Wednesday, December 8, 2010


So I had dinner with a large group of EMS providers this evening and we talked about basically everything but naturally we ended up talking EMS. 

The majority talked about how they hate working multiple jobs to make ends meet, bashed our system, complained about the nursing staff at the various local and not so local facilities, and of course we shared war stories.  It was a rather typical EMS meet up. 

Not one person offered suggestions as to how we can change things.  NOT. A. ONE.

I am not feeling all that wonderful so admittedly I was not the greatest company this evening.  More importantly I was rather interested to hear what everyone else had to say so I just sat back and observed and listened for a good long while. 

Finally the EMT next to me who I have known for awhile now poked me with her elbow and said, “You are so quiet it’s scaring me.  I have worked with you and we definitely have some stories to tell!”  So I replied, “Eh not feeling all that lovely and I am not my usual chipper self and anyway it’s good to listen rather than talk sometimes.” 

Insert my fellow EMS providers blank stare here.

EMS providers are VERY skilled at running their mouths so leaving one speechless, especially this one, is an accomplishment.

They run their mouths in the station or at post, they run their mouths on scene, they run their mouths in the bay, they just talk, talk, talk….

Sometimes silence REALLY is golden.  Sometimes REALLY, truly hearing a patient out is what’s necessary as one question can elicit a response that answers every single question you would have asked the patient and then some. 

Tonight silence was NOT golden. 

Everyone got their food and while there was a lull in conversation I simply stated:

“Change begins with us.  If we don’t speak up for ourselves nobody will.”


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