How Do You Deal With Difficult Partners?, By Steven Kanarian, MPH, EMT-P
There is no denying that partners can make or break your day in EMS. I have had hard days eased by good partners. I have argued with partners and become life long friends with other partners. I have been working as a line paramedic again and frequently hear my advice I gave to others as a EMS Lieutenant, “You don’t have to be friends, just do the job and get through the day.” I thought it would help many of you to discuss the problems and strategies dealing with partners.
What are the issues that cause problems?
I have found that exhaustion, seniority, personal issues contribute to partner problems. Being tired is a frequent problem in our line of work considering shift work and overtime. It is important to realize you are tired and be cautious not to instigate problems with your partner. I use the strategies of getting out of the ambulance, taking a walk and sticking to the work when dealing with bad partners.
What does it take to make it work?
I have found that being rested and flexible can help deal with partners. Sometimes it is necessary to be business like and not “take the bait” with partners that are antagonistic or controlling. It is far easier to engage in negative behavior when your partner tries your patience.
How do I deal with patient care issues? When it comes to patient care, do the right thing. I have always said, “Doing the right thing is not always easy, but it is always the right thing for the patient.” I have found that by doing the right thing, the right way creates a little stress initially but makes for a good career in the grand scheme of things. People who do not want to do the right thing will find other people to work with and those who do the right thing will seek you out.
What problems do you have with partners? How do you deal with partners?
Please post your comments below.