Wednesday, May 20, 2009

EMTs, the OTHER health care professionals

EMS is the lowest paid of all health care professionals, but before you go to your boss and complain lets look at why this is the case.

1) Personal appearance: Although some of you take great pride in how you look, others look like they have just rolled out of bed 24/7. Stains on their un-tucked shirts, grossly overweight with a 5 O' Clock shadow at 8am. I don't care if your full time or a volunteer you can always take the time to look your best. A simple jumpsuit, hat and can of deodorant by your bed will solve almost all of these issues.

2) Attitude: I can't tell you the number of times I have ran across EMTs who are bad mouthing either the company they work for or the patient they just had because it was inconveniencing them in some way at that particular moment. Shape up, suck it up and do your job. There is always McDonalds if this line of work is too rough on ya.

3) Conduct: If you want to go out on a Friday night and raise hell DONT WEAR AN EMS SHIRT. No one care about your macho ass! Your making all of us look bad when you swill liquor and boast about how many lives you saved today. Grow up. People judge the entire profession on the things they see. Perception is everything.

4) Reimbursement: You are getting a lower wage because the reimbursement rate by the feds or state (Medicare, Medicaid) is garbage. We need a better lobby in Congress and State Departments to get things improved.

5) DOT: Department of Transportation. This is a joke, there is no way in this day and age that EMS should be under anything but the State Board of Nursing. There has to be a department more qualified to oversee us than the DOT. These is a huge disconnect between EMS and other health care professionals and until we bring all of them together on the same issues there will always be problems.

Ya, it's early in the AM and I just got back from a run...I am ranting a bit, deal with it.
It is EMS week, you can be happy about that. The one time during the year that people feel they are obligated to show us even the smallest amount of respect and graditude. We get a trinket from the local hospital and a free meal. They pass out some awards and pat you on the back and tell you GREAT JOB!

Wouldn't you rather have it that way year round? Wouldn't you rather have a living wage and the respect of all of your healthcare peers daily?

Stand up for yourself. Demand change both within yourself, your peers and the system!
Show respect and you will receive respect.

They presented me with the award for "Provider of the Year" today. I was proud and sad at the same time. We all deserve that award, not everyone can do what we do, but until every single one of us is willing to stand up for what we believe in and force a change in ourselves and our situations we will always be "other health care professionals"



Rogue Medic said...

State Board of Nursing is no more appropriate for EMS than DOT. We are poorly understood even by those in EMS. A nursing organization, that has only minimal emergency nursing representation, is only going to make things worse of EMS.

We have a huge problem with education. Every time I have worked for nursing education it has been made clear to me, that very few nurses who understand patient care make it into those positions. Too much politics and not enough patient care.

This is as bad as being represented by fire departments (IAFF). Neither acts to advance EMS.

Congratulations on the award.

matthew savage said...

Touché.. both the original post and the reply.