“Adapt, improvise, and overcome”: It’s a mantra we often hear in EMS. We are taught that our profession demands flexibility, creativity, and grit. Veterans preach this to their rookies, and instructors demand it of their students.
In fact, EMS providers take great pride in their ability to tackle problems and solve the seemingly unsolvable. We can all tell stories that involve repurposing equipment far removed from its intended use, or MacGyvering egress for a patient who would never have made it out of a location without the neat move you and your crew invented on the spot.
So, while we adapt, improvise, and overcome in complicated situations where patients are in danger, a life threat looms, or care seems almost impossible, why can’t we do the same in the more mundane aspects of EMS? Why not be nimble and pivot to make those tough decisions that may result in more work but will likely improve our leadership, our practices, our everyday policies, and our relationships with each other and our patients?
You’re going to be able to do that after attending EMS World Expo in Nashville this month.
You’re attending a national EMS conference because you crave the latest and best in EMS practice. You’re attending because you look forward to bringing back to your colleagues the new and cool disruptive or innovative stuff you learned. And, since you’re a change agent in your own organization, you will use this opportunity to make the greatest impact on your industry, to improve what you know needs fixing.
At Expo you will hear from those who are disrupting the industry at this very moment. The keynote speakers will paint pictures of inefficient and sometimes inequitable healthcare systems that cry out for new approaches. The preconference and main conference speakers from around the world will motivate you to practice evidence-based medicine, prevent injury and illness, implement effective teaching techniques, take care of our mental health and wellness, harness the power of the Internet, train citizens for emergencies, lead with competence and trust, treat the marginalized with compassion, make safety a priority, and even have a little fun with our EMS stories. You’ll return home with the tools to make yourself and your agency better.
Embrace this challenge and use your experience at EMS World Expo to continue in the great EMS tradition of teamwork. As innovators or disrupters or guides for our colleagues and industry, our responsibility is great, but worth it in the long run.
Tell us: what will be #youremsstory?
Hilary Gates, MAEd, NRP, is senior editorial and program director for EMS World.