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Professionalism, Medic X, and ED relations

Posted Oct 23 2008 1:38pm
I am sorry that it's late but here is my addition to NSR this week.

I have heard people talk about ED staff who “ hate medics, don’t care or don’t listen.” I have even seen it in action. Many EMS providers feel the same way about doctors, nurses and techs. This attitude has the potential to damage interpersonal relationships with the ED staff and more importantly interfere with our patient care.

If you are involved with an area or agency for any length of time you will begin to build a reputation with the ED staff in the area. You personally and your agency as a whole will gain a reputation. This is where Medic X comes in. Medic X makes us all look bad. He is the guy who cannot not recognize a patient who is truly sick, treats all his patients strictly by protocol or just plain doesn’t know what he is doing. Usually Medic X is the one with the biggest ego. This ego gets in the way when talking to the people around him by making him sound as if he thinks everyone is stupid and beneath him. Maybe he does think that. Get enough Medic X’s running around and people begin to think all medics behave that way. When the staff begin to think we are all this way then we begin get treated poorly. We should be building a report with our ED staff. When they get to know you as a medic and begin to trust your judgement, you will see better treatment by the ED staff and OLMC will be more likely to give you what you want on the radio. (most of the time) Here are some tips that I have found work well for me. Hope they help you get along just a little bit better.

Do not walk in to the ED with a chip on your shoulder, a sloppy uniform, and no assessment information on your patient. Speaking of patient, be as patient as you can. ED’s everywhere are extremely busy, try to remember if you’re busy so are they and sometimes you won’t get a bed right away. I am not saying do not advocate for patient if you feel like they need immediate intervention, or they are too sick to go in a room on the back hall. Try to build a report with the staff. All of the staff. You never know when the security guard or even janitor may be in a position to help you. Treat people with the respect that you expect in return. Try to be helpful with things when they are busy. I make my own beds and even put my patients on the monitor. Become comfortable treating our patients. Point out the things you have found in a non smart allecky way and inform them of anything they might not be privy too. (like what you found in the house, what neighbors told you ect.). If they have a hard stick and want your help (and you can give it) help them out a little. It doesn’t hurt to be kind. Really if nothing else, you are looking out for that patient. Try not to argue about education with nurses. If you do your job well they will see that we really are smart cookies with more education than they believe. Most of the problems come from either poor attitudes or ignorance about how trained we really are. Many people do not know what we have to do to become medics. We don’t have to give them the list but we can show them by how we treat our patients.

So how do we change the image we have? We do what we do best. We adapt and overcome. We kill ‘em with kindness. We continue to build our education, work to get Medic X in line and most importantly we always look out for the best interest of our patients.
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