Something happened today that is giving me very mixed feelings. Most people probably wouldn’t share what happened, but I’m comfortable with my blogging family, and sharing these kind of things helps me work out my mixed emotions.
Today I took the exam to try to get my paramedic license in the state where I now live. Many (most?) states are reciprocal when it comes to things like this so that if you’ve been a medic in another state, then you automatically can get your license in theirs. Not so here. In fact, they are that way about any license you may want to transfer here. None of them do.
As a paramedic, we have many hoops we must jump through before we are certified. We must become nationally certified, we must get our CPR certification, we must get our Advanced Cardiac Life Support and in most cases, our Pediatric Advanced Life Support. Many jobs may require more and some medics just get much more and the states usually require gobs of training hours to certify and maybe a state protocol test too. It’s not an easy walk in the park.
So when you move to another state, already a licensed medic, it seems to me it should count. It’s almost a slap in the face that it’s not, especially when you’ve been one for 15 years. I can understand a state protocol test so you can understand if that particular state had special rules maybe, but a test just to see if you should be licensed in their state? Seems to me someone is trying to make money.
Now I openly admit I have never ever been good at these multiple choice tests. Even right after my paramedic class when I had just finished school, I only passed with an 84 and that was after studying my fool head off. I don’t have a good memory at all. Even though I was top in my class and got 100% in the clinical portion of my class too. Get me into the generic tests and I blow them.
And that’s what happened today. You needed an 80% and I got 70%. There were 150 questions and they were the typical kinds of questions I can never answer. I went in after trying to go over my old book (no I wasn’t going to buy the new text-book just to study for this thing) and figured I might not do well. Actually, I thought I was getting many of the answers. Apparently not.
At first I felt humiliated and embarrassed. But then I took a breath. I realized some things. Even though I never did well on these tests and they made me feel ‘less than’, in my heart I knew I was a good medic. Maybe I wasn’t always as smart as the next one and couldn’t spout all the fancy terminology, but I always knew what to do or where to find the answers when I didn’t. And you would never find anyone kinder than me to their patients.
But the more important thing I realized is that I really don’t want to be a paramedic anymore despite those things. One of things I’m trying to find in this new life is a new job/career. One that isn’t based on how well you do on a test and one where you don’t have to keep certifying every two years. It’s exhausting. I’m so ready for a break. Plus the career in general is so burn-out.
So maybe the Universe was saying: it’s OK you didn’t pass because you don’t need that license now. You won’t need it here because something better is coming your way. Tomorrow I have a job interview for a job I think I would enjoy.
Maybe that is what destiny has planned. If not, I refuse to let myself be discouraged any longer. There are new things ahead and I plan to find them!