Why EMS 2.0?
So if I were asked to pick one buzzword most often thrown around in the EMS blog community I would have to land on “EMS 2.0″. But what is it? And more importantly, what does it mean to me?
WHAT IS THIS EMS 2.0 THING ALL ABOUT?
Thankfully Justin Schorr, of Happy Medic and Chronicles of EMS fame, has taken a moment to post the EMS 2.0 manifesto over at Chronicles of EMS. Now he doesn’t refer to it specifically as a manifesto, but that’s more or less what we’re talking about. In my opinion, the idea behind the EMS 2.0 movement is basically the thought that if we are given more leeway in treatment (and at the same time have higher expectation of ourselves and our peers) that patients can only benefit in the long run. What this means, unfortunately for some systems, is that management and medical directors are going to have to move outside of their comfort zone. Some folks are unwilling to do this. To that end, we, as a community need to push this type of agenda. There’s a link on the site to a PDF of the EMS 2.0 manifesto. Print it out, give it to your coworkers, students and management staff. Get involved with protocol committees and research groups. Learn all you can because when the time comes, we will need to stand together and show that we have the knowledge, skill and compassion to move away from a system which values us largely as glorified taxi drivers. It’s up to you folks!
DON’T GET LEFT BEHIND
One important point Justin raises is that not everyone has a place in the new EMS. You have to work for it. Now this is probably not a popular opinion, but that doesn’t make it any less true. It does however, jive pretty well with another post I read recently about psychomanipulation by bloggers of their audience. The basic premise is that a lot of blogs (in general, but definitely in EMS) pander to their audiences and only say things which are already popular. Doing so gets a lot of positive comments and makes the author feel good about how great they are, but does little to affect real change. What we should expect from authors, coworkers, management, the public and EMS agencies is the opposite. Honesty, and the tough conversations which result will do more to improve EMS as a service and a career than all the daisy and puppy dog posts in the world.
THE BOTTOM LINE
So basically the message is this: If you aren’t happy in EMS as things stand right now; get involved. If you like the idea of EMS 2.0 (realizing that is means something different for each system); do something about it. If you sit back and wait for EMS to improve around you, you’re going to get left behind. My part, and something that I see other EMS authors trending towards, is to have high expectations of my readership. The time has passed that paramedics are able to say “I don’t need to know that because I won’t use it”. The very real possibility is that you will need to use that knowledge in the future. Just because it wasn’t taught during medic school doesn’t mean it isn’t worthwhile. I hope that this and other blogs are places you can come to expand your knowledge base and become a better practitioner.
So get out there, learn all you can and take action. The future of EMS depends on all of us.