Welcome to Thursday isms! In these videos, Scott McConnell, RN, BSN, CEN, NRP, EMS-I, and Distance CME co-founder, discusses various maxims of the EMS profession and dolls out some EMS advice. These maxims are sometimes serious, sometimes comical. But, no matter their nature, we hope you’ll find them helpful, or at least entertaining. In this edition, Scott discusses some best practices and the importance of taking to time to care for yourself and some best practices to keep in mind in the field.

EMS advice on best practices

EMS advice 1: WNL – We Never Looked. This is a huge problem. When you’re on a call, you always want to do a great assessment of the patient and the scene. Collecting all the data you can relates directly to the quality of care you can provide. Also, never chart something you haven’t seen with your own eyes. This is how mistakes or misunderstandings happen.

EMS advice 2: never be the first or last to prescribe a new medication. While you don’t want to be a mad scientist trying out new drugs on patients in the field, it’s important to stay up-to-date on the latest treatments and EMS research out there.

EMS advice 3: when supervising an intubation, trust is good, but verification is better. Make sure the younger EMS on your crew know you trust them when it counts. But, as the younger crew members ares still learning, it’s best to make sure they’re performing the hard stuff correctly.

EMS advice for self-care

EMS advice 1: learn to say ‘no’ without explaining yourself. How many times have you had someone ask you to cover their shift on your day off? How many times have you said ‘yes’ because you felt to guilty to say ‘no’? Learning to take time for yourself away from the station and away from any type of EMS work is crucial to your mental health. Next time a co-worker asks you to cover a shift on your scheduled day-off, tell them you need your time off to relax – they’ll understand.

EMS advice 2: spend your life doing strange things with weird people. This is just a good tip for people in general, whether you work in EMS or not. Spending your life around people who love the truest, weirdest version of yourself is the way to true happiness.

Thanks for tuning in!

If you’d like to learn more about coping with EMS stress and mental health issue, check out our EMS stress page.