First and foremost, I would like to recommend that any EMS professionals reading this take your time to listen to the Inside EMS podcast. Kelly Grayson and Chris Cebollero. Follow the attached link and enjoy. The EMS news, clinical information, and guests provide insight into the future of EMS. Please follow the attached link. http://www.ems1.com/columnists/inside-ems/
Now on to the new post. You sit around any EMS squadroom and you hear people talking about the calls they had and amazing skills they performed. From catching a STEMI early to quickly managing an airway. I know I am guilty of this myself. We have a lot of bravado in this professional. But we are often missing what makes people remember you in a positive way.
Taking time to do little things often improves the patient’s opinion of you. There was recent discussion online about whether or not you should allow a patient take a selfie with you after appropriately managing their pain. Really, a patient wants to brag on how you helped them in an extremely modern way and you think it is a bad idea.
I have saw and helped other EMS personnel take a few extra minutes with a patient ensuring their dog was fed or their lights were off. These might seem like small things but they relieve anxiety. These acts of kindness also help providers reconnect with the humanity we often try to leave behind. They are a form of compassion that should be encouraged.
Compassion, that is often considered a word of weakness. In a world where providers grab up t-shirts that say things like here to save your ass not kiss it or drive safe or I get to see you naked. We celebrate the burnouts and listen to people who actively encourage negative attitudes about the profession. I know those dialysis appointments are a total waste of your time, even though you are providing an actual lifesaving service at the time. Yet being nice and compassionate is often the most effective way to have a real impact on your patient.
I was recently called to a patient where I had transported a member of the patient’s family. The patient was a pediatric and was apprehensive until they were told by the family member how I treated them. One seemingly unrelated act allowed me to effectively manage a situation. Learn to be proud of getting the hugs from your elderly patients. When you are getting these responses you know that you are providing compassionate care. They won’t remember you starting an IV or rapidly intubating them to save their life. They will remember you treated them with respect and care. In the end that can make the difference between being able to appropriately intervene and not.
Until we meet again,