Rookie to medicine and blogging

How many of us remember our early mistakes, whether in emergency medicine, blogging, or anything else?  I sure do and I wince at a lot of them.  Regardless, our mistakes hopefully help us grow.

A good friend of mine who’s also a paramedic in the Lone Star State has recently taken up the blogging habit.  His blog is new and it’s got growing pains like we all do, but what’s awesome is watching his growth as a medic.  He’s still got some growing to do, but what I’ve seen of him is well worth reading and following.  He’s someone I’d trust to care for my family.

Visit his blog at Rookie Blues.  It’s worth the time to watch someone who’s growing into being a good blogger, a good medic, and a better person.

A social media plea

We’ve all been there.   Whether it’s the 4 AM tones for a self-entitled diva who feels that her prescription refill needs a ride to the big city hospital or a drug addict who claims allergies to aspirin, Tylenol, Toradol, and ibuprofen, we’ve all felt abused, mistreated, and neglected by the public we serve and our colleagues in medicine and public safety.

Venting among friends and colleagues is a perfectly normal, reasonable, objective way of letting some of that frustration and anger go.  Been there myself.  I vividly remember being at the end of a 36 hour shift and getting toned out for mutual aid one town south of me with less than 45 minutes to go.  That ended up being a 40+ hour shift with a patient, who on arriving at the large academic medical center said, “Maybe I don’t need to go to the hospital after all.”  I remember letting flow a non-stop stream of obscenities the entire way to the call and back from the call.  (By the way, sorry about that, Michelle and David!)

What I don’t do (at least I hope I don’t) and what most of the rest of us don’t do is to show this side of us in public.  It’s not professional and it doesn’t inspire confidence in the EMS system.

But here’s what we keep doing — we keep posting memes and pictures on social media about “EMS abuse,” “drug seekers,” and every other perceived person or complaint that we don’t deem worthy of our time as medical providers.  Amongst ourselves as EMS providers, that’s one thing.  But when you share it publicly on your “wall,” or worse yet, when a major EMS website shares these kind of messages, it sure as heck denigrates our profession and takes away from our message of being compassionate providers who are there as public servants.

I’m not saying not to complain, gripe, moan, or vent.  Let’s just keep it to ourselves.  Because when the public sees this underbelly of EMS, we can’t really complain when they call us “ambulance drivers,” can we?


An Open Letter to the EMS Media

Ambulance Chaser here.  Overall, I'm a huge fan of EMS media, both online and print, and making EMS information available online to our fellow professionals.  However, I've noticed a disturbing trend in several of the EMS websites and publication.  … [Continue reading]

On Liability

As an attorney and a paramedic, I've definitely got opinions on medical malpractice and liability.  As some of my devoted minions (well, all two of you outside of family), I've experienced my own issues with healthcare liability, not all of which … [Continue reading]


Got into another great discussion online earlier about all the additional things that paramedics could do, if only they'd be trained to do them. That's the problem.  Professionals don't just do things.  They know which things to do, when to do … [Continue reading]

On clinical hypocrisy

EMS systems, especially ones with big PR machines, like to claim how their clinical guidelines or protocols and their style of medicine are process driven.  Heck, one of the current trends in medicine that I really like are checklists because they … [Continue reading]

On volunteering

A couple of the EMS websites have been talking about the lack of volunteers in EMS these days.  Each of them cite different matters as to why EMS volunteerism is on the decline.  Most cite either declining community involvement or the ever-so-popular … [Continue reading]

Progressive tension

Most of the time, I try to stay out of politics here, except for EMS politics.  Today, I digress into international politics and religion.  Why?  Because I'm calling out hypocrisy.  If you don't like my views, that's ok too.   Google "cute kitten … [Continue reading]

Trust, but verify?

Recently, there's been a fair amount of discussion about continuing education in EMS.  Having to maintain licenses in two very different professions gives me some unique perspective. (At least I think so...) For EMS providers in Texas, there are … [Continue reading]

EMS Week Resolution

So, it's EMS Week.  Hopefully, by now, you've gotten your free cafeteria meal and/or slices of Little Caesar's pizza from your local hospital, assuming the nurses didn't eat it before you got there.  You might've even gotten a t-shirt or some other … [Continue reading]