A Cool Thing About EMS

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wwpmainLike any job EMS has it’s negative aspects. Often we can get bogged down with them and forget why we became EMT’s or Paramedics and miss out on the cool stuff. The opportunities that can matter and leave us as individuals feeling like we have a pretty cool job after all.

Recently I had the opportunity to do a stand by for a Wounded Warrior Project Bike Ride.

If you know me you know that this is a foundation that I support and have in the past donated a percentage of sales to them. I never have had the chance though to be at an event in person and see first hand the amazing dedication of its members and the participation of the Wounded Warriors themselves.

We arrived at the staging area and I did not know this but the Project provides all the bicycles and tricycles and helmets. They provide the water and organizational support to have these events succeed.  So as I watched the staff unload the bikes, lining them up I grew emotional knowing what this was all for. I began to realize this was more than the commercials I have seen on TV.

Not that I wasn’t aware of the depth of this organization and the importance of what they provide for our wounded veterans. I think it was more of seeing it first hand and perhaps knowing it was so much bigger than me and my simple donation.

As we began the riding route, a few bikes had issues. The WWP also had staff  to troubleshoot and fix any issues with the bikes along the way. This was a short 13 mile ride and included one short break midway. During this break I knew my role was to support them in a medical role. My partner would go around to see if the participants needed anything from us during the break and to let them we were there should they require us. There was one rider who fell early in the ride but got back on his bike and continued on.

In all there were about 35-40 participants and staff and the pace was set to the slowest rider, never leaving any one rider behind too far. It wasn’t a race. It was a ride to support the Wounded Warriors and the WWP.

The entire event lasted about 4 hours. Not long. But long enough to for me to realize that I get to do some pretty cool stuff in EMS.

I have been on Third Watch, meet actors, singers and athletes.

The honor I felt being a part of this Wounded Warrior Project Bike Ride was beyond anything I can think of in recent years. I suppose as a veteran myself I feel a connection to these warriors. While I can never compare what they have gone through or what they continue to struggle with. I still feel they are my brothers and sisters.

It is experiences like this that make me proud to be in EMS. That drive me forward to look beyond the negatives and focus on the positives.

Maybe we can’t all be a part of events like this. To sit back and say “What a cool job I have”.

Yet I have to disagree in that each day we have opportunities to say just that. The newborn we delivered, the STEMI we alerted, the CVA we recognized or even the hypoglycemic patients we treated. To me these are all pretty cool things we are a part of and do everyday.

I think by recognizing that we are professionals, that what we do for our patients and their families really can matter. We can say “What a cool job I have”.

We can feel honored in being in a position to help others when no one else can. It’s an honor that I think we all overlook sometimes. It’s an honor and privilege to be allowed into peoples homes everyday when they are at their worst. We must recognize this and treat it that way.

I hope you as my reader recognizes this. If not, my hope is that you get to do something cool like I have mentioned in this post. Something that makes you take a step back and realize that being offered these opportunities truly is a cool part about EMS.

I have posted some pictures below from the stand by and I hope you will go check out the Wounded Warrior Project by clicking here.

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EMS Employee Scheduling In Real Time

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EMS scheduling doesn’t have to be difficult or confusing for EMS managers or employees. Check out this video that shows a first hand account of how using EMS employee scheduling and management software can benefit an organization and it’s employees.


Get a customized free trial of the software mentioned in the video by clicking here.

 

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Control Your EMS Scheduling | More Than Just Words

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250x300-web-kasondraYou may have seen several postings and heard commentary about EMS Manager. This innovative and easy to use software has been proven to save both time and money when it comes to managing your EMS workforce.

Check out this video that actually shows you how employees can submit availability using the software. I think that while commenting and giving links to their free trial is great. A video like this really shows the power of this software tool.

 

I know must be impressed by now. Go check out what EMS Manager users are saying here and if you or your agency is looking or even considering moving to an online EMS employee management and scheduling software, sign up for a free trial by clicking here.

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Are Volunteer EMS Agencies Cheaper To Operate?

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Training1You often hear the about the struggles of volunteer EMS agencies and raising funds to operate and provide the highest level of care to their communities. While the labor may be cheap, the costs to run the organization is the same as any of the paid agencies out there. Sure it may vary depending on location but no matter how you look at it, it isn’t free.

Even members of the volunteer agencies pay out in time. I’m sure you have heard the “Time is money” phrase and members and officers alike put plenty of time into their volunteer organization. Just think about how much a paid EMS professional gets and how that same pay is being done for free by volunteers. 

Now I don’t want to get into the whole paid vs. volunteer debate here in a short blog post, you can join us on the podcast for that discussion. But I thought it would be a good idea to highlight one way that volunteer EMS agencies and members can cut down on time spent and equate that into savings. 

Listen, saving your members time and ensuring that you have members scheduled for training and shifts etc. makes the whole organization run smoother and I think a stronger organization as well. Check out this story below on how one EMS volunteer agency was able to save time and energy by making one aspect of the operation run smoother:

Using spreadsheets to organize, schedule and accommodate payroll for 20 paid and volunteer staff members at Roanoke Municipal Ambulance became far too time consuming for Troy Schuler, Chief of Ambulance Operations. “We needed to make a change. I spent several months trying all the free demos I could get my hands on. What I like best about EMS Manager are all the options the system has and the fact that I can customize it to fit our department’s needs.” Schuler states. “I feel EMS Manager is more of an all around management tool; it’s not just scheduling software.”

Chief Schuler states he and his staff utilize EMS Manager’s forum feature quite frequently.  He likes the way his squad can interact and discuss upcoming events, past meetings and training sessions.  He also uses the forum to allow members who could not attend a meeting to come up to speed on what they missed by reading the minutes online.  In addition, Chief Schuler indicates he uses EMS Manager to keep track of various training documents and staff certifications as well.

“The biggest difference I have seen in our department is the way people change their shift and sign up for shifts. It used to be done via email or text messages. EMS Manager has sped up the process dramatically. Now, personnel can change shifts and find coverage on their own through the system, without having to make a thousand phone calls back and forth with each other and with me,” adds Chief Schuler. “On average I save ten hours a week doing payroll and scheduling. Those 40 hours a month I save enables me to focus more on recruitment and community outreach.”

Like many SaaS (Software as a Service), or cloud based, software systems EMS Manager also provides a convenient mobile web app to subscribers.  This makes the system available from any smartphone or other web enabled device – such as an iPad or iPod.300x300-web-Jay

The majority of staff at Roanoke are volunteer, including Chief Schuler.  Since they have full-time jobs elsewhere, the ability to access and make changes to the schedule remotely is very important.  Chief Schuler states the mobility of EMS Manager allows him to manage the department much more easily and puts the schedule, employee data and staff communication at his fingertips.    

“One of the main reasons we chose EMS Manager is that it allows me to manage my team while I’m on the go. I can keep the schedule rolling smoothly from anywhere,” shares Chief Schuler. “All my staff are currently using the mobile app too.  It has made scheduling a thousand times easier and faster.”

I think that is some powerful feedback and is worth giving something like this a try. In fact EMS Manager has a full featured customized free trial of their software. So, if you think that saving time and expenses can help your agency, sign up for a free trial at EMS Manager. 

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Paramedic License or EMTP Certification?

ems paramedic questionsThis content is from the Authorized Transmissions newsletter, but I thought it would be great to pull it out and highlight it all on it’s own.

When it comes to being a licensed paramedic or a certified EMTP, opinions vary and it will depend on who you talk to.

Certification: Agency or association grants recognition

Licensure: Governmental agency’s competency standards are met

Now when you think about it, for most states it is one and the same. Even states that require NREMT “certification” still mandate that you take a state exam or meet state standards to be considered competent to practice as a paramedic in that state.

From the NREMT website “…Licensure, .. is the state’s grant of legal authority, pursuant to the state’s police powers, to practice a profession within a designated scope of practice. Under the licensure system, states define, by statute, the tasks and function or scope of practice of a profession and provide that these tasks may be legally only by those who are licensed.

As such, licensure prohibits anyone from practicing the profession who is not licensed, regardless of whether or not the individual has been certified by a private organization.”

So, what’s in a name then? Especially if both descriptions are interchangeable and more importantly any state allowing you to work as a paramedic is giving “license” to do it.

Well that is just it. Some states like NY and NJ have been getting petitioned for years to change the identification from certification to license, but for some reason it just has not happened.

What’s the hold up?

Resistance due to education levels? Fears of infringing on other healthcare fields? Perhaps even those EMS insiders who like things just the way they are?

However you look at it. The bottom line in my opinion is that the paramedic profession should be licensed.

States cannot continue to dictate requirements and keep it noted as a certification in order to keep other professions happy.

Nationwide, paramedics should hold licensure and if need be, individual states can set specific requirements for that region in order for that paramedic to work and practice within a set scope or guidelines.

Government agencies need to remove all mention of certification from paramedic programs and gear all education and testing to a licensure format. If that means making exams more difficult, setting higher continuing education requirements and holding individuals to a higher standard overall, then so be it.

I think that this would be a move in the right direction for EMS as a whole and a step that is relatively easy to implement.

Listen, I don’t have the answers to this or know why with a certainty the word license is not the accepted rule.

Maybe we shouldn’t be putting too much energy into this to begin with since in the end it’s just a word.

The reality is that, no matter what the state calls it, a state issued “license” or “certificate” is functionally the same and is a “license”.

The difference to be aware of is that while the terms might be interchangeable for what a state calls it, non-government agencies like the NREMT, are certificates since licenses grant an official privilege (like the ability to drive or practice medicine) whereas a certification is simply a non-government agency saying that you have met their standards (like NREMT, AHA, PHTLS).

What do you think? Does it matter?

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EMS Employee Scheduling In Action

It’s one thing to mention how useful and financially beneficial the EMS Manager software is. It’s a whole another ballgame when you can see it working in action and actually envision how you can see yourself using this employee scheduling and management software.

The video below gives a behind the scenes look at how to sign up for open shifts in your workforce management & employee scheduling software using EMS Manager.



Click here to sign up for a free customized trial of EMS Manager.

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Getting On The Live EMS Show Is Easy

AUDIO5We want you to be part of the EMS Office Hours podcast. Can’t make it live? No problem leave us message, just call this number  (518) 291-9401  from any phone.

Check out this recent submission

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EMS Scheduling Doesn’t Have To Be The Terminator

!cid_1A4117EE-C2FC-40DA-8ED5-4309CD462105Whether you are a large or small EMS agency, scheduling and management of employees is a key task. Managers spend a lot of time on it and that ends up equaling money. What can end up happening is that schedules get confused, managers and employees make mistakes, resulting in ambulance down time and even managers terminating their efforts in frustration, leaving posted schedules looking like an excel file with a shot gun blast. Especially when there is so much confusion in the whole process.

One tool EMS Manager, helps to eliminate this confusion and improve costs by offering an innovative and easy to use employee scheduling and management software. One visit to their testimonial page and you can see why it is valuable to any EMS organization large or small.

On top of free training and tech support, they also have free system upgrades since the software is located in the cloud. What’s even better for those tech savvy managers is a new feature of the software THE CONFIGURATOR.

The Schedule Configurator eliminates the need for customers to call them with schedule configuration requests.  While support is of course still there if you need them, if customers are comfortable making these changes on their own they now have the flexibility to do the following directly from the Configurator:

Create and add new schedules

Add positions, change schedule names and change shift times

Archive schedules to remove them from member views

Create schedules to exist between certain dates vs. one that exists at all times

Create schedules that have a beginning but no end, or an end but no beginning

The Configurator is found within the Setup area and a training video is there to explain it (love the free training videos).  If you prefer a personal tour, you can just give them a call and one of their sales or support people will gladly walk you through these new capabilities.

I can point to many other features and more importantly benefits of this software, but to really get a feel for it ease of use and capabilities I suggest signing up for a free customized trial over at EMS Manager.  Click here to start now and your own demo system set up.

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It Pays To Stay Fresh In EMS

banner3apRecently I had the pleasure of presenting an EMS webinar.

When preparing for the presentation I had to research and brush up on some topics and while I am comfortable in many areas of EMS  there is always room for improvement.

Listen, we can’t remember everything and even when we feel we have a firm grasp on a subject there’s always one or two things you may second  guess yourself on.

As you know I am big supporter of building your knowledge in EMS and feel  you never know everything and there is always room for broadening your education.

One tool I used is the Human Anatomy Course. This is a real go to resource for me  quite often for my webcasts, exam creation and blogging.

While many of us tend to focus on this during initial EMT or paramedic training. It really is a foundational topic that we should revisit once in awhile.

But who wants to keep huge textbooks lying around right?

The beauty of this resource is that it is all digital and you keep it on your computer for easy access and reference.

To find out what this is all about and how you can claim it for your EMS library, just visit the link below.

http://www.emsseo.com/product/study-aides/human-anatomy-course/

If you feel that you are ready to step up to the next level, stop trying to figure it all out on your own and make sure you don’t continnue wondering how to succeed on exams and in your EMS career without seeing some success — click here now

I might be able to help you by mentoring you & giving you a step-by-step plan and resources that I have been using for the last ELEVEN YEARS. Click here now

P.S. It is NOT right for everyone – but if you feel having me working with you almost “daily” & giving you proven steps and methods to follow that will help you get to the next level, then click here now for more details.

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EMS Scheduling Looks Good On Video

This video gives some highlights of a great EMS employee scheduling and management software. But you need to go and signup for a customized free trial to really get a feel for the simplicity, power and value of this innovative software.



Click here to sign up for the free trial and tell them you saw the video on EMS Office Hours.

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