Medic51 has opened up another proverbial can of worms with the topic of kidnapping patients for their own good. Now The Happy Medic and Rogue Medic are debating whether or not we should kidnap patients to facilities. The Happy Medic thinks patient kidnapping is the cow-tipping of EMS and Rogue Medic provides his interpretation of Happy Medic‘s rules for kidnapping.
While I think it’s an important discussion to be having (especially for the newer Medics), that’s not what this post is about.
This post is about these comments:
All great points Joe, ansd it occurs to me we have more people involved in the “ambulance driver” definition discussion than these anymore….
The Happy Medic, Comment on Patient kidnapping – The cowtipping of EMS
I can’t help but read that comment and ask, “Who’s fault is that?”
The whole “ambulance driver” debate occurred because one blogger wrote an emotional opinion. Another blogger didn’t share his opinion, engaged, and wrote a reply. A third blogger read both posts and chimed in. Then so on and so forth as the discussion crossed other blogs and involved other bloggers, some engaging each other and some not. It was/is a common topic that rears its head every so often.
Just like kidnapping patients.
If you’re looking to lay blame as to why one conversation seems to be written about more passionately than another, I’ll give you a hint as to who is to blame… mirror mirror on the wall.
Ultimately we decide what we are passionate about and what we engage. Do all discussions merit the same level of bloggage? I would argue no, because it depends on what that particular blogger is passionate about and what/who ignites that passion will receive their focus.
The sad part is that this conversation is infinitely more important than discussing the word choice of the general public….
–Joe Paczkowski, Comment on Patient kidnapping – The cowtimming of EMS
That comment about importance is a great illustration of why we even have a debate about kidnapping. The importance of one conversation over another is an opinion… just as the importance of choosing one destination over another is also an opinion.
Do opinions matter?
Absolutely! If they didn’t, I wouldn’t be a blogger and neither would any of you! While I enjoy the ability to pontificate my opinion I also understand that not everyone shares my opinion. That’s one of the joys of EMS… diversity of opinion.
For a moment let’s stop dealing in opinion. Let’s deal in fact:
Fact: There are many Medics who scoff, become agitated, and find the term “ambulance driver” offensive leading them to act unprofessionally
Unprofessional behavior does not behoove our patients, co-workers, or our industry. I think it is reasonable to say that if we can avoid unprofessional behavior through discussion and education, then we should. Ultimately though, the choice will be up to each individual Medic as to how they interpret the term “ambulance driver” and how they react to it.
Fact: There are many facilities who are not able to provide the best care and increase your chances of survival that accept your health insurance
Ill equipped facilities for a patient’s condition does not behoove our patients, their families, or our systems. I think it is reasonable to say that if we can avoid trips to ill equipped facilities for a patient’s condition through discussion and education, then we should. Ultimately though, the choice will be up to each individual patient as to how they interpret the information we give them and how they prioritize their condition.
So when you say that one discussion is “infinitely more important“, I’m going to say that both discussions are “definitively equally important” based on the perspective of the audience.
I once was a kidnapper.
I would listen to their chief complaint, hear where they wanted to go, and advise them that “By the power vested in my by Part 800.69 as directed by Dr. KnowsNotMyName I am placing you under medical restraint and taking you to St. WhereEyeWannaGo” accompanied by some hand gestures indicating the Star of Life. This was, for all intense purposes, an acceptable practice. Obviously the patients didn’t know what was best for them, right? They weren’t certified to know what was best for them.
Then there was a discussion on a blog or a forum or whatever it was at the time that caused me to look at it from a different perspective and ultimately changed my thinking.
That discussion reminded me that EMS stands for Emergency Medical Service. It’s that last word that most often gets forgotten.
We provide a service.
Therefore, if a patient wants to go to a certain facility, we should make every reasonable attempt to accommodate that. If their facility choice is not what we may consider optimal for their condition, then we should discuss and attempt to educate. If they are insistent and we have done what we could, we should try and honor their request. It’s not our illness. It’s not our sickness. It’s theirs and they have every right to choose what becomes of them. Their choice, while I may not agree with it, was something I should respect… just as I would want my own choices respected.
For the first time, I truly understood what the term “patient care” really meant and understood what being part of a Service entails.
While the patients have choices, so do I. While one discussion may seem more important than another, well, I may not see it that way. If I do think something is more important, than I should become its champion and blog about it. If it’s something I am really passionate about, then I should dedicate an entire blog to it as opposed to an occasional post.
Now people may judge me for what I do blog about, and I’m totally fine with that… but to pass judgement on me for what I don’t blog about seems… well… elitist at the least.
It’s my blog, I’ll blog what I want to, and I’m grateful for living in a country where I can. So seriously now bloggers, get over yourselves and these “infinitely more important” conversations you think you’re having.
ALL the conversations are important.