Forces Changing the EMT Field
Emergency Medical Technicians provide necessary prehospital care for patients.
From setting bones to stabilizing patients with life-threatening injuries, EMTs rely on today’s medical technology to give patients the best care possible. Technology is advancing all of the time in the medical field, and these advances help to promote the high-quality care that patients need.
Some of these forces that change the EMT force are not even related to technology advances but to knowledge-based research.
For example, fatigue management has become an important issue for both patients and EMTs. Fatigue is a major concern for EMTs on the job as they work long hours in high-stress situations. When fatigue overtakes an EMT, their job can suffer as a result. How can EMTs reduce their fatigue to remain alert while out in the field and stay healthy themselves? Fatigue management may be the answer. The goal is to reduce risk to both patients and providers by helping providers manage their fatigue.
Another force affecting the EMT force is finance-driven. More EMT professionals mean more personnel. Emergency Medical Service budgets need to accommodate for the demand of EMTs and Paramedics as well as the need for adequate equipment and supplies. Rising expenses and call volumes can also cause a strain on EMS budgets.
Patient satisfaction remains an important force in Emergency Medical Services. EMTs and Paramedics not only have to provide the correct care within an appropriate response time but also must communicate well with patients. Patients want to be treated with respect and handled with care. Ask patients how they are doing and let them know what you are doing to care for them. Soft skills play an important role in patient satisfaction, and EMTs need to develop these soft skills even in stressful situations.
Right-sized Response Times
Response times, while important, no longer provide the measure for whether an EMT team is doing well or not in the field. Response times used to be used as the critical measurement to determine an Emergency Medical Service’s success, but times have changed. This move away from average response times now accounts for non-emergency calls that do not require an immediate response. Previously, these calls would be added to the response time and gave an inaccurate view of how well the EMT teams handled their responses.