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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. Treatment Considerations for Patients Using So-Called Legal Recreational Drugs - Journal of Emergency Medical Services

    Learn how to identify and treat patients under the influence of popular substances of abuse. 

    Magazine Articles

    Magazine Articles

    Mon, 27 Jul 2015

  3. 400-Pound Patient Impales Himself Twice Falling on Magazine Rack - Journal of Emergency Medical Services

    The dowels penetrated the posterior right buttock and continued through to his lower abdomen and pelvis.

    Magazine Articles

    Magazine Articles

    Tue, 14 Jul 2015

  4. Redefining the Diagnosis and Treatment of Suspension Trauma - Journal of Emergency Medical Services

    Understand the pathophysiology and treatment considerations of suspension trauma.

    Magazine Articles

    Magazine Articles

    Tue, 9 Jun 2015

  1. Scorched Skin: A Guide to Prehospital Burn Management - Journal of Emergency Medical Services

    Magazine Articles

    Magazine Articles

    Mon, 6 Apr 2015

  2. How to Identify and Manage Massive Gastroesophageal Hemorrhage - Journal of Emergency Medical Services

    It’s 3 a.m. when you’re dispatched to the home of a 52-year-old male with complaints of abdominal pain and vomiting. He’s well-known to you and your partner for having a long history of alcohol abuse resulting in cirrhosis of the liver. Upon arrival, he states he’s been drinking his normal amount ...

    Magazine Articles

    Magazine Articles

    Thu, 7 Aug 2014

  3. Considerations When Assessing & Treating Patients with Lightning Injuries - Journal of Emergency Medical Services

    Meteorologists called for a forecast of thunderstorms and light rain in the semi-arid landscape of Albuquerque, N.M. An engine company of firefighters was stopped at a traffic light when a bolt of lightning struck close to their unit. Having a high index of suspicion there could be injuries in the ...

    Magazine Articles

    Magazine Articles

    Tue, 6 May 2014

  4. Trauma’s Lethal Triad of Hypothermia, Acidosis & Coagulopathy Create a Deadly Cycle for Trauma Patients - Journal of Emergency Medical Services

    It’s 11 p.m. on a Saturday night when you’re dispatched to a local nightclub for reports of a young male who’s suffered multiple gunshot wounds. En route, police notify you the scene is safe and there’s a single patient bleeding profusely from multiple extremity wounds. On arrival you find a ...

    Magazine Articles

    Magazine Articles

    Wed, 2 Apr 2014

  5. Uptick in Medical Helicopter Crashes Shines Spotlight on Safety - Journal of Emergency Medical Services

    A rise in the number of fatal medical helicopter crashes in 2013 has many people in and outside of the industry looking for ways to make this critical part of the prehospital care system safer. As of presstime, the latest crash occurred Oct. 22 when a Hospital Wing helicopter crashed in ...

    Magazine Articles

    Magazine Articles

    Tue, 14 Jan 2014

  6. How to Identify, Assess & Treat Renal Failure - Journal of Emergency Medical Services

    It’s another hot and humid summer day when the crew of Rescue 102 is summoned to a private residence for a report of significant muscular pain and discolored urine. On arrival, a woman greets the crew and takes them to the restroom where her husband is hunched over the sink in obvious distress. The ...

    Magazine Articles

    Magazine Articles

    Sun, 1 Sep 2013

  7. Songs to Play during EMS Patient Encounters - Journal of Emergency Medical Services

    “ After silence, that which comes nearest to expressing the inexpressible, is music. ” —Aldous Huxley The inebriated voice slurred loudly from the back of the ambulance while I navigated traffic through the downtown bar district. My snickering partner poked her head into the cab from the captain’s ...

    Magazine Articles

    Magazine Articles

    Tue, 26 Mar 2013

  8. Paramedic Donates Kidney to Daughter - Journal of Emergency Medical Services

    ARYSHIRE, Scotland — Teenager Lauren Welsh's paramedic dad is officially her hero -- after he donated a kidney to save her life. John Welsh, a team leader with the Scottish Ambulance Service, didn't hesitate to go under the knife when the 16-year-old suffered renal failure . Now the grateful ...

    Online Articles

    Online Articles

    Mon, 25 Feb 2013

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