Someone said: “If you think education is expensive, try ignorance”.
I belong to an E.M.S. generation that lived in a time of evolution and change, and if you started your career about 20 years ago or so, you do too.
We moved from disc phones to mobile phones, polaroids and film cameras to digital, paper pictures to jpg. We also saw changes in E.M.S., devices came, and devices went; protocols changed, and new ones were created while others were buried in the past.
The human body hasn’t changed in quite a few years; the research on new medications and a better understanding of how they work made some changes in our profession. The researchers also got us new devices, others improved, and some live on in oblivion.
In the same way we had to adapt to new technologies and learn how to use a cell phone, computers and surf the world wide web, we have to adapt and learn new protocols.
For the younger ones, the use of a M.A.S.T. is ancient history, and what about the ritual of putting gel on the paddles and yelling “clear” while smearing the gel. We had a “jaw screw,” and we made beautifully handcrafted tape chevrons to secure I.V.s and E.T. tubes.
Can you imagine still using the “rotating tourniquet” to treat pulmonary edema or elevating the feet to treat shock? I was rewatching “Third Watch” and “Emergency” (If you don’t know the shows, you belong to the young group) and witnessed the evolution from their time to ours. In one of the episodes, the rookie paramedic confronts the experienced one about why he is not up to date in the “new treatments” and still using old ones. That made me think about all the continued education that we have to take to stay “up to date”; without the research and continuing medical education, we could have some providers performing C.P.R. using the Active Compression-Decompression Resuscitation technique.
Sometimes this continued education can be monotonous, and we feel that “nothing changes”. When this happens, go back in the past and see how much has actually changed; sometimes slowly and sometimes radically in no time. Keep yourself informed by reading, listen to podcasts, attend symposiums and take courses.
In this edition, we are featuring the first article for a few new contributors such as Paramentors Brian Cormier and Kathleen Bozzo, Jakob Rodger and Tommy Leblanc-Beaudoin. Hopefully, these will not be the last and we are looking forward to reading from them in the coming deliveries.
As you read through these articles, I invite you to put aside any bias you may have on the subjects in hand and soak in the knowledge that each and every one of these incredible authors is sharing with us today. They truly are fascinating subjects and I hope that they challenge you and awaken some curiosity in you to further research these topics and continue learning from them.