My medical director has chosen to write guidelines as opposed to protocols. The intent is that it gives us the ability to think outside of the box and veer from the standard if it is necessary. The difference has been explained that we need not go from step 1 to step 2 and so forth but rather picking and choosing from what is available to treat a patient that does not fall directly into these predefined categories. Is everyone else still following the recipe?

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Our protocols have been implemented the way you describe for years.  It seems to work good, but you can't be a "protocol compliance" robot in that environment.

That's a good thing!

I agree. You need the ability to think outside the box and I think many other programs have moved this direction.

I think that many progressive EMS services are moving towards guidelines.  It seems like with guidelines there are less pages than with protocols.  If you dont have to have a protocol to cover every conceivable situation then you wont need as many pages :)   I like to think that it creates less stress for the providers too, they dont have to try and memorize the whole cookbook...   Besides, I think it promotes critical thinking and a REAL knowledge of why and how you are doing what you're doing and not just step 1 - step 2 - step 3.

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