9 years. I've been in EMS for longer than I feel like I have really been an adult. Yeah, I had some growing up to do along the way. Life is a process, but if you acquiesce, it works. You grow into things and eventually, you grow out of them.
I don't have to decide today, or even in the next couple of years, but I do need to begin to think about whether medicine is where I need to spend the rest of my career. The hours are brutal, the personalities and environments are extreme and not conducive to living a long and healthy life. I do find EMS fulfilling, there is no doubt about that, but in the long game, I think I am meant for something far different.
Now I don't think that I will ever get off the truck. I can see myself off picking up hours, taking classes, keeping my certifications all up to date and even moving into a place where I try and organize studies with local providers as well as being an active provider of training on some level. But I doubt in 5 years that I will be a full time paramedic.
Much to consider.