“The Genisis for change is Awareness.” – Michael Angier
That quote was shared with me by a colleague of mine the other day, and it inspired me to write this blog. . .
There has been lots of talk about what needs to change about EMS for EMS 2.0 to take effect, and be accepted. Ideas have to change, Medical Directors have to adapt to different ways of thinking. I think that what we need first is we need to develop strategies for the movement at the street level. More people need to be aware of the ideas and thoughts that are out there. I’ve taken it upon myself to take some steps to help make that happen.
As I’ve mentioned in previous blogs, some of us here in my company have started putting a bug in people’s ears at the earliest stage: when the new EMT walks through our doors. Level Zero: The Movie has become an official part of our New Employee Academy. The instructor that showed the movie and the class loved it. Along with the movie, a series of handouts were put together by our Lead Supervisor (who is also an EMS 2.0 advocate) that revolved around professionalism, and how to handle one’s self.
I’ve taken that a step further. As I’ve found different blog posts and articles that I like, I’ve printed them out, and left a stack in our Deployment Office for people to take and read. Additionally, I usually carry some of them with me as well, and I’ll hand them out to interested folks when I run into them on the street.
One prime example of this was an article written by Chris Kaiser of Life Under the Lights last week called “What Difference Does EMS Make? Choose Your Own Ending.” The article itself had a profound effect on me. Chris a terrific writer, and the message he conveys about how our job effects those around us, and the personal pride that we should take to “become the best EMS Provider (we) can” played over and over again in my head.
I handed out this article to one employee in particular who seemed very interested in EMS 2.0. A few days later, he came back into my office for his next shift with a story to share:
He was on a call the other day with a rather unfriendly ETOH patient. The patient was really starting to get under my skin, and the EMT was getting a little frustrated with his patient. Then, he thought about and remembered the messages in Chris’ article, and he kept his cool and worked extra hard to give this guy who was getting on his nerves the best care that he could have possibly gotten. The patient’s attitude changed, almost instantly. With a simple attitude change, one EMT made a difference on one call, and it had a lasting impression on him.
Share what is out there. Print articles out. Hand out cards with lists of websites on them. When I have a chance to act as a Field Training Officer, I usually have a couple of days notice. I tell these prospective Paramedics that if they want to get on my truck, they first must do a little bit of homework. I give them a few blog posts to read, and I tell them to be ready to not only discuss their medicine, but to have some opinions on what I gave them to read.
Give it a shot, the results will surprise you. When challenged with something new, people are pretty apt to take the bull by the horns.
While major changes need to take place in our Department and National EMS Leadership for a lot of the Patient Care changes that are associated with EMS 2.0 to happen, there are Street Level changes that can start happening today. As Mr. Kaiser has said, we need to “take control of our profession” and the first step to do that is by acting in a more professional manner.
So what am I doing? I’m challenging all of you who are reading this. Become part of the EMS 2.0 Street Team. Head over to Justin’s Blog, The Happy Medic, and order yourself some EMS 2.0 Patches and Pins, and some #CoEMS Stickers. Carry them with you, and share them with your colleagues. Find articles that inspire you, and let them do the work for you. Share the words of those that inspire you with the people around you.
Increase the awareness. Embrace the change.