Yesterday, I learned that becoming a clinical “master” of EMS is a lot like making a batch of brownies: You can’t just throw in random ingredients and expect a tasty outcome. Instead, you have to pay careful attention to all the ingredients you add into the mix. Yesterday, David Page, MS, NREMT-P, shared some tips on what he’s learned are the important elements to becoming one at his packed afternoon session.
What do you think are the key elements to being an EMS master clinician? Here are a few of the traits Page shared with the audience:
Focus on Patients
To be an effective provider, it’s essential to focus on patients above all. “It’s ultimately about the patients—it’s not about us,” he says. You never know what kind of effect your words and actions may have on patients. Page shared a story about how he encountered a woman who worked at a Chipotle restaurant who thanked him for “saving her life” three years ago. After she reminded him of the story, Page was surprised because at the influence his simple words had on her. Page had forgotten what he said to her because, to him, it was just common sense for how providers should interact with and care for all patients. However, to her, it made a big difference. So, don’t forget the value of your actions.
Having humility and the ability to laugh at your mistakes is also an essential ingredient to being a master clinician. Show compassion in the way you treat others. Listen to patients and really believe them. For example, if a patient says they feel like they’re dying, you should take them seriously, Page says.
Being a master provider is also about keeping up your appearance. A professional appearance makes a big impression on patients, so you can’t cut corners or allow yourself to be lazy in this area. It’s also essential that you keep yourself physically and mentally recharged, which means getting enough sleep and exercise to keep your brain sharp and your responses quick. Also, pay attention to the appearance of your rig. Go the extra mile. For instance, it may not be in your protocol to clean up trash in the ambulance and keep it tidy, for example, but it’s another simple way you can improve the face of your agency and make things more comfortable for your patients. Another piece of advice Page suggested was making it your mission to learn about a new drug every time you’re on the rig; keeping your clinical competency up and current is important.
Lastly, it’s important to keep an open attitude and be willing to learn. Don’t try to be perfect, but recognize and learn from your mistakes. Keep learning, keep pedaling and don’t get too comfortable.
With the right mixture of these elements, you should be on your way to making one tasty batch of brownies.