EMTs and paramedics experience higher rates of PTSD, major depression, substance abuse and suicide than the general population, according to scientific studies in the U.S. and England. This high-stress career path also holds increased risks of physical health problems and complications.
How stressful is being a paramedic?
Paramedics need to be able to think on their feet and make good decisions in a chaotic, crisis environment. Because of their erratic schedules, paramedics often work when they are over-tired and haven’t had a break for many hours. Exhausting schedules and managing repeated crisis calls place high stress on paramedics.
What percentage of paramedics get PTSD?
Additionally, recent studies suggest that the rates of PTSD in paramedics are equal to, if not greater than, those in soldiers, with reports of PTSD in around 10% of paramedics (Shepherd and Wild, 2014) and in around 3–5% of UK soldiers (Fear et al, 2010).
Do all paramedics have PTSD?
First responders—paramedics, firefighters, police—are considered to be at greater risk for Acute Stress Disorder (ASD) and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) than most other occupations. This is because their everyday duties routinely encounter “traumatic stressors” (Haugen, 2012, p. 370).
How traumatic is being an EMT?
Choosing a career such as being an Emergency Medical Technician can be extremely stressful; in fact it may also be one of the most stressful jobs ever. … The job is usually for long hours because EMTs are the only hope for patients between the incident and the hospital.
Is being a paramedic worth it?
Becoming a paramedic can prove to be a highly rewarding and door-opening career path. Paramedics serve a vital role in healthcare because of their ability to show compassion, safely transport patients to a hospital, and provide first aid during medical emergencies.
Do paramedics get burned out?
Everyone experiences stress in their career, but the types of stress experienced by paramedics, firefighters, and other EMS professionals is physically and emotionally demanding. … As a result, many EMS professionals experience burnout, which can lead to low job performance, physical and mental health problems, and PTSD.
How paramedics deal with stress?
Coping techniques used by paramedics included emotional suppression, avoidance and distraction, and humour. Importantly, peer support and supervisor support following a stressful call was determined as useful. A barrier to using these resources is fearfulness of being stigmatised from revealing emotions.
How many paramedics suffer from mental health?
A recent systematic review of 27 international studies  reported on 30,878 ambulance personnel and found estimated prevalence rates of 11% for post-traumatic stress (PTS), 15% for depression, 15% for anxiety, and 27% for general psychological distress among ambulance personnel.
Can an EMT have mental illness?
EMT’s will respond to trauma situations differently, however, many of them may respond with symptoms of PTSD or a full diagnosis. Depression, anxiety, and substance abuse are often co-occurring with PTSD, creating a complex diagnosis needing professional treatment.
Do paramedics have high suicide rates?
The latest reports show that one in four paramedics in Canada will develop PTSD in the course of their careers, and the suicide rates amongst paramedics are five times the national average.
Is being a paramedic depressing?
EMTs and paramedics experience PTSD and depression at higher rates than the general population. Experts say it’s up to employers to get them help. … The 21-year-old former EMT has been diagnosed with depression, anxiety and PTSD.
Why do paramedics get PTSD?
Paramedics and trauma
This type of traumatic exposure along with routine physical demands, working overtime and special duty shifts are considered to produce adverse psychological responses in paramedics (5).
Is EMT higher than paramedic?
Becoming a paramedic is the highest level of prehospital care and requires much more advanced training than becoming an EMT. … Paramedics also become trained and certified in advanced cardiac life support.
Can you get PTSD from being an EMT?
A recent study by EMS1 found that provider mental health was ranked as the most significant issue facing EMS by 52-67% of respondents in all sectors. Another study estimates a PTSD rate of 20% among EMS Pros.
Are paramedics trained in mental health?
Indeed, paramedics are said to have minimal mental health training and it is generally felt that they would benefit from more. One media article reports on a paramedic who states that much of his knowledge of managing mental health calls comes from experience on the road rather than professional training.