How do you motivate someone to do the worst, shitty, bitch jobs that EMS has to offer? All the stuff that to the casual observer would not be what they think is involved - all the boring stuff.
-Washing the unit
-Cleaning the unit after calls and at the end of shifts
-Cleaning the station
I've tried to show leadership by taking the helm and showing my rookie the ropes of doing all the nonglamorous-but-necessary shit we need to do so that we can concentrate the rest of our time on "actual" work.
Personally, I don't know if I'm weird, but I've rarely had to have been asked to wash and clean the unit or station. I'm not obsessive compulsive but when you think about all the shit that happens in the back of your unit...
Plus, I like being in a clean unit. I take pride in it. I Pledge my tires. I disinfect the keyboards of out MDTs. I take the mattress off our cot and spray it with a hose. I go the extra mile, and I like to inspire my new Basic to do the same. Not only does it look good, it's healthier for you.
Case in point: 3 medics at one of our stations were diagnosed with Staph infections. Nothing but guys worked at the station and it was notorious for being a sty. I hate to think what might've been crawling around the back of their unit. I had worked over time out at the station, and when I woke up before shift change and started to mop, and asked the paramedic to give me a hand, he looked at me like I was retarded. "I'm the paramedic," he said. "You're the Basic. You do the Bitch work. That's what the B is for!" I thought he was joking, but when he refused to pitch in, I got pissed off.
I don't want to be that paramedic. I do realize, though, that the Basic gets the short end of the stick when it comes to stuff like this. For me it was part of the territory. So to instruct my new Basic partner I've been trying to lead by example. I try to make her do her job duties by explaining why they're important - like doing your inventory at the beginning of the shift. I rely on the oxygen and boards and other equipment. Until she can look at the cabinets in the unit and instinctively know what's missing, I want her in the back, with the sheet, going over each item. She just plain hasn't had enough experience to pencil whip though the inventory. I'm not blaming her yet - her preceptors, I think, might've showed her the easy way instead of the right way, and now it's biting her in the ass. A lot of times, she doesn't even know she's screwing up, and then when I point it out, she gets slightly frustrated. But what bothers me is that she seems to be lacking Basic skills. I ask her to do things like hook up the 4-lead or spike a bag, then I have to drop what I'm doing because she doesn't know how. At least she learns quickly. I just don't want her to get upset and too frustrated and sometimes I think I'm throwing a lot at her.
I've told her that if I take something from her on scene and do it myself, I'm not mad at her, I just can do it quicker because I've been doing it for longer. I always make a point after to show her the way I need and like it do be done, and that seems to be working pretty well.
This hasn't been the case with her station duties. I had to prompt her to wake up and sweep the station several times yesterday before I went outside to restock my bag and begin washing the unit.
She ended up falling back asleep. By the time I walked back inside to mop out the station it was near crew change and the station wasn't swept. I had to hop on another unit across the parish so I didn't have time to do it myself. When I woke her up and told her that she needed to get up, she gave me a real hostile look and it pissed me off, so I turned around and walked back out and finished the unit. Whenever we did changeout with the oncoming crew I told her she needed to sweep and mop the station now because I couldn't stick around to do it.
Well, apparently a few minutes after I left so did she. Our supervisor came by to give us some Narcs and saw the station hadn't been mopped. I got a pissed off voice mail from him asking me to come back to the station to do my station duties. I was already on the other unit by this point, but the oncoming crew mentioned that'd I singlehandedly washed out the unit and cleaned it up while she was supposed to be sweeping and that I was on my way to work. He called me back to apologize. Later I found out he gave her a light ass chewing over the phone
All of this could've been avoided if she'd done what I asked her. I think the problem heremight be that that I'm two years younger then her and she might precieve that I'm ordering her around....I don't know. I just wish she'd get with the program. I do my best to help her out but I'm too busy as a new medic trying to keep my own shit together to do much for others right now.