Monday, December 21, 2015

Not my nicest post ever.

                Arrogance, ego, confidence, terms that are often used to describe paramedics. What is rarely discussed is the people behind the title and how they impact the profession and themselves. We all know the guy who has yet accept anything that wasn’t done in his course. Fellow Blogger Ambulance Driver calls this one year of experience twenty times, by the way, if you haven’t checked out his blog you should. We also know the guy who can constantly quote the newest research and is either breaking protocol or getting orders to do what he wants because he can back up his ideas. From a coworker perspective both of them are frustrating, but let’s be honest, no one wants that first guy taking care of their family.

                Most paramedics fall somewhere in between. They are not actively seeking the best knowledge ever, but they do know that things change and accept it. If you are this guy, don’t hate yourself because you are probably going to be considered a reliable employee, be well liked  by your peers and do a lot of good. This is not a criticism of you.

                There is a need to criticize and worry about the person who hasn’t sought out new knowledge or accepted it. When you are constantly looking to find a reason to defend a practice as barbaric as full spinal immobilization, you are this guy. You can quote all of the cliché’s and not know any of the truth behind them. You sir are a menace to my profession and need to find a less dangerous form of employment. Please, for your patients sake.

                Then there is the research guy. You coworkers tolerate you, because you are often right, but when you make a mistake it tends to be larger. That being said, you do err on the side of your patients. Your problem is you are not considered a team player. You are great at work, but dinner with your coworkers, not so much. Often discussing a ball game, movie, or band is impossible. Here is advice, go see a movie. Let EMS go away for a little while. Remember that there is life outside of the ambulance. Believe me, you can still catch up on research and still enjoy things. Remember Isaac Asimov and Albert Einstein loved the three stooges. Nyuk Nyuk Nyuk.


Lone Medic.

Sunday, November 1, 2015

Sometimes things are hard to say.

                People who know me are aware of my strong support of science and evidence based care. If you’re my friend you know that as long as you don’t betray the friendship, I am there when you need me. So when I recently discovered that a friend of mine was being treated unfairly because of ignorance, it wasn’t surprising to those that know me that I was irate.

                Clint Moore is a Paramedic for Air Evac Lifeteams, a flight service that does a lot of good including educational outreach that has improved the knowledge base of many providers. When Clint learned he was HIV positive he was taken off of flight status, and told he would have to gain approval of multiple states to regain this. I understand that this is likely due to state rules, and Air Evac was stuck in a situation because of this, but the very idea that a Paramedic with HIV is a threat to his patient is both statistically unlikely and an insult to the professionalism of the Paramedics and Nurses that make up these teams.

                A quick review for those of you that are unaware of this, HIV is a blood borne pathogen that requires specific vectors for transmission that would necessitate a healthcare provider to intentionally infect a patient. Accidental transmission in a clinical or prehospital environment would be nearly impossible. Basic BSI precautions, which are used on every call, will prevent this.

                The reason I state this is because there are laws in place that prevent these providers functioning. Laws like this serve only to punish these people, and prevent good providers from performing the duties they are educated and qualified to perform. The only reason laws like this are on the books is due to the fact that the most common people infected with HIV are homosexual and bisexual men, a group that is still commonly looked down upon. It is legalized discrimination.

                So when my friend found out he was infected, he reported his status and was punished, despite the fact that he was not a serious risk to his patients. Because of archaic and bigoted rules, if you act in a responsible manner you become more likely to punished, than if you just keep your mouth shut. That is pathetic.

                That is the technical and legal side of this. Now let’s discuss the other side of this. Clint is not a friend I get to see or talk to as much as I like. Life happens and those that we are close to often leads us to be far apart. But this man is my friend. Clint has had his career and purpose stripped from him, despite the fact that he did the right thing. But, when he went public he found out something he didn’t know. His friends will be there for him. If you have this horrible disease, or know someone who does, make sure they know you care and are there for them. The stigma attached to it is known to make those afflicted feel isolated. They are still the person they were before this happened, and they likely need your support, friendship, and love more than ever.

Thank you,

Lone Medic.

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

The legacy of a man, Rest in Peace Dave Kaye.

                Friend, colleague, soldier, teacher, paramedic, convicted murderer, it would seem that one of these terms didn’t belong with the other. Well, allow me to tell you about a man named Dave Kaye. Dave was a flawed individual. A boisterous man who knew of the mistakes he made and never tried to hide from them. He instead chose to take another path and in the process proved that a man can change his destiny.

                When I first met this man, I never expected that he would influence as many people as he did. First impressions would tell you that he was nothing more than an arrogant, loud, and abrasive person. Till he got to know you, he was a bit standoffish. But if you wanted to learn, and he knew something, he was always willing to teach. From advice to a laugh he gave what he could and we all remembered this today.   
                Allow me to explain something here. Illinois used to have a program that allowed prison inmates to become E. M. T.’s. It was a successful program that lead to many people turning their life around. This program is no longer active for many reasons, but it was a success. I am a firm believer that we need to find ways to help those who are convicted of crimes reintegrate into society. This is what Dave did.    
                Too many people found out about the bad part of who he had been and failed to recognize who he became. Dave owned his past, never making excuses or acting like someone else was to blame. Instead he chose to become better than that. I mention his past because unlike most paramedics, his legacy isn’t the lives saved or the families he comforted. His legacy is something greater, hope.

                Hope is what he embodied. Hope that a man doesn’t have to be defined by a horrible mistake. Hope that choosing to be different can lead to a better place. Hope that redemption is possible. Dave lived the statement, YOU CAN BECAUSE I DID.

                I come here saying this because on April 3, 2015, this man passed on to his eternal reward. In the back of the ambulance today taking him on his final trip, we laughed telling stories of this man. We all realized how he influenced us all. Too often we forget that the most important part of the journey is those who we teach and those we inspire. The end is that we are not ruled by the mistakes we made and we can all change.  Dave my friend, rest easy brother and enjoy your rest, we have it from here.

As always thank you for reading,

Roger Morgan


Friday, February 20, 2015

An Open Letter to Holly Monteleone

Dear Holly,

     I am writing this to express both gratitude and disappointment. For what it is worth, allow me to state that you are a good representative of EMS overall. You present yourself as a compassionate caregiver and professional Paramedic. You do EMS a great service and as a father and husband of EMT's I am glad to a strong, intelligent, positive female being put forth as a provider. Thank you for this above all else.

     EMS has needed someone like you to be highlighted. Your performance makes us look good while showing that being a burnt out miserable individual is not what we should aspire to be. Your demonstration that good patient care and being positive are needed. Personally, your being inked shows that those of us with tattoos are capable of being professional and courteous. Add in your being well spoken, intelligent, and attractive and we have a rock star paramedic.

    This is why I was disappointed in what you having a negative attitude about Dr. Bledsoe and his criticism of the PAF t-shirt. While overall I consider PAF to be a positive group, as in they tend to not attack science and are great in supporting needed EMS ideals such as the Code Green Campaign. But the T-Shirt that was pointed out is something that while it might seem fun, has a negative impact on the profession. I will go even further if PAF was private I would consider it to be a necessary page.

    Gallows humor and venting frustration is healthy, but I tend to be critical of these things in a public forum. The public can't understand it, and often sees it as being uncaring. I am a small time blogger and this is part of my personal way to relax and blow off steam. But I saw this and felt I should point out that you are now the face of EMS. No individuals like Kelly Grayson, Chris Cebellero, or other provider. You are on television and highly visible. There are those out there that would tear you down. There is a likelihood that you will wind up interviewed on EMS issues. In short you represent us all, and we could do a lot worse. Thank you for reading this if you do, have a great shift, and stay safe my sister.

Roger Morgan

Lone Medic