What Matters

Get ready for the post EMS Today conference blogging blitz!  Okay, so maybe one post, but I am motivated.  Motivated not only as a blogger but as an EMS provider.
It is easy to lose focus in this business amidst the crap calls, drunks, and abusers.  It is easy to be bogged down by the sad things, paperwork, and politics.  But none of that matters.  EMS today illustrates to me what really matters. 
It is truly a wonderful feeling to be surrounded by the best EMS providers in the country.  They come from all corners not just to get a paid vacation, a good price on new equipment, and to drink in a different state.  The reason that unites us is that we all want to be the best at our jobs.  We want tips and tricks to make our lives easier and to improve patient care and outcomes.  We are all scared by things that we don't know we don't know (at least I am).

This job can be challenging.  It is hard to give a patient your full attention when you've been running calls all day and missed dinner three hours ago.  It's hard to do your best at 3am when you've been called by someone who had the same problem at the 3pm.  It's hard to not get frustrated when you lose faith in leadership and have to jump through their hoops when you don't want to.

What is easy though, is remembering what matters in this job.  It is the best job in the world and at the end of the day all we have to do is what's best for the patient.  What's best within our abilities and education.  What's best without judgement, thought to the time of day, or bias.
Yeah, that's easier said than done. Trust me, my enthuasim for the job waxes and wanes.  But conferences like these get everyone fired up and focused.  It's con ed that makes you excited for that next call because maybe you'll be the one to find that posterior MI, or resuscitate that impossible arrest. 

So, let's get passionate about doing the best CPR, getting the 12 lead within the first 2 minutes, using our end tidal CO2 capabilities and reading the literature.   Revolution anyone?  Let's get passionate about putting patients in gowns in the field.  (can you tell I refreshed with Bob Page?)  Read everything he teaches here.  Trust me, it is gold. 
How cool is it that research relevant to EMS exists?!  Here's a great year and review.  Find out what matters here. 

To be honest, I really need a nap after all this excitement.  I don't work until tuesday and hopefully this cold will be gone by then.  What won't be gone is the desire to do good, well. 


It will come of no surprise to you dear readers that I spent the morning relishing in lectures concerning all things London Ambulance Service. It's been a busy two years since I've been there and by the end of the week I'll have heard lectures that touch on the Diamond Jubilee, Royal Wedding, 7/7, 2011 Riots, and the Olympic Games. So many special events, so little time.

I believe that many of our heavily populated cities can learn a lot from the LAS model. I believe it to be a simpler version of the incident command system that we use. It's flaws were pointed out though in my favorite part of the lectures so far. The Lecturer said that on 7/7, the London Fire Brigade were confused over the triage process and concerned that patients were being overlooked. (take this 3rd hand info with a grain of salt)  But, this reiterated that communication and knowledge of operations for all agencies is paramount for a successful response. I also thought it was pretty funny as I like what I call the separation of church and state, or the separation of fire and EMS. Though, if they are so disconnected that it causes confusion on the ground, that's a bit of a problem.

I was happy to see I wasn't the only one interested in the inner workings of event planning for a thing like the Diamond Jubilee. I guess that there wasn't much that was still applicable from the last time it happened in 1897. I'm pretty sure that they didn't have motorcycle response units then, but you never know.  I just had a wonderful image of responding to a call on a penny farthing. That would work well, except that you'd have to splint your own arms before attending to the patient.

But, enough about that. I owe a big thanks to Maddog Medic for publishing my first ever interview yesterday. I think it turned out well and may be worth a read if you have the patience and maybe if you are new to the blog. Catch it here. Also, I've unofficially hired him as my publicist.

I'm off to caffeinate and get ready for some relevant lit review. Then I'm off to the EMS Today 'trick-or-treat' time at the expo to collect as much free stuff as I can carry. That, and pretend that I have the budget and buying power at my job to drive away in a fancy new Sprinter.

P.S. I am sitting in the lobby at the conference center and a fire truck went by. I looked up to see every single person in the immediate area watch it go. Squirrels!

Dueling Blogs

I have the immense privilege to be sitting right across from Maddog Medic in the flesh. We aren't speaking, though he is listening to me. Want to solve this riddle? He is transcribing an interview he did with me for his blog at this very moment. And I too am blogging at this very moment! How crazy?!
I am stationed this week at the EMS today conference to stock up on professional wheelings and dealings and learn some stuff. This is a wonderful conference full of networking and new products and I learned already that one dose of glucagon costs $130. That's out of control!

I cannot wait to catch up on disaster literature and EMS tricks of the trade and get as many free pens as I can at the expo tomorrow.  As for now, I'm headed to a class on smart stuff and pediatric breathing problems.  I am surrounded by EMS nerds and I love it!

I spent the day learning about things above my pay grade such as how to read a chest x-ray and how to differentiate between subarachnoid and subdural headbleeds on a CT.  All knowledge is of great value.

But, using free wifi, I wanted to let you know that he liquored me up and then asked me questions about the dear old Work in Progress and has put it here.  I haven't even read it yet, which illustrates the faith I have in this dear friend.  He is describing it as 'pure effing gold'  (that is paraphrased) so head on over there and check it out.      

Now that I have found the free wifi, I am going to attempt to 'live' blog the rest of the conference.  All three days that I'm here.  So saddle up!  No, actually don't get too excited.