Researchers at Washington University have found that paramedics and emergency medical technicians are seven times as likely as the general public to have thought about suicide in the past year.
Five emergency medicine doctors surveyed more than 900 paramedics in Missouri, Illinois, Kentucky and Iowa over three months in 2017. The results were published in an industry journal this month.
“They witness firsthand some of the most horrific things that can happen to a human being, so that in itself is stressful,” said Dr. Bridgette Svancarek, an assistant professor of emergency medicine at Wash U and the assistant program director of the school’s EMS fellowship. “On top of that, the pay is poor, and the hours can be pretty awful.”