Grand Rounds from the EMS Blogosphere: August 2010
Here on Grand Rounds from the EMS Blogosphere you will get regular updates from many of the popular EMS blogs on the Web. If you're unfamiliar with what's out there, look no further. Here we will summarize some of the most popular blogs and their topics. Enjoy.
The Scam Heard 'Round the Web
Back in December, a big story hit the news regarding a recertification scandal involving EMS providers in Massachusetts. The investigation continued to grow and apparently the Department of Public Health uncovered some facts that led to the suspension or revocation of nearly 200 state licensed EMTs and paramedics. This became a popular topic among EMS bloggers. Chris (CKEMTP) Kaiser wrote about it on his blog Life Under the Lights, with a post titled Four Words. Chris is yet another EMS 2.0 supporter and Paramedicine 101 contributor who has become well known within the online EMS community. On Too Old To Work To Young To Retire, the author, simply known as TOTWTYTR, is a Northeastern paramedic who wrote about the scam in I'm not very sympathetic. TOTWTYTR is one of the original EMS bloggers who has gained one of the largest bases of readers out there. He was also one of the first to blog on this topic in multiple posts including: The Scandal Continues To Get Larger and Another Shoe Drops. In Some people who do not seem to be defended, Tim (Rogue Medic) Noonan provides some of his opinions on the story. Tim, as are the rest of the authors, is less than pleased with the character of the individuals who were involved. Personally I believe that this is a prime example of poor work ethics. The same people who cheat a system such as this are the same practitioners who will cut corners everywhere else. It is never a good thing to see our profession represented in this manner; unfortunately, it is the negative actions that make the bigger news releases.
Patrick Lickiss is an Alameda County (CA) paramedic who recently contacted me in hopes of promoting his blog 510 medic on Grand Rounds. When I clicked over there I noticed that he had written on the freshly popular topic of the community paramedic in his post urban community paramedicine. Read about what a community paramedic is in this article from the EMS Magazine archives. Patrick was inspired to write about this topic after watching a few episodes of A Seat at the Table, one of Justin (Happy Medic) Schorr's creations within The Chronicles of EMS. In episode 8 Justin and Mark Glencorse sit down with a few leaders who have started and/or ran community paramedic programs. This is a very interesting conversation that explains how the paramedic still has a role in the non-emergency environment. There is a preemptive strategy to this that is intended to provide education, limit 9-1-1 calls and decrease hospital transports. In my opinion, this is the right way to address a very big problem, and I would give a big two thumbs up to any system that is looking to implement such a program. All too often we simply complain about the problems--all too rarely we discuss solutions.
Man of Many Hats
Steve Whitehead is the author of a recently published article in EMS Magazine titled Sepsis Alert. He will be speaking on this topic in September at the EMS Expo. You may already know all of this, considering that you are an EMSresponder.com reader. What you may not know is that Steve is also a very well known EMS blogger. His site The EMT Spot is a well-constructed blog dedicated to the education of the EMT. On it, he also wrote about the Massachusettes recertification scandal that I mentioned above in his post 207 reasons to stay current on your continuing education. Steve is a great writer and I would recommend that you head over to his site and download his free online publications. If you are planning on attending the EXPO, I would encourage you to listen to him speak.
More 12-lead Geekery
Being an ECG nut, I have to once again promote Tom Bouthillet's Prehospital 12-Lead Blog. In one of his more recent posts he presents a case of a 58 year-old female with chest pain, which was submitted to him from one of his readers. I am not going to give away the interpretation; he provides the answer in the next post. I will say that the 12-lead that he provides is one of only few that I have seen that meets particular criteria. This is not a criterion that is normally taught within the paramedic curriculum, yet using it could most-definitely influence the outcome of certain patients. This is a very good example of how paramedics can learn something from an EMS blog, and possibly use it during their work experience to improve the care that they provide. It is important that I disclaim here that nothing you read on any blog changes your protocol and you should not be cavalier with your treatment based off of a blog post. However, some of the assessment techniques you may learn can be implemented without any protocol or career compromise. This is the intent of a prehospital educational blog such as Tom's.
It is now time that you use that account I urged you to set up last month and start leaving some comments. If a blogger asks a question, don't be afraid to give an answer or response. One of the things to look for on some of the sites is the logo for the Healthcare Blogger Code of Ethics. This will ensure that the author of that blog has committed to keep all patient identifying information private. There have been a few bad apples within EMS who have inappropriately used the online social community resulting in less than favorable outcomes.
Adam Thompson, EMT-P, is a paramedic with Lee County EMS in southwest Florida and an EMS educator with Edison State College. Contact him at Paramedicine101@gmail.com.