After last week's EMS Garage, I have decided to express my "ideas" on what EMS should be. I will start with today's post. It is a summary of sorts regarding a few key items WE need to work on. I will go into more detail with each one in future posts. What I would like is feedback from you the readers. Tell me what you think. What do you agree with? Please, post replies, send me a message, a smoke signal, whatever.
A set of standards for all ems agencies
Whether we are paid, volunteer, rural, urban…we need a set of standards that ALL of us must follow. Standards for safety, Protocol development, QA/CQI. Response times (because there is a point when it is irresponsible)
Improvements in the education system for ems providers
If we are to play a significant role in healthcare, our education has to be improved. There are too many medics on the street who were smart enough to make it through a class, not piss off the preceptors, and pass an exam. Is this really all we are asking of a healthcare professional? Apparently it is in EMS. EMS needs to become a "licensed profession", and not a "certified trade".
As an industry we need to move away from the "Mother may I?" concept of patient care
After forty years, we should be beyond this type of service protocol. We have come a long way in the treatment we are able to provide. Yet, services still exist that require you to contact medical control to administer pain meds for a fracture. Really?
More stringent standards for medical director involvement
There are services who have a medical director who plays an active role. They work with the development of policies and procedures, they have a part in protocol development. They respond in the field or do a ride along once a month. I believe these are services that would stand out from those who have a medical director that signs the paperwork each year.
Develop "One Voice" for ems
We need one entity to represent us and go to battle for us. EMS is too splintered right now. You have the NAEMT, which is a fantastic organization. But…not all providers support the NAEMT through membership. You have the American Ambulance Association, yet another great organization. However, for some providers, these are not the groups they believe are doing the most to further our cause. To some, organizations such as NEMSA are the one pushing forward to make ems more of a profession.
Thanks for reading and to quote Hill Street Blues…"Be Careful Out There".