There was a lot of talk about the issue back in January, and I’m sure there will still be more talk about this identity crisis in the future because the problem still exists. There are many points of view to consider including the idea that maybe we deserve to be called Ambulance Drivers and that it doesn’t necessarily matter what we’re called, so getting a consensus or even a majority to agree may not be realistic. I think at some point the leadership needs to take the input given, stand up, and make the decision.
The one thing that seems to be harder to reach than consensus is a plan of action. While projects such as International Paramedic look to standardize the terminology inside of EMS on an international level, there hasn’t been any fruit from those labors just yet. Of course if we standardized from the inside it would be easier to get it to the outside, but since when has EMS been known to do things the simple way?
Meanwhile time continues to tick by, budgets shrink, agencies close or are becoming absorbed by entities with a better handle on their identity. We need to act… and we need to act now.
For those of you curious, I was among the 16.5% who chose to answer the question with Medic(s). I chose this purely from a journalistic perspective based on the fact that Emergency Medical Technician is too long, Paramedic leads one to believe that we are a subsidiary of the professional Medic instead of a Doctor, and the term has already been introduced into our culture via the military war movie. I don’t think it’s too far of a stretch for both journalists and lay people to make that jump, and that’s really who’s viewpoint we’re looking at this type of change affecting.
What do you think? Is it time to make the move to consolidate our identity or shall we continue the debate? Feel free to leave a comment or send me an e-mail and let me know your thoughts.