Chapter 2: Work and home

Protecting family

The paramedic says
Tristan voices many of the questions paramedics have about the boundary between work and home. (3:22)Video transcript
Tristan shares the challenges of letting family in.(3:22)Video transcript
Olivia explains finding a balance between protecting family and getting the support she needs. (3:22)Video transcript
The grief expert says
Dr. Chris MacKinnon speaks to the importune of family - paramedic communication.(3:22)Video transcript

Many paramedics don’t discuss work details with spouses, partners, family, or friends. Some say this is because:

  • They want to protect their family and friends from the trauma they’re witnessing.

  • Their family and friends don’t want to hear about tragedy and “gore.”

  • The hardest situations can be the most difficult to share. This may be true years after the event.

This desire to protect one’s family and oneself can take a toll. A tendency toward silence, for whatever reason, can lead to a breakdown in communication, which may leave everyone feeling isolated, confused, and misunderstood.