Paramedic As Sly Hero

Looking over my last two posts, it occured to me that they share a similar bent. They are both in the paramedic as sly hero genre, where the villians are an uppity flight medic and a nasty triage nurse.

Now for a disclaimer I think flight medics are great and I respect their training and education and experience whether it is more or less than mine. The same with the triage nurses, most of whom I think are great.

I bring this all up because I was reminded of a great book I read called Talking Trauma: Paramedics and Their Stories by a guy named Timothy R. Tangherlini, who is a sociologist. His book is a collection of tales told by paramedics, and an anaylsis of what the tales mean from an anthropological social perspective. I thought it was fascinating reading.

The paramedic as sly hero is a very common form of paramedic tale. I will have to find my copy of the book to review what he writes about it. I think the bottom line is that paramedics use these tales as sort of a rebellion against the medical caste system where they are often considered to be lesser people than the caste of the villian. The tales serve to validate the paramedic’s self worth.


1 Comment

  • PDXEMT says:

    I love that book! I’ve been especially amused to watch coworkers tell stories (since I’ve read the book) and see them do the exact same things as Tangherlini talks about. Also, the bulletproof vest story is brilliant.

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