This month I started what will be my sixth refresher class. Having been first certified in 1995, that gives me 18 years of EMS experience. This refresher will see me through to 21 years.
That’s a long time.
All of those years have to be worth something besides the aching back, the cracking knee, and the hearing loss on my left side. I like to think I have some knowledge that’s worth sharing. Knowledge that it would be relatively hard to find elsewhere based on my first hand experience. Knowledge that can help other people as they begin their career in EMS… or disprove the popular myths out there so that the air can be released from those false expectations BEFORE reaching that painful interview with their first agency.
Today I’m officially announcing the publication of my newest ebook that both shares my knowledge and addresses some of the more common sense issues that seems to challenge new Medics on a daily basis. Titled 25 Things They Should Have Taught You In Medic School… But Didn’t, this book started out as an idea for a series of blog posts, that morphed into the outline for a 12,500 word ebook, and ended up being a 21,520 labor of love drenched in sarcasm with a heavy dosing of a blueberry muffin chaser.
Here’s a brief excerpt:
Certification Level Doesn’t Matter, We’re All Medics
Have you ever seen a story on the news that talks about the heroic actions of the police and firefighters while those of us who work in the Emergency Medical Services are lumped into either the First Responder or the uber generic Emergency Worker category? Or perhaps there was a news story that referred to the (*GASP*) ambulance drivers?
The fact is that the mass media does not know how to refer to us as a collective group. This in turn directly affects how the general public both perceives us and how we are received by other healthcare providers. Who do we blame and hold accountable for this mass confusion that causes the failure for us to be recognized for the collective profession we truly are?
We do this to ourselves every time we beat our chests and proudly proclaim that we are an Emergency Medical Responder, or an Emergency Medical Technician, or a Paramedic, or a Critical Care Paramedic. We define ourselves individually based upon what the certification card in our wallet says instead of the collective whole. The division we create amongst ourselves along the lines of certification is what leads to the mass confusion and the mass media throwing their hands up in disgust, all because we selfishly insist on them understanding our complex internal classification system for the scope of practice.
The fact is it’s not about us as individuals. It is about the perception of our profession as a whole.
Back in 2011 Skip Kirkwood ran a simple survey asking providers what they thought we should be called by the media and wrote an article for JEMS Magazine about the results that you can read here. The results were interesting in that there was no clear consensus in how we wanted to be identified. The Top 5 Chosen Titles were:
- 25.4% said EMTs
- 21.3% said Paramedics
- 12.5% said Medics
- 8.6% said Emergency workers
- 6.7% said Prehospital professionals
If we can’t decide amongst ourselves what we should be called, how can anyone else know what to call us?
For those of you curious, I was among the 12.5% 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 and popularized into our culture via the action packed popularity of the military war movie.
This is why the title of this book is 25 Things They Should Have Taught You In Medic School… But Didn’t as opposed to being called 25 Things They Should Have Taught You In EMT School… But Didn’t or 25 Things They Should Have Taught You In Emergency Worker School… But Didn’t. I am a big believer that we hold our own fate in our hands, but unless we come to some sort of consensus or agreement on our identity then this branding crisis (and I assure you, it is truly a crisis) will continue.
The lessons in here can be applied to whichever certification you hold because ultimately, regardless of what the card says, we’re all Medics working in the Emergency Medical Services.
If that riling excerpt was not enough to convince you that you NEED this ebook, what if I told you that it was FREE through Sunday February 10th? Yes, you read that right… if you go to Amazon from now until midnight (EST) Sunday February 10th, you can download it for FREE!
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