Friday, January 9, 2009

Medics, muscle cars and Margolis

Scott Snyder out at the San Francisco Paramedic Association sent me a link thinking it would be good "blog fodder." He was right:

Paramedics get muscle cars

There are two things I find interesting. First is the "muscle car" reference. It doesn't seem to fit with my thinking on EMS. And lets be real, we could all drive 4 or 6 cylinder vehicles but we'd beat the crap out them and they wouldn't last 18 months. Couldn't take the beating.

I just hope nobody crashes one. The lawsuit will certainly bring out that headline in a negative light.

OK, stereotypes dealt with, I then noticed the reference to advanced practice paramedics. You may recall how that was initially one of the levels proposed in the early EMS Scope of Practice drafts. It was considered impractical, before it's time and taken out relatively quickly.

I remember presentations given by Gregg Margolis about the process and the advanced practice paramedic. We also had personal conversations. I had the good fortune to work for Gregg at The George Washington University. Gregg was an advocate for the APP. I think that it is important to note that the advanced practice paramedic concept has resurfaced.

I think most changes in EMS will be evolutionary, not revolutionary. Gregg was looking for a revolutionary change. One that would have given EMS increasing professionalism, more training and responsibility and perhaps most importantly, a career path.

Gregg worked on a revolution and didn't get it the first try. But when someone tries for something lofty but worthy, people notice. It is like planting a seed. The APP concept in Raleigh likely isn't the full scope of the original concept, but it is a sprout from the seed Margolis (and others) planted.

I just thought it was important to mention this evolutionary step toward a revolutionary vision. Good happens slowly. Sometimes imperceptibly. But it seems to be happening here.

Thanks, Gregg. You are good for EMS. Revolution or not.


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