How do I explain to my non-EMS family and friends what I see and how I am able to deal with it? How do I explain that I don't lose sleep over the teenage overdose patient without sounding cold and heartless? Can I ever explain my way of thinking?
Can I explain that if I did let these things bother me, I would never be able to do this job? Is it possible to show them that I care for my patients deeply and fully when with them, then largely forget them when I walk through the door? Will they ever understand that I simply can't work on the next patient if the previous one still has me by the heartstrings?
Sometimes I don't think they will ever get it, but I hate it when they assume I'm uncaring and heartless. I could not do this if I cared less than I do or had a smaller heart.