Alright Mr. DeMille, I’m Ready For My Close-Up

From my weekly CME Blog - Medical Mondays

Are you?

Every day that we are doing our duty, whether in an ambulance, skiing or providing clinical care we are but mere moments from being broadcast to the world.

A tragic event of a few weeks ago by a deranged individual took the life of a reporter and cameraman on live TV. Beyond the tragedy of this event, he was also wearing a personal video camera that published the video to social media live. Within minutes, thousands of people had seen the video around the world. With autoplay in place by a certain web site, there were many parents having to explain to their teenagers the tragedy just witnessed.

With the prevalence of cell phone video cameras, Go Pro’s  and other recording devices our care, and our words can pushed to social or broadcast media in near real time. Services such as Facebook, YouTube, Tumblr and Vine can make anyone an instant internet sensation.

As representatives of our community or ski hill we must be very careful with our words and actions. Any faux pas can place a poor spotlight on you and our industry. Any words spoken may be a breach of HIPPA or at minimum ethics.

Regardless of which organization or community that you work for, each has specific people charged with communication and public perception. These people have chosen an educational path in communication, public relations or marketing. We have not. These individuals have received training in putting the best spin on a situation and putting forward the best foot. In the heat of the moment, at the exact time of our response, we may become the unsuspecting voice of our industry.

As we look back at our career, can we honestly say that we have always used the best words, always had the best demeanor, and always been a good representative? Likely we’ve all had some shortcomings.

A decade ago, this type of mistake wouldn’t make the nightly news. Today reporters peruse social media to be able to find different views of the story. You may end up on the nightly news without ever realizing that your mistake has been captured for posterity.

As we put on our uniforms and head out into the world, it’s best for us to always remember that we are seconds away from our own personal close-up. Who’s to know if our patient, or their family member, will become the next Spielburg.

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