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  1. Teach Providers to Appreciate the Small Parts of the Job - Journal of Emergency Medical Services

    Subscribe | Newsletters | Advertise | Contact Us             Journal Supplements Subscribe Jobs Featured Jobs Search Jobs Post A Job Products Buyer's Guide Product Reviews Hot Products Hot Products Submissions Product Announcements Product Videos Technical Digests Webcasts White Papers Videos Ask the Expert Education & Training EMS 10 Interviews EMS Today Fitness JEMS Games Product Spotlight Home About Us Advertise Contact Us Our Team Authors Community Submit A Press Release News Patient Care Airway & Respiratory Cardiac & Resuscitation Trauma Administration & Leadership Communications & Dispatch Documentation & Patient Care Reporting Training Operations Ambulance & Vehicle Ops Equipment & Gear Rescue & Vehicle Extrication Major Incidents Mass Casualty Incidents Terrorism & Active Shooter Mobile Integrated Healthcare   Home About Us Advertise Contact Us Our Team Authors Community Submit A Press Release News Patient Care Airway & Respiratory Cardiac & Resuscitation Trauma Administration & Leadership Communications & Dispatch Documentation & Patient Care Reporting Training Operations Ambulance & Vehicle Ops Equipment & Gear Rescue & Vehicle Extrication Major Incidents Mass Casualty Incidents Terrorism & Active Shooter Mobile Integrated Healthcare Home Teach Providers to Appreciate the Small Parts of the Job Teach Providers to Appreciate the Small Parts of the Job Mon, Jan 18, 2016 By Neal Richmond, MD When the public thinks or hears about firefighting, what typically comes to mind are all the big jobs: multi-alarm fires, extrications, hazardous materials mitigations, collapsed structure and confined space rescues—the kinds of calls we worry about but also somewhat ironically look forward to. This all looks a little different on the medical side. Although many of the things we encounter in suppression can certainly be dramatic and critically important, there are many more opportunities to save or change the course of a life on the EMS end of things. That’s not to belittle or to trivialize the importance of fire suppression, but it does point to the reality of what we see and do every day. But many patients would probably be just fine if they could catch a cab to the clinic or to their doctor’s office, whether on the same day or maybe even a day or two later. Sometimes, though, many of these lowpriority calls aren’t what they appear to be. Very often, for instance, we get called out on “lift-assists,” where patients seem to have trouble transferring from the bed to the wheelchair or have somehow ended up on the floor. These calls are so frequent and so repetitive in some systems that first-responders and EMS providers simply pick these people back up and put them into their beds or wheelchairs. They don’t always do a full patient assessment or vital signs or an ECG, let alone complete a refusal of care. [Native Advertisement] But sometimes the real reason these patients can’t get up off the floor on their own is because they’re too weak from life-threatening systemic infections or sepsis , or they’re in renal failure from progressive dehydration and have dangerously high potassium levels, or they have a broken hip that’s gone unrecognized, and now someone else arrives on-scene a day or two later to find them in cardiac arrest. It’s very easy to get a little numb or desensitized to these calls, especially to those patients who access 9-1-1 for lift-assists every day, or even two or three times a day. So, close to 15 years ago, I was among the responders at Ground Zero in New York City when the World Trade Center came down. And like many of you, I know a number of stories of incredible heroism and courage, many of those individuals losing their lives trying to get patients out of the two burning building just as they fell. But here’s a story that never made it to the evening news or The New York Times, or to the radio. One of my colleagues in New York, a senior chaplain and rabbi, was at a meeting across the Brooklyn Bridge when the two towers were inhaled into the bedrock of Manhattan Island that morning. All he could see was the smoke and flames rising, an image many of us have burned into our minds from seeing those pictures over and over again on TV. He immediately left the meeting and ran to the Brooklyn Bridge to see what he could do to help. About halfway across, a terrified young woman came running toward him. Her clothes were singed and torn, and her hair was matted with blood, with more running down her face and clothes from some kind of head injury and scalp laceration—probably from falling debris off of one of the Towers. The rabbi was blown away, as this was his first experience with anything like this, let alone his first contact with an injured person from the terrorist attack. He immediately reached out to her and asked, “What can I do? How can I help you?” She replied, “Just tell me where to go to donate some of this blood, before I lose the rest of it.” I think there are many heroic acts like this that go unnoticed every day. They typically happen quietly and without fanfare, and nobody ends up with a commendation or a medal. Sometimes it’s a firefighter or EMS worker gently touching someone or, perhaps, simply taking the time to figure out why somebody is on the floor, and not just assuming all they need is a little help to get up. This is what we do every day. It’s just the job, but I’m convinced these kinds of things can often change the entire course of a life, if not immediately save a life itself. Which brings me to election season and the presidential primaries, where we’ve been hearing lots and lots these days about being good Americans, and about family and religious values. But here’s the thing: I don’t think that going to a house of worship once a week or once a month, or even once a year, is the only opportunity we have to practice these values. That happens each day with our patients and with the sacred oath that we’ve all taken to protect and help them. Our churches, our synagogues, our mosques are in the street and in our patients’ homes. Our job is about that. It’s about the sacredness of everyday life, and it’s about the heroism of small things. By Neal Richmond, MD Sponsored Content is made possible by our sponsor; it does not necessarily reflect the views of our editorial staff. Journal Archives Prev 2016 2015 2014 2013 2012 2011 Next Jan 2016 Volume 41 Issue 1 No Image Available Volume 41 issue-2 Prev 2016 2015 2014 2013 2012 2011 Next SUBSCRIBE DIGITAL EDITION   Featured Careers More Jobs   eNews Register for the JEMS eNewsletter, it's FREE! Sign-Up! JEMS Connect FEATURED GROUPS Disaster EMS   EMERGENCY! Lovers   Tactical Medicine   Humor In EMS     CURRENT DISCUSSIONS   JOIN JEMS CONNECT   EMS BLOGS Blogger Browser Today's Featured Posts Copyright © 2016: PennWell Corporation, Tulsa, OK. All Rights Reserved. UTILITY Home About Us Contact Us Terms of Use Subscribe Advertise Reader Service Submit a Press Release RSS Feeds Privacy Policy Topics News Patient Care Leadership Special Topics Major Incidents Operations Sections Authors Columns Community Jobs Journal Products Supplements Webcasts

    Magazine Articles

    Magazine Articles

    Mon, 18 Jan 2016

  2. Initial Findings in Strangulation Injury Aren't Indicative of Outcome - Journal of Emergency Medical Services

    Learn to assess for and recognize signs of unreported strangulation injuries that can potentially lead to delayed death. 

    Magazine Articles

    Magazine Articles

    Tue, 22 Dec 2015

  3. 20 Injured, Four Critically, in San Francisco Crash - Journal of Emergency Medical Services

    Four patients are still in critical condition after a tour bus goes out of control and crashes.

    Online Articles

    Online Articles

    Mon, 16 Nov 2015

  4. Complexities of Geriatric Trauma Patients - Journal of Emergency Medical Services

    The geriatric trauma patient presents unique challenges to EMS providers.

    Magazine Articles

    Magazine Articles

    Mon, 2 Nov 2015

  1. Assessing & Managing Sepsis in the Prehospital Setting - Journal of Emergency Medical Services

    Magazine Articles

    Magazine Articles

    Thu, 29 Oct 2015

  2. Dump Truck Falls on Sedan, Entraps Patient - Journal of Emergency Medical Services

    The driver's car was broadsided and pushed off the road into a riverbed when a dump truck veered into oncoming traffic.

    Magazine Articles

    Magazine Articles

    Tue, 29 Sep 2015

  3. Fear of Spider Leads to Indiana School Bus Crash - Journal of Emergency Medical Services

    Driver jumped out of her moving car when she noticed a spider on her shoulder.

    Online Articles

    Online Articles

    Tue, 22 Sep 2015

  4. Fear of Spider Leads to Indiana School Bus Crash - Journal of Emergency Medical Services

    Driver jumped out of her moving car when she noticed a spider on her shoulder.

    Online Articles

    Online Articles

    Tue, 22 Sep 2015

  5. Philadelphia Fire Department Investigates Texting EMT - Journal of Emergency Medical Services

    Patient’s mother filmed the EMT on his cellphone while operating the ambulance.

    Online Articles

    Online Articles

    Thu, 10 Sep 2015

  6. Philadelphia Fire Department Investigates Texting EMT - Journal of Emergency Medical Services

    Patient’s mother filmed the EMT on his cellphone while operating the ambulance.

    Online Articles

    Online Articles

    Thu, 10 Sep 2015

  7. Exploring Challenges to Treating Nausea/Vomiting Patients - Journal of Emergency Medical Services

    Treating a patient with nausea and vomiting can be a challenge.

    Magazine Articles

    Magazine Articles

    Fri, 4 Sep 2015

  8. Patient Falls Over Bridge Into River - Journal of Emergency Medical Services

    The patient received moderate head injuries but was expected to make a full recovery.

    Magazine Articles

    Magazine Articles

    Fri, 4 Sep 2015

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