I'm a Critical Care Paramedic and Paramedic Instructor, currently working on an MA in Counselling Psychology, and am writing a paper for my "Cultural Considerations in Counselling" on the 'culture' of EMS paramedics. The idea is to introduce psychological counsellors who do not know about our job and how it affects us to the culture of EMS. As a part of my research I'd like to ask you what you think is unique, or at least distinctive, about our working culture. What do you think a counsellor who has never met or worked with a paramedic before should know about us?
I'll give one example. The use of macabre humour is common and accepted in our culture. So called "gallows humour" (gross or morbid jokes) are just a part of our world, and any counsellor that works with us should understand that the use of morbid humour doesn't necessarily mean that there is something wrong with us as a person - that's just often what we do as paramedics.
Is there anything else that you can think of?
If so, please e-mail me directly at email@example.com. I'd love to hear from you. All information will be kept confidential - no names or identifying information of contributors will be shared by me with anyone else. I can't find any published papers on this, so this research might be very helpful in letting mental health professionals know a bit about the background of EMS providers when they walk through the door. I hope to make the finished work available by publishing it (either online or in a journal).
Thanks for any help you can offer.
Marc Colbeck, BHSc. CCP.
College of the North Atlantic - Qatar