It must be acknowledged that palliative calls can be as challenging and impactful as catastrophic events. If a career in paramedicine is to be sustained, particularly in palliative care, workplace grief must be acknowledged; the signs of burnout taken seriously; feelings like grief, powerlessness and guilt attended to; and the meaning of hope reframed. Paramedics can make long-lasting differences in the lives of patients and families. Reflecting on the lessons of death and grief can also force a shift in paramedics own lives towards deeper meaning and alignment with their true selves.
To help avoid grief complications, these are important additions for your preventative toolbox.
- Take time to review difficult deaths with colleagues, paying attention to any areas of particular intensity or feelings of guilt, anger or fear.
- Access adequate support and counselling when you’ve experienced or anticipate the death of someone close to you.
- Resist the urge to avoid distressing thoughts or feelings about a death or interaction. It is possible to learn to live with and respond constructively to difficult thoughts and feelings.
- Continue to engage in activities and relationships that bring meaning, purpose, and joy to your life.
To see a list of Canadian crisis services, click here: