Monday, September 6, 2010

More Curricuclum Corrections

 My old friend Justin, over at the Happy Medic has, just this very morning posted his suggested "Upcoming Curriculum Changes" required in the soon to be released version of the EMT program.
 I dusted off the copy of this document which was handed to me months ago and read through it again to see if I agreed with what HM was proposing and if I found any other loose ends or missed opportunities for good guided learning experiences of the endless line of untested, fragile, and good-hearted EMT Candidates which traipse through classes every year and enter the frightening world of EMS.
 Sure enough, I find that Justin is correct and there are quite a few holes in the teaching material. Justin started a good list of critical points and with the fine example he has set, I would humbly like to offer mine. I will focus here on those skills which apply to ALS Support, as these are sorely lacking in the text.

1) The vast majority of jobs you will work are BS BLS. The most meaningful way to support ALS is to keep them available for 'real work'. Don't call for ALS unless the patient needs ALS.

2) The Medic is taking charge of patient care because the Patient needs ALS, not because you need ALS.

3) EMT's do not save Paramedics. If the Paramedic needs saving that should have been done long ago by his preceptor. You can (and should) provide all possible support to allow that medic to focus on the patient. Be prepared to ward off the occasional bullet, explosion, projectile vomit, or anything else that might distract the Medic, he is thinking really hard. (Psycomotor Skills: practice throwing your body out to catch these distractions.)

3) Unless you have a VERY close relationship with your Medic, do NOT speak to him when he is interviewing the patient. He has a switch in his head that turns off all voices not coming from the patient when he is seeking specific information.( He turns this filter on and off without warning, so if you think he is not listening, be careful what you say.)

4) In your off hours, focus your workout sessions on doing many reps of squats with weight and stair climbs with weight. This will allow you to function through long 24's without collapsing. You are the equipment donkey, get good at it.

5) A medic's brain works in mysterious ways. Do not try to figure it out (you could do irreparable damage). He is calculating drug dosages based on weight and/or size while you are worried about how to get the cot in the room.  He is thinking about where to eat lunch while you are trying to figure out if you can get all these bags back to the rig in one trip. He is trying to remember what's on TV tonight, while you are spiking a bag for him. Don't try to figure it out, just know that it works. Let him think about whatever he needs to. He'll tell you when he wants your opinion. (And he might even tell you what that opinion should be.)

6) KNOW the difference between a macro drip and a micro drip. Unless of course you think walking around with the incorrect choice protruding from your nose makes you look sexy.

7) If an EMT does his job with excellence, the Medic can also perform with excellence. If an EMT does a lousy job, the Medic has to do the work of two mediocre providers. Do your job well.

8) It's all about the Patient, stupid!

9) Try not to step on the Medic's cape. They HATE that!

10) If you do step on the Medic's cape, offer to get him a fresh one out of his locker and pay for the dry cleaning. (Scene Safety tip: Use care not to fall off the pedestal when helping the Medic into a clean cape.)

Everybody enjoy a safe Holiday,
(P.S. Sorry HM, once again, I just could not resist.)


  1. Come on now Ladies. I just had to poke a little bit back at HM. I have to keep him honest, if not humble.