I’ve been low on blogging inspiration, so a big thanks to Mr. Morse for his post on Community Paramedicine. He seems not to care for it much, and lists 10 of his top reasons why.
My reply to his ten reasons:
- I may not know much about insulin pumps and how best to maintain proper insulin levels, but I want to learn. I don’t care to learn about how to perform high-angle rescues, but I won’t put down the person who wants to learn how.
- The emotional well-being of our patients should be a priority of ours. This includes counseling drug addicts, or at least referring them to the persons who can provide them with adequate psychological care. When we revive a heroin overdose, do we just spend the next several minutes ignoring the patient in the back of the ambulance? Or do we initiate a conversation with the patient?
- See #10. Why are we afraid to learn about drugs and therapeutic regimens?
- “Ambulance” is not synonymous with “Paramedic.” If a registered nurse can provide the same level, or higher level of care than a paramedic, then why are we concerned? Isn’t the care of the patient our foremost concern?
- I don’t see this as a “cradle to grave government funded approach to healthcare” at all. Even though Congress and our President would disagree with me. But I also work for a private service.
- It probably takes more thought to learn how to counsel people on how to avoid things that may trigger allergic reactions. We might as well stick with what we know, right? See # 10 and # 8.
- I also like nurses. Especially pretty ones who smile and talk to me. Nurses like what I do as a community paramedic, because I can reduce their workload. If I can prevent one readmit to the Emergency Room, that makes triage times quicker, allows nurses to focus more on their patients since they have less of a workload, and can raise reimbursement rates for the hospitals.
- At least 80% of our job consists of responding to non-acute problems. But yes, we should forget about that 80 percent and instead focus on the remaining 20. I work in a very busy area of the country, and probably run one or two true emergencies per month.
- Why would the concerns of another group be a concern of the community paramedic? There is a void in healthcare, and nobody is stepping in to fill it. Paramedics already work in the community, and are a logical solution to the puzzle.
- Ah, yes, the image of EMS. Maybe, just maybe, members of the community will see the paramedics in a different light: perhaps they will have the image of the paramedic that is willing to make appointments to follow-up, check-up, and to help them meet their healthcare needs.
He is right, we should “be excellent at what you do, and respect those who are excellent at what they do.” Mr. Morse seems to only focus on one-third of the initials in our profession: the “E.”
Emergencies is what we do. But we also do Medical Services. There is a huge gap in our healthcare system, and we are positioned to fill that gap.
We should be more invested in the health and well-being of the members of our community. We should be proactive and prevent emergencies from happening, instead of reacting to them.
Community Paramedicine isn’t just about checking insulin pumps or reconciling med lists. It is about preventing the little old lady from the fall, and answering questions, and so much more. It is about keeping people from needing the trip to the Emergency Room. I believe community medicine will play a large part of the future of EMS and healthcare in general.
We can either lead or follow.
Those who don’t want to lead, and aren’t willing to follow, should simply get out of the way.