The Toxicity Within… The Negative Nelly

Toxicity whether it is us or others.  On shift, off shift, at the station, at home, or even at the grocery store.  No matter where it is or what it is.  It is there.  This will be one of a few articles talking about the toxicity that we face or possibly put off.  These are things that we will all deal with at some point in time no matter what we do.  These are also things that not only affect us but our shift, our department, and our families.  This article is specifically on negativity.  And there will be many more to come over different forms of toxicity.

That one guy. Screen Shot 2018-08-23 at 3.26.10 PM

We all know that one guy.  That one person that walks into work and not even five minutes into the day they are complaining about having to be at work.  or they are always saying I’m tired.  People like this are not all uncommon.  now don’t get me wrong we all have our days where we just aren’t in the mood or didn’t sleep well. But the point to where it gets toxic for everyone is when it is constant every shift.  And it gets to where you almost expect it automatically.  If you wake up every day and say it’s going to be a good day.  Then you have a 50% chance of being right.  If something bad happens that you can’t help so what there is no scene in being mad about it you couldn’t help that.  There was nothing you could do to change it.  But if you show up and say today sucks and it’s going to be a bad day.  Then you will be right 100% of the time because every little thing that happens that you couldn’t help makes you even more mad and negative.


Now  I’m sure that most of us either work on the ambulance or first respond to EMS calls. and if you don’t I’m sure that you have the same small annoying call over and over.  And treat it like it’s nothing.  Now let me ask.  Is that really the thing to do?  For a while, we had the same people calling for lift assists and every time we would pick him up then get a refusal and move on.  Some days up to 5 times a day and all through the night.  And at some point we all said it.  “Really again”.  sometimes some other choice words.  The more I thought about it the more that I realized that I could be perfectly fine with going but my view had begun to change because I constantly heard those words.  It became toxic for me.  I had begun to look at it as some BS Lift assist and not as someone in need of help.  We can not advocate for our patients very well we do not care.

The Spread Screen Shot 2018-08-23 at 3.31.17 PM

This sort of toxicity can start and spread from anywhere.  This is where we get into the boiling water and snowball effect.  Water will only boil form the bottom up.  if the bottom does not boil it will never work its way up.  If you are at the bottom of the totem pole and you put off the negative toxicity then it will eventually spread to the top and affect everyone.  The snowball effect shows that you can build a snowball and it will get bigger with each roll.  But if you start at the bottom of the hill and roll up the higher you get the harder it gets but if you start at the top of the hill and go down then gravity is working with you and it is easy.  So if you are at the top of your shift or department just remember everything rolls downhill easier than it does up.  So toxicity at the top will eventually work its way all the way down to the bottom man.  No matter what your position you will affect someone with toxicity and it will spread thought.

The Fix

Now there are many ways you can handle negativity.  Just like a fire, every person is different and every situation is different.  How you handle that is up to you.  You can straight up call them out on it. Or you can be a better person you can be the guy that comes into work and says good morning to everyone smiles laughs.  You can be the positive light on the shift or even the department.  Because just like negativity positivity will spread from the top and bottom and bottom to top.

Please feel free to share forms of toxicity yall have seen and how yall handled them.