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How Does Increased Education Alter Treatments?

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I don't understand when you say they take short cuts, because it is "easier". Is that not the more dangerous route to take?

I do not remember saying to take short cuts. In the scenario I presented (the MVC) it would have been easier on the body to clear c-spine and let the patient walk.

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Very good topic but here is the irony. What other medical profession would even have to have such a discussion to be made? Really, what would one think in reading other so called medical professionals having such a discussion? Could I imagine seeing a Psychologist, Audiologist, Nursing, or even Dietitians debating if their medical profession should consider the values of being educated?

One week ago, I had the honor to meet with some of the top EMS educators (not instructors) within my state. This of course was one of the main topics. Alike, the rest on this forum; they too are angered, confused, and tired of fighting for the truthfulness of the need of a general understanding that education is the key of solving multiple problems within our profession. That there is even such a debate, it should be an automatic understanding within.

A statement that something as basic as education would even be questioned in regards to treatment modality, would be considered ludicrous to most other health professionals. Think about it....

Over the past three years, participating on this and many other forums, as well as being active within State and National EMS education committees, I have also felt the same frustrations. It is with this frustration, I believe we need to focus on the problem, not the question or even the by products that are being produced. Where and what is producing these misunderstandings and feelings that we in EMS do not need more in-depth education? What is causing the continuation of ignorance within our profession? Then why do we continue such ignorance to occur?

Of course, I too have more questions than answers, but I have came with some hypothesis.

1) Lack of professionalism: From the start of enrolling to exiting an EMS program. From the new employee to the administrator. From the State Board of EMS to National Level Organizations. If there was true professionalism within, then from the top down would require and demand education and not allow any excuses. Period. Sorry, this means physician level to the local Field Preceptor of the EMT program.

Exactly how much emphasis have we placed on education from the first day of EMT class? In fact, how much was required before you even entered into an EMT course? Now, compare that with almost any other health profession or even any professional programs.

Do we reinforce the need of education from the beginning, or even the formality of what the demands are of being a health care professional? That one is to be expected to become educated and that it is demanded and nothing else will be allowed.

2) Continuation of the current status quo. Yes, I will say it again. Legislation is the only true way to change things. Until we have formal requirements either nationally or state by state, mandating education nothing will change. The second part of that solution is that WE are the only ones that can produce that change. Unfortunately, since majority of EMT's have been trained as the former example, most do not see the need or even understand the problems. They much rather whine and gripe about the outcome of problems such as pay, and poor benefits, than to ever attempt to really change things.

Again, what is a shame is the stupidity of this profession. Yes, being stupid (refusing to further or increase awareness and education) that this should never have to be a debate or question. That this is a medical profession, that the medical profession requires one to be educated to perform safely and be proficient. Again, which should be emphasized on the first day and taught continuously through out the program and professional career. One should never have to even consider that it would be a dilemma.

As I have said before, talk is cheap. Actions speak better than words, and postings. Nothing can be really accomplished by coffee house talk. How many have reviewed the new curriculum? How many have written suggestions? Now, how many are member of EMS organizations or participate in legislation in changing the problems? Again, if you are not part of the solution, you are just one large part of the problem.

R/r 911

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The problem is that we are not considered a profession, but merely a techincal service, full of technicians that "drive the ambulance."

We do need more education, yes. We need to be under our own flag. Not fire's, not police's, but our own.

We need to set up the system so that to be a Paramedic you have to be in school for 2 years. I consider myself a good Paramedic and have yet to hear otherwise from my colleagues, but I kick myself in the ass everyday for not getting a degree. I'm trying to change that though.

We need to stop the infighting, and unite as one, with the goal of making EMS a profession, and advance EMS to a highly respected service, because like it or not, we do provide a service.

That's all I can think of for now, for I am having trouble converting thought to prose.

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In short we would assess more and treat less. We would be able to differentiate between what we think the patient needs and would start treating based on what our patient really needs and what will be best in the long run, not the short run.

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