Stretched ears in the EMS profession

Lifeguards For Life

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Actually... they are. (;

As far as getting a job as an EMT or Paramedic, or as another health care professional in the hospital, you are shooting yourself in the foot. I have seen one EMT in Los Angeles with a gauged ear but he worked for a transfer company, probably the only one that would hire him. And unlike LA, the OP doubtfully has over 90 ambulance companies to apply to like in the greater LA area.

seems to me gauging your ears would not only limit your options of employment, but significantly drain the dating pool as well.
 

Sasha

Forum Chief
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Actually... they are. (;

I've got to disagree. To me they are trying to hard to stand out and "express themselves" which is overcompensating for a really boring personality.
 
OP
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Pittsburgh77

Pittsburgh77

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Thanks to everyone who replied.

I'm going to hold off getting my ears stretched untill I finish medic class in October.
 

bunkie

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I'm just genuinely curious. Whats your desire behind it? I can see piercings.. I used to have a great deal many more then I do currently when I was younger. And I can really understand tattoos. But I dont understand the ear stretching where its not a culture thing. Would you be so kind as to share? I'd love your insight on it. :)
 

Seaglass

Lesser Ambulance Ape
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I think the general rule of thumb when it comes to personal expression where it relates to a profession is if you have to question it, it probably isn't going to fly.

I know my service does not allow visable tattoos, and mandates wearing long sleeves if they are visable both summer and winter.

If you are going to an interview, I'm sure that your streached ears would be looked down upon. It is all down to perception. For instance when you look at the news etc, you regularly see people who have committed crimes to have such addornments on the tv. Think if your patients, who may be elderly and relate these modifications to criminality see you coming in they will automatically be afraid of you.

Before anyone says anything, I am not saying everyone that has hese modifications are engaged in criminal activity; I have a number of very good friends who have them and they are the nicest people, however society is judgemental.

This. All of my elderly relatives think all men with piercings or tattoos either have AIDs (yeah, they're seriously homophobic), are criminals, or both. I could easily see them refusing care from a crew that had someone with those visible, or just not allowing them into their house. Hopefully not in a life-threatening emergency, but I wouldn't be too shocked.
 

EMSLaw

Legal Beagle
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And to think, I was worried about my beard. ;)

I'm in a rather conservative profession, and that may color my opinion here, but I'd say this is a no go. I think employers, patients, and other health care workers and professionals would look askance.

I think you've made the right call in waiting, and if you decide to make a career out of being a medic this might be one of those things you have to sacrifice.
 

Jon

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Thanks to everyone who replied.

I'm going to hold off getting my ears stretched untill I finish medic class in October.
Smart man. I was going to suggest you check with your school before doing anything rash... if you are going to school in Pittsburgh, I know the Center can be very strict.

I'd go one step further and look at the cost to get them repaired if you need to undo it to get/keep a job. Will you have that money set aside?

Yeah - it may look "cool"... but it will likely hurt your job prospects - for example, if you walk into an interview with Vent or Rid as the hiring boss... We all know we'll never work for them, even though we'd love to :)... but I'm sure they are probably in line with experience, etc, of many EMS managers. Given what Vent said, she would likely pass over you for another candidate... either consciously vetoing you because of the "gauges"... or subconsciously, because she is from a different generation and doesn't see how it could be "cool".
 

atropine

Forum Captain
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Dude I say go for it, for crying outloud this isn't all that hard of a job, any private for profit companies need bodies, at least the ones in southern Cali. I mean Compton FD has a Batallion Chief who is all tatted from the neck down, so who catres, I think you will be fine.^_^
 

Summit

Critical Crazy
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Personally, I don't care. Professionally, they don't look professional and you won't get hired by most agencies.
 

subliminal1284

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As everyone has said only do it if you never want to work in EMS or Fire. Dont be a sheep that follows stupid trends that are going to be out of style in a year or 2.
 

VentMedic

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Plugs, gauges, stretched, all the same thing.

Actually there might be some differences.


cinema-secrets_2048_26529461




zoey1102b.jpg


I think the above ear is called "Pinned and Plugged".


earlobe_reconstruction.jpg

Be sure to find a qualified plastic surgeon after you tire of this trend.


Elf ear?

realelfears.jpg
 

CAOX3

Forum Deputy Chief
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Thanks for the pics, I think I threw up a little in my mouth.
 

Sasha

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VentMedic

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Long hair was also a form of expression in the 1960s and 1970s. One thought behind it was to be natural and allow the hair grow as it was meant to. Others did it for their artistic expression such as the rock stars of that time and their followers mimicked them. Cutting one's hair was actually considered "self mutilating".

However, we have now all seen photos of rock stars and of even the parents of some here to know what they looked like then and now. Maturity and other roles in life or responsibilities caused their appearances to change as did their attitudes. For some all it took was their parents withholding their allowances or college money. Others had to seek gainful employment after they finished following rock bands around. And yes, long hair was frowned upon by many employers. Some were allowed to keep it in a pony tail or tucked under a cap. For some, it did become a safety issue and even the women in Public Safety professions are told to wear their hair up. When women first started looking at becoming Firefighters they were told by some departments to get their hair cut short. Some did to improve their chances. Now, while long hair is allowed for women, it must be kept up and neat for all fire scenes to not cause a safety issue. Professional image was also a factor. Long stringy hair was not considered to be professional and still isn't for many places of employment. But again, this is something that can easily be remedied and does not require any mutilation or surgical procedures.

Some here will probably try to argue that plastic surgery such as face lifts, breast enhancements and nose restructuring is mutilation. But, the breast still resembles a breast and the nose still looks like a nose.

One might also wonder what other issues a person who must express themselves to feel "different" or like they belong to a unique group has. Are they gullible? Just want to belong? Will they make a good leader in a stressful situation? Can they make rational decisions? Will they get into verbal or even physical altercations when a patient, bystanders or co-workers challenge their appearance? We do know this has happened in the past with the long hair issues. But, it was something that a trip to the barber shop and a $20 hair cut could fix once they got tired of the remarks and matured.

I can not even imagine what these ears will look like after the age of 35. Those of us in the health care professions may already have seen the 40 y/o roses and other tattoos that are a little outdated and stretched or wrinkled as the body changes. We've also saw where some things have interfered with the person's health such as the silicone breast implants and the issues with autoimmune diseases. Even doing a CXR or EKG can be challenging since the silicone hampers conduction and blocks radiographic views. We have heard cases of diseases being passed in tattoo and piecing shops. If it can happen in a hospital with sophisticated sterilization equipment, it can definitely happen in some little private place of business. While some may say all the right words (as they must for health inspectors) or have their sterilization policy available, saying and doing are two different things.

For body piercings the list of complications is long. Just the formation of keloid can present a problem even if it is not life threatening. Auricular perichondritis requires extensive antibiotic treatment. Pseudomonas Aeruginosa and Staphylococcus Aureus (which can become MRSA) are two very common pathogens found in some of the infections.

As someone who wants to become a medical professional, you need to start thinking like one when it comes to your own body. It may be the same assessment you will need to do on a young person who comes to you with symptoms of an illness or an infection or even a facial paralysis. Are you not going to include the piercings and "mutilations" in your assessment because they are "artistic expression"?
 

eveningsky339

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Thanks to everyone who replied.

I'm going to hold off getting my ears stretched untill I finish medic class in October.

Smart move. Stop and consider the image you are presenting here-- someone is in perhaps the darkest hour of their life and calls for help, and then an EMT with plugged ears strolls in... It's just not going to work. Especially if you want to go to work as a medic.

Don't get me wrong, I've seen ER MD's pierced and tatted like you wouldn't believe, and they were still respected and great at what they did. However, I've also seen EMT's presenting a similar appearance, but instead of 12 years of hard work, they took a 150 hour course at the local fire station, and I can tell you that I would happily call a second ambulance if any one of those guys showed up to take care of my mother.
 
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EMSLaw

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Long hair was also a form of expression in the 1960s and 1970s. One thought behind it was to be natural and allow the hair grow as it was meant to. Others did it for their artistic expression such as the rock stars of that time and their followers mimicked them. Cutting one's hair was actually considered "self mutilating".

And the sign said 'Long Haired Freaky People.... Need Not Apply.'

Interesting post, but as you pointed out, even the most extreme hairstyle can be fixed by a trip to the barber (more easily for men, who can always shave their heads totally if they have to. A woman who sports a mohawk might have trouble explaining why she's now doing the Sinead O'Connor, which is just as extreme.)
 

VentMedic

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And the sign said 'Long Haired Freaky People.... Need Not Apply.'

Interesting post, but as you pointed out, even the most extreme hairstyle can be fixed by a trip to the barber (more easily for men, who can always shave their heads totally if they have to. A woman who sports a mohawk might have trouble explaining why she's now doing the Sinead O'Connor, which is just as extreme.)

We did have a couple of women take it to the extreme when the FD enforced its rules. Now, the bald look would be more acceptable for women than it was in 1980. For those who wanted to sport a mohawk or some other non-natural color of hair off duty, a wig was an option to wear at work. Although in Florida, I can not imagine weaing a wig for a 24 hour shift or being the partner of someone who did. The long sleeves to cover up the tattoos were bad enough to make some think twice before getting one.
 
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Hal9000

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As everyone has said only do it if you never want to work in EMS or Fire. Dont be a sheep that follows stupid trends that are going to be out of style in a year or 2.


Indeed correct.

Do it and you'll make someone's life easier when applying for the good jobs.
 
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