EMS Should Be Involved With End Of Life Decisions

Tweet It’s a nightmare scenario played out all too often.  EMS is dispatched to a cardiac arrest.  The crew is greeted at the door by an upset family member who says that the patient has a DNR, and then produces paperwork that is not a DNR.  Perhaps it’s an advanced directive, living will, prescription with “DNR” written […]

Expanded BLS: Better Than Nothing, But Not Good Enough

Tweet Following up on Rural Patients Deserve the Same EMS Care as Urban Ones is the issue of expanding the BLS skill set.     The line between an ALS and BLS procedures used to be one that required a needle, drug, tube, or electricity. Improvements in technology and risk/benefit analyses have blurred this line.  Expanded […]

A Culture of Silence Is A Two-Way Street, Dr. Baehren

Tweet In the latest American College of Emergency Physicians News, Dr. David Baehren writes about how paramedics have become less receptive to negative feedback since 9/11.  You can read his article, Culture of Silence, here. Skip Kirkwood wrote a response that appears on Mike Ward’s Firegeezer.  Skip describes issues with data exchange, bad protocols, and […]

A Patient-Centered EMS Manifesto

Tweet In the June, 2013 issue of EMS World, I wrote an article titled Things Your System Should Deliver.  It is a description of what I believe our patients deserve from their EMS system.  Each item is based on evidence, and systems fail when they do not deliver them to eligible patients. I have always […]

Narc Policies that Make it Hard to Do the Right Thing

Tweet Several ALS procedures, such as intubation, IV fluids for trauma,  and ACLS drugs  have not been proven to make a difference or have been shown to cause harm.  Pain management, however, is one procedure that we positive does help. Consider this excerpt from a 2000 Journal of the Royal Army Medical Care article that Peter Canning […]

Why EMS Applicant Screening Matters

Tweet One of my soap boxes is that EMS needs to do a better job of  picking people for the tremendous responsibility we have.  How many other professions place people alone with some of society’s most vulnerable people as often as we do?   Last year an EMT with the service that covers my home town […]

In Ft. Worth, MedStar Treated My Aunt the Way I Would Treat a Family Member

Tweet I got a phone call from my aunt who lives in Ft. Worth about a month ago.  She had fallen and injured her shoulder, and was in a tremendous amount of pain after.  She told me how wonderful the paramedics from MedStar who took her to the hospital were.  They explained what they were […]

For EMS’ers, Is PA School Just the Next Thing to Do?

Tweet “Why do most people get married?” asked my young, “cool” religion teacher at my Catholic high school about 20 years ago.  After a few answers about finding love and soul mates, he shook his head no.  “Most people get married for the same reason people go to college, get jobs, and have children.  Because it’s […]

Longevity in EMS

Tweet Yesterday I caught EMS Educast episode 148, where Greg Friese, Bill Toon, and Rob Theriault discussed ways to prepare students for a long career in EMS with their guest Lori Sizer.  I was a guest on EMS Office Hours about a year ago about the same topic.  Now that I’m entering my 13th year in EMS, here […]

Great Time to Get Involved With NAEMT

Tweet It’s election time at NAEMT.  Voting ends October 28, so this is a perfect time to join the largest organization representing the interests of EMS practitioners. Like many people, I joined several years ago after taking PHTLS.  At the time I was angry about the sorry state of EMS, from low salaries, lack of […]