Split Personality

Any Medic worth anything needs multiple personalities to thrive. Personally, I've been aware of my multiple personality traits since I can remember, or at least since one of my others told me so. Some days one personality dominates, and stays for a while, not letting anybody else through. Other times two of me appear, and argue amongst ourselves, which gets complicated when my third joins the fray, and downright impossible when number four joins the party.

As you can see by the following descriptions of the most basic personality types, an internal war rages at all times. We need all of these skills to do our job, sometimes all within seconds of each other.

A. Choleric: This is the commander-type. Cholerics are dominant, strong, decisive, stubborn and even arrogant.

B. Melancholy: This is the mental-type. Their typical behavior involves thinking, assessing, making lists, evaluating the positives and negatives, and general analysis of facts.

C. Sanguine: This is the social-type. They enjoy fun, socializing, chatting, telling stories – and are fond of promising the world, because that's the friendly thing to do.

D. Phlegmatic: This is the flat-type. They are easy going, laid back, nonchalant, unexcitable and relaxed. Desiring a peaceful environment above all else

I consider myself an A Type personality due to my natural ability to be awesome. People follow me no matter what I do, most of the time anyway, I think. The more I think about it perhaps there have been times when I led nobody but myself. Hmm, the facts suggest that I have led myself at times, right to where everybody is because I do love telling stories, especially ones about myself, the best of which revolve around my most recent fishing trip, or laying on a beach somewhere, peaceful, relaxed and nonchalant.

Anyway, I've used all four of these personality types to get the job done, sometimes all at once, sometimes one after the other, at times a combination, and more often than not chose one that fits best into whatever the situation dictates.

We need to adapt to be effective, and adapting ourselves to thrive in any environment is a vital first step.


  • JoeEMT799 says:

    Great post and a perfect way to understand survival in rescue and life.

  • Bob Lincoln says:

    Sometimes you play tough so the patient doesn't take charge, sometimes you play sympathetic.  You learn to switch gears with each call.

  • FireMedic says:

    So true. What's invaluable is the ability to read each situation to know which personality you need to use.

  • carl french says:

    You have to be able to play all roles. Parent / child, child / parent, good cop /  bad cop, etc. I find I have gotten very good at being a social Chameleon. Shifting my personality to try and match the pt's or the family.

  • Old Jake says:

    The problem I have is when I start to think and then start to vocalize my thought process.  I then take on all personalities at once and argue with myself. Its not a pretty sight especially when the COMMAND type gets into it with the laid back type.  Damn, the only way out of it is when I sit down and have a beer.  Not a good thing when the State Police Officer is standing at my car window………DUH!  I think I need meds…..and a lot of them!  Maybe I will call for a rescue…..YEAH, thats what I'll do……….Rescue…..Oh Rescue…..YooHooooooo!

  • Michael Morse says:

    I wonder what type personality you go home with at the end of your shift.

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