Ten Years Since My First Article


In August of 2005, I remember the excitement of opening the mailbox in the lobby of our apartment building. My soon-to-be wife (we have a big anniversary coming up in a few months) and I had arrived home from somewhere, both eager to see if Emergency Medical Services Magazine (now EMS World) had arrived. My first article, CPAP: Positive Pressure Equals Positive Patient Outcomes was to appear in it.

I wanted to get into writing for EMS publications. I also wanted to share how great CPAP was at making sick respiratory patients feel better and be spared to tortured of getting intubated in the hospital. Delaware was a very early adopter of CPAP, and it was not widely used elsewhere yet. In college I had written in the Griffin, Canisius College’s newspaper, but I had no portfolio of anything EMS related. I had heard that EMS Magazine was the easier of the two trade magazines for new writers to break into, so I emailed the editor, Nancy Perry, about my idea. Despite my lack of experience, she said she liked the topic and would look over anything that I sent her.

Very little had been written about CPAP, and there was little peer-reviewed research about its use in EMS. I learned that my experience in college researching topics I was not interested in paid off about topics that I was passionate about. I scoured websites, journals, and respiratory therapy texts at our major hospital’s library. Over the next year or so, Nancy and her editorial assistant helped me with some grammar and changes after it was reviewed by editors. When it got accepted, some coworkers agreed to meet at a paramedic station on a day off to take pictures. One is a photographer and took the pictures, another brought her father to act as a patient, and two more applied CPAP in the station’s day room and in the ambulance.

Then it arrived. Something I wrote, with pictures of people I know, taken by someone I know, was in a magazine. Articles were not readily available online in those days, so I bought extra copies to distribute to the people who helped with pictures, and one for my parents too.

Since then I have had articles published about other topics that peaked my interest at the time for EMS World and EMS 1. I am not an expert in any of them; rather my goal fore each article is to help EMS providers break down abstract concepts and apply them to their next patient.

Writing is also a skill that I have found takes practice. Each article feels like a marathon, and the end result is often much different from what I had in mind when I started. It also requires a lot of help and support along the way. Nancy Perry helping me and countless other new authors learn how to write for publication, and Greg Friese has done so as well. Other people reviewed my manuscripts before submission and gave me valuable feedback (sometimes that it needed to be scrapped). Coworkers and friends volunteered to do photo shoots, and the photographers edited pictures on their days off. My wife has also been very supportive of my writing over the past 10 years. Thank you all, and I hope there is more to come.

 

Comments

  1. Good to be on this journey with you Bob. Your effort and dedication shows in your writing. Thanks!

    • emspatientperspective says:

      Thank you for being such an influential part of my journey, Greg, and for all the work you have done to advance EMS.

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