It’s okay to change your career. I’m not sure if you came here looking for validation or not.. but I’m here to tell you, it’s okay. Society has made us believe that it’s the end of the world if we don’t retire from a career we set out for straight out of high school.
As I entered the healthcare field in high school, working as a pharmacy tech, lab tech, and more, I worked so incredibly hard. I gave up family events, time with friends, and countless nights were spent studying until 2 or 3am. It was all I wanted. I eventually decided to become a paramedic and began doing those classes. Once I became an EMT, I started working full time (meaning 24 hour shifts every 3rd day) on the ambulance. During this, I was still in the program to become a paramedic and completing clinicals. I would literally pack luggage to go to class because I knew that I would be going to class, leaving there and going to do a clinical that night, working the next 24 hours, and then going back to class before I would ever be home again.
I didn’t tell you all that to impress you or anything, but I’m setting the scene.
Fast forward, I am now 4 years into my EMS career and actively trying to leave. Why you ask? Primarily because the business I’ve attempted to grow for year now is finally starting to gain traction and I can barely keep up. In addition to working full time and running a business, I also have a part time job as a paramedic clinical instructor at a local college.
Now it gets real.. real personal.
I truly feel like it takes a special person to work in any position in the healthcare field, especially today in the world of COVID. We’re taught to not show our emotions in front of our patients because that could make them feel uncomfortable or that there wasn’t a professional provider caring for them. Think about that.. years of being trained to not show emotion. It turns you cold and bitter. And no, not Cruella DeVile cold.. but cold on the inside where no one else sees. Fear, anger, depression, anxiety, and much much more. It’s horrible. I’ve had to tell a sweet little elderly lady face to face that her husband of 65 years was deceased as he laid in the floor lifeless. I’ve listened to screaming children as they burned alive on a boat in the middle of a river. All while showing no emotion.
The term “don’t take work home with you” is much harder than it seems. No matter how hard you try, it follows you quietly and slowly. I always expect the worst case scenario when you hear certain things. I always have a plan in my head of “if this happens, this is what I’m going to do”.And I always expect something bad to happen and that I’m going to be the one that has to fix it. I’ve always been one to put others first.. that’s what my job is based on, helping others. However, in that time I’ve forgotten to take care of myself.
I don’t want this to scare you away from a career in healthcare, because it has had its rewarding moments. I have had that “you just saved a life” moment, as cliche as it may sound. But I have decided that it’s time to change.
As soon as financially possible and reasonable, I plan to leave my full time healthcare career. I’ve experienced more traumatic things than anyone my age should ever have to. I’d much rather spend my time growing a business where I get to capture sweet moments of people during the best times of their lives, rather than experiencing the worst. I don’t see this as a negative change at all. I have prayed about this change and I believe that God uses us where and when he wants to. You can impact lives in so many different ways, and I still plan to do so.. just through a different way. I’ll say it again, it’s OK to change your career.
If you’re still here, first of all, thank you for taking your time to read through all of my blabbering. This is a huge subject for me and I want the stigma of changing careers to change. I will always be here for anyone who wants to talk or needs help!