     
  11. OrangeJulius

    OrangeJulius Active Member Premium Member

    102
    252
    413
    I don't have PTSD, but i support someone who does and I am a paramedic determined to avoid getting it. I would love to see a huggy buggy in my service. Our CISM team is awesome and professional. They are peer-nominated for the most part. I would love to see what they do expand into something like this. I think that throughout the day a lot of people brush off the little things and it's the little things compounding that can leave you in a bad spot. It would be great to have check-ins like this for all those little things. I frequently see my partner struggling and it would be great if there was somebody else there to convince him to take care of himself.
     
    shimmerz likes this.
  12. Daph

    Daph Active Member

    85
    131
    33
    Our CISM team is mixed as in CISM/peer support are the same members.
    Some think they are great in my service, I don’t anymore because like @Freida said, “ it takes one breach to ruin a program.”

    @OrangeJulius it is nice however, for myself anyways, to hear that some find it professional/ have a good experience.
     
    Freida and OrangeJulius like this.
Loading...
Similar Threads -
Show Sidebar