Cognitive Dissonence, is something that seems to permeate this field like nothing else. I constantly see people who are the least likely to perform a a high level think they are the types to be in place for high speed clinical roles. You know this person, they complain because their ambulance is too small, think any transfer is below them and are mad because someone called the ambulance because Jimmy the Frequent Flyer is drunk an passed out. Basically any call that isn't a cardiac arrest or major trauma is below them. They use the helicopter for any critical patient if you are in a rural service, or they are the ones that transport more patients with lights and sirens than any two other people at your service. The insist that they are going to be on a helicopter though.
I point this out because many people seem to think that a lot of the job is below them and compassion is not important. I am not saying I never over triaged a patient to HEMS or transported a patient code three when it probably wasn't warranted, but I didn't do it regularly. I don't see how a medic afraid to take a patient on a 2 hour transport with a patient who is on a antibiotic drip or has a ventilator going is going to suddenly become more competent when they get to ride on a helicopter and call themselves a flight medic. Of course, most flight services have a lot of ways to weed out those people, but that doesn't change the fact the people who want to do the job most are often the least competent people there are available.
Rotor wing aircraft are not magical things with fairy dust sprinkling from them, they are nothing more than a really small ambulance with a highly trained crew on board. This crew usually consists of a Paramedic and a RN. Once released from probation they both are expected to perform at the highest level of care, not be mad because their bird is so small. We should remember that these men and women are motivated to be the best, and ground personnel should emulate them. Work hard at gaining new knowledge and learn why you should do things, not just what you should do. If you don't know why, you won't know when the protocol doesn't fit your patient.
I write this because I regularly hear people who have no desire to learn new things talk about how they want to fly, but ignore what makes those crews excellent. In the area I used to work, there was a high washout rate due to poor knowledge base. This is something many of these people could rectify if they too the time to actually look for better continuing education and consider the effectiveness not just the hours needed. Most of them have no idea what FOAMED is. The idea of a Podcast or Youtube video on new subjects aren't important, because that doesn't count on my needed hours. But by repeating the same courses and getting the same cards, they doom themselves and their patients to either worse outcomes or high bills from HEMS coming to save those patients from poor providers. But they think of themselves as heroes.
Don't be that person please. Your patients are depending on you to excel. The truly critical ones need you to be able to make a decision. It doesn't matter what type of ambulance you are in, if you are private, corporate, municipal third service, or fire department based, if you are a Paramedic or intending to become one, learn to love learning. The biggest enemy we have is ignorance, and it is easily curable.
Thank you again,