Hudson Valley Paramedic Association – Walter Dusseldorp President
Rockland Community College Paramedic Program – August 21, 2012
Mind, Body, Spirit, Action
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It is a great honor that I was asked to provide some words at the RCC Paramedic graduating Class of 2012.
I’m finishing my 24th year in EMS, of which I have served nearly 20 years as a Paramedic. I have learned many lessons, taught by peers and by experience, and as I grappled with the theme of tonight’s address, I have thought about many of them.
I decided to talk about “YOU” as a Person, a Paramedic, a Partner, a Teacher, a Friend, and frequently a Confidant and not just to your patients.
I have witnessed and experienced broken friendships, marriages, and bodies, all too often due to the harsh environment you are so committed too. I’m convinced that EMS is frequently incompatible with a healthy lifestyle. We work long hours over days and nights — eating, drinking, smoking and sleeping too little or too much. We take care of others but don’t take care of ourselves. Why? We want to be that “Knight in Shining Armor” when our patients are in despair. We want to make a difference in life, influence outcomes, lift spirits and bring smiles to the faces of patients and their families.
I would argue that to be able to do that for others, we have to start by taking care of ourselves. We need a clear, rested and responsive Mind, Body, and Spirit in order to be capable of the Action that comes from the harmony of those parts. So I would further argue that to take care of ourselves, we need to pay attention to all the parts, to the totality of the parts, to the whole. Without taking care of the whole, your will limit your effectiveness and increase your potential for error….. Click here for full address