Without evidence of benefit, an intervention should not be presumed to be beneficial or safe.

- Rogue Medic

Beyond EMS Week

EMS Week is over.

Now what?

According to Kelly Grayson, 51 more weeks of the same thing, just without the fame and fortune we were showered with last week. SSDW (S S Different Week).

But we didn’t really do anything when EMS Week was official!

What can we do?

Here are some of Kelly’s suggestions.

Condemn misconduct or incompetence in our midst, and do it publicly. One of the hallmarks of a true profession is the willingness to police its own ranks. But also be careful not to rush to judgment, and close ranks around our colleagues when they are scapegoats for the failures of others.[1]

Just because something sounds bad/looks bad, does not mean that there was any misbehavior.

Conversely, just because we have been getting away with certain misbehaviors for a while, does not mean that it is OK.

Educate our colleagues about the capabilities of EMS, and the best way to do that is by being, well… capable. Don’t demand respect, earn it. If you’ve done that, and they still insist on calling you an ambulance driver, be the bigger man (or woman) and let it pass without comment. Arguing with jerks only gives them the power to make us look like jerks ourselves.[1]

If we want to intubate, we need to be prepared to demonstrate to anyone that we are not just capable of intubating, but excellent at intubation.

Our patients should not be harmed by a medic, who is too lazy to regularly practice all aspects of airway management. If I am not up to intubating, for whatever reason, then is much better for me to place an extraglottic airway, than for me to harm the patient just to be able to show that I can intubate.

If I am excellent at airway management, I will not feel the need to demonstrate that I can intubate. I will do what is best for the patient.


[1] Beyond EMS Week: Advocating your profession all year.
by Kelly Grayson