Every now and then, I see online EMS continuing education providers engaging in some pretty unethical behavior. I’ve seen multiple sites reposting copywritten blog posts from other EMS providers. I’ve also seen resuscitation card courses (ACLS, CPR, PALS) offered from questionable accrediting bodies that aren’t accepted by most state EMS agencies, most employers, or the National Registry.
The majority of us in EMS accept this because we don’t take continuing education seriously. It’s merely another requirement to be pencil-whipped through, just like the truck check.
The real purpose of continuing education SHOULD be to keep current with the science, practice, and art of medicine. Yet most of us sit through whatever our employer provides and/or mandates and find the cheapest options for everything else. I’d surmise that less than 20% of EMS providers have attended an EMS conference of any form. I’d doubt that most providers participate in the FOAM concept of free open access medical education. Rather, con-ed becomes an exercise in minimal effort exerted to maintain minimal standards. And in most cases, con-ed becomes another ritual in which the masses repeat the dogma they learned from their instructors and, as such, maintain their certification for another cycle. As such, the majority of resuscitation science has devolved into pressing play on the DVD and parroting back cycles of drug doses.
Say what you want about college degrees or pay raises. This right here is a large example of why we aren’t considered a profession. In other words, this is another example of why we don’t have nice things in EMS.