Archive for September, 2012

Live Blogging

I am thinking of trying to do some live blogs from some speeches and conferences. I have never done this, so I’m wondering if any of you have any experience in live blogging and if you have any tips for me. 

I am setting up a Flickr account so that I can add pictures during different events live and people that want to see them can go directly there to see the most up to date pictures. Let me know if you haven any information you would be willing to share.  


The Professionalism of EMS, it’s about TIME

I have many times wondered why we as a whole in EMS are not considered a profession as others are. By others I mean nurses and radiologists. Maybe even firefighters and police officers.

I have been working on a piece for a while that tries to address at least a few methods that could push EMS into its next phase. I keep rewriting and changing directions on the paper and have yet to finish even a rough draft.

Professionalism. It means different things for different people. put this definition out there:

“A profession has been defined as an occupation that requires extensive education or a calling that requires special knowledge, skill, and preparation. A profession is generally distinguished from other kinds of occupations by (a) its requirement of prolonged, specialized training to acquire a body of knowledge pertinent to the role to be performed; (b) an orientation of the individual toward service, either to a community or to an organization; (c) ongoing research; (d) a code of ethics; (e) autonomy; and (f) a professional organization.”
–Berman, A., & Snyder, S. J. (Eds.). (2012). The nature of nursing. In Kozier & Erb’s fundamentals of nursing concepts, process, and practice (9th ed., p. 17). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson.

He threw the gauntlet down and asked anyone to write about what does or doesn’t make EMS a profession. So I throw my two cents in and pose two points in this struggle that I don’t see coming to a resolution anytime soon:

1. Depending on what you consider a profession, we may or may not be there already. I am not saying that there is no room for growth. Dear God there is room for growth! The fact is that there are different agencies within EMS that most definitely qualify as professions. Those agencies include health benefits, chances to grow internally, regular pay increases (even if most don’t think they’re adequate), an aggressive educational policy, quality assurance programs as well as ongoing data collection for ongoing research that actually gets implemented in continually improving protocols.

So what is considered a profession? Is it just pay? Would a massive increase in pay be enough to elevate us to “professionals”? I have dealt with many different types of so called “professionals” and have come to the conclusion that anyone can be called a professional, it doesn’t mean you know what your doing, even if your name has M.D. at the end.

So what is it exactly that is missing from this professional status? If we can’t answer this we can’t progress. I would say this:

A. We need better pay. That’s a given right?

B. We need more respect for the guidelines set forth in our certification and license status. By respect I may mean fear, this is one of those areas I keep having trouble with. Do I want more penalties for medics that are messing up out there? I know that having hundreds of fly by night ambulance services that stock their units with the bare minimum needed to get a state certification and then let it all get expired and outdated cannot be helping our profession. 100 ambulance services in South Texas, in ONE county? Almost double that in Houston? I know I might be coming down hard on Texas but this is where I live, this is where I am seeing these problems. I for sure am an advocate for punishing ambulance services that are in violation of necessary equipment.

C. We need more stringent guidelines for what is acceptable “safe” operating times. I know truck drivers that can get pulled over and if they have been driving for too long they are placed on mandatory down time. Does that, and at current pay rates can that, ever happen to a medic pulling a 24 hour shift? 36 hour shift?

I have more to say but for this post I will finish with this:

2. Time. Believe it or not we are a young profession. I do consider myself a professional. We are young, we are not as old as the fire departments or police departments. We are not as old as nurses or doctors. We have made huge leaps and bounds in our short time and it inspires me. I think at the beginning of our EMS life too many of us focused on making us all think of ourselves as individuals. Many of us are A-type personalities and I know that when I went to school we were taught our rig was our office, it was our home, we wrote the rules and we controlled our emergencies. Maybe we learned it too well and when the time came that we should all be banding together as a collective EMS family we are struggling because we are too independent.

Time is changing. We see firefighters and for better or worse when their union says there is a problem they listen. They think as a family. I am not advocating a union, I have seen some major problems with that system as well, I am advocating that we have to start thinking of each other as family even if we are in rival EMS companies.

Business is business but Time is demanding we move forward. We are a profession, we are a public service that is as necessary if not more so than Fire and Police departments.

The professionalism of EMS has taken its time getting here, but it is Time.

The Lucky Patch

The Lucky Patch

I stumbled upon this post and found it quietly comforting that there are still good instructors out there. You all should check it out. 

Here’s the link: The Lucky Patch

When The City Speaks: 9/11 In New York City

When The City Speaks: 9/11 In New York City.