No matter what your view is on what constitutes a “legitimate” request for an EMS response, we all agree (or in theory, should agree) that a patient calling 911 is experiencing a bad day. Even the lowest acuity call deserves a response from an educated, competent, and ideally, compassionate, caregiver, regardless of certification level.
As I look at some of the Internet and Facebook forums devoted and dedicated to EMS, I see a lot of posts full of spelling errors. I see a lot of posts asking questions that either shouldn’t be asked in a public forum or should be considered common knowledge in emergency medicine. And of course, I see posts begging for help on passing the National Registry exam on the student’s sixth and final attempt. Many times, I ignore these posts and shake my head. Sometimes, I let my snarky humor emerge. My good friend and fellow blogger, EMS Artifact, used to give these shining exemplars of the future of EMS a Mickey D’s job application as a helpful hint.
Why do I not always encourage little Johnny or Susie to “be all they can be” and be a real lifesaver? Simple.
Emergency medicine is too important to lower our standards to the point that everyone gets a trophy — or a gold colored National Registry patch. This is why I refuse to coddle students, tolerate poor patient care, or be supportive to the person who asks for help on passing Registry on their sixth attempt. We’re in the business of caring for the weakest and most vulnerable of society. That demands high standards. And if you’re complaining about the lack of professional respect or financial stability in EMS, then we should be setting the standards for excellence — not minimal competence.
If this makes me a paragod or an arrogant prick, then so be it. Maybe we need just a few more paragods or arrogant pricks in EMS.