Everywhere you look, there is an article related to a "black eye for ems". From certification scandals http://www.ems1.com/ems-management/articles/912299-NH-officials-beef-up-after-EMT-certification-scandal/, to a medic using medication out of the drug bag http://www.ems1.com/news-reports/904588-minn-paramedic-guilty-on-drug-charge/, to a medic taking photos of a dead teenager http://www.employmentlawtoday.com/ArticleView.aspx?l=1&articleId=1355. All I have to ask is…WHAT WERE YOU THINKING?
There appears to be a trend of medics making very poor decisions that are ending up in the public eye. There are medics posting information that is very specific in relation to a call on social media sites. The posting of photographs from a scene. Inappropriate comments on Facebook and Twitter. Cheating, fraud, and the list goes on and on. At what point did these people say "yeah, this is a good idea" before posting the thought?
The hope for the future is that we are recognized as a profession, that we will be treated like professionals. To do so, we must not associate ourselves with these people. If their judgment is this poor, what must their care and treatment be like? We need to wake up and realize that this reflects poorly upon ALL of us, not just the person that had a lack of educated judgment.
As friends and co-workers, we have to recognize the signs early on. If you notice inappropriate comments, Facebook postings, etc, even if they are not work related, you need to assume that it is only a matter of time before there is one related to work. As managers, we need to develop a policy in relation to social media. This is not going to go away. Social media is here for the duration, and it is only getting bigger. Develop a policy that spells out a-p-p-r-o-p-r-i-a-t-e b-e-h-a-v-i-o-r. Apparently common sense has left the building for some people.
If we can all be smart and diligent with our comments and our actions, we can prevent our own name or our service name from being a negative media headline.