12 must-listen-to EMS Podcasts of 2019

Top episodes from Inside EMS, The MCHD Paramedic Podcast and The Medic Mindset Podcast tackle degree requirements, clinical excellence and EMS safety concerns

The EMS1 collection of podcasts includes a podcast developed by leaders from The Montgomery County Hospital District EMS as a tool to better engage and disseminate continuing education to MCHD medics and EMS professionals nationwide; a series of interviews with EMS subject-matter experts hosted by Ginger Locke, BA, NRP, associate professor of EMS Professions at Austin (TX) Community College; and Inside EMS, hosted by our own Editorial Advisory Board Members and contributors, Chris Cebollero and Kelly Grayson (a finalist for a 2019 Folio: Eddie & Ozzie Award, the largest and most inclusive awards program in the publishing community). 

This team of leaders tackles the issues at the forefront of EMS, from education models, to legal and moral responsibilitiesclinical and diagnostic training, and mental health and wellness.  

Listen to some of the most engaging episodes from 2019 below, and email us at editor@ems1.com if you have a topic you’d like to see addressed or would like to appear as a guest on one of our podcasts.  

1. Inside EMS: The increase of assaults on EMS providers and how it's affecting the industry 

In this episode of Inside EMS, co-hosts Chris Cebollero and Kelly Grayson discuss the increase of verbal and physical assaults on EMS providers across the country. They are joined by Austin Travis County EMS (ATCEMS) Chief Ernie Rodriguez to discuss the staggering results of a recent survey of the topic taken by more than 500 members of ATCEMS. 

[Read more about the survey results here.] 

What is the prevalence of assault among communication staff, and is being assaulted just part of working in EMS? Listen and add your comments.  

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2. The MCHD Podcast: Tactical EMS/MCI pearls 

With the rising frequency of active shooter related mass casualty incidents across the country, tactical EMS team development and continuing education have become hot topics across prehospital care. 

In these episodes, Dr. Casey Patrick, MCHD’s assistant medical director, is joined by Dr. Dan O’Donnell, medical director for Indianapolis SWAT; and Assistant Medical Director for Houston Fire and Houston SWAT physician, Dr. Kevin Schulz, MD, joins the podcast with MCHD TEMS Chief Patrick Langan, EMT. 

Both discussions begin with the basics of setup and structure of a tactical EMS team. Specific TEMS procedures include surgical and other advanced airway skills, needle decompression, finger thoracostomy, tourniquets and wound packing. Which are included in any specific system depends on availability and frequency of training. 

Each episode closes with the issue of arming and/or deputizing the TEMS teams, addressed from both an offensive and defensive perspective. Whether you are a seasoned tactical operator or looking to start your team from scratch, these episodes will be valuable to all EMS personnel.   

Tactical EMS: Training in the tactical environment 


Why it’s important to have a tactical EMS team 


3. Inside EMS: How to implement mental health and wellness support into your agency's culture 

In this episode, co-hosts Chris Cebollero and Kelly Grayson sit down with Burnsville Fire Department Chief BJ Jungmann, who discusses how to develop a department culture that supports mental health and wellness. 

Chief Jungmann talks about how to implement changes to the culture in an organization and the importance of having an Employee Assistance Program (EAP) that aligns with the needs of public safety personnel. 

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4. Medic Mindset Podcast: Thinking about Syncope 

In this episode, our host, Ginger Locke hunkers down in a recording closet with one mission: data-mining Dr. Jason Pickett’s brain for his thoughts on syncope

Pickett, deputy medical director at the Austin Travis County Office of the Medical Director, notes syncope is “the bane of your existence as an emergency physician,” do to the fact that the majority of cases are totally benign, but a few are life threatening,  which absolutely must be identified.   

They discuss spinal motion restriction decision-making after ground level falls, vasovagal syncope, the use of point-of-care ultrasound to guide the differential diagnosis and seizure versus syncope differential. 

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5. Inside EMS: Should future paramedics be required to obtain associate degrees? 

In this episode, co-hosts Chris Cebollero and Kelly Grayson discuss the latest position paper outlining the idea of requiring future paramedics to have associate degrees.  

After listening, read more from Kelly Grayson on the importance of a degree for paramedics, Degree requirements, Pink Floyd, and a seat at the adults’ table.  

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6. The MCHD Podcast: Antiplatelet and anticoagulant side effects 

Patients taking antiplatelets or anticoagulants have high-risk disease processes which result in them being prescribed in the first place, and the bleeding side effects from taking these drug classes can be catastrophic. 

Both classes have complex pharmacology, and increase the patient’s risk of spontaneous and traumatic hemorrhage. The most common locations for this bleeding is in the gastrointestinal tract and intracranially. It is vital that EMS providers scan the medication list when caring for potential GI bleeds and closed head injuries as the presence of any of the medications discussed will drastically alter the risk profile. This will likely be treatment altering information when passed on the emergency department providers as well. 

After listening to the episode, your skills as a medication list detective will be refreshed and sharp. The next time you encounter a patient on a newer direct oral anticoagulant, not only will you recognize the medication, you’ll have the background pharmacologic knowledge to understand modes of action and indications for use as well. 

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7. Inside EMS: What STEMI patients need paramedics to know 

In November 2018, paramedic and educator Rob Theriault experienced a STEMI that came out of the blue. He joined the podcast to share that experience with our listeners and relive the angioplasty. Rob outlines what a paramedic needs to know from a patient perspective, and what a patient needs to know from a paramedic perspective when it comes to STEMIs. 

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8. Medic Mindset Podcast: Pediatric care with Dr. Peter Antevy 

Our host, Ginger Locke, describes Dr. Peter Antevy, as the perfect guest for the Medic Mindset Podcast, because he works to understand the psychology of paramedics. She caught up with Dr. Antevy at a conference to discuss the importance of staying on scene during pediatric arrests and why his medics actually want to run pediatric calls. 

He offers advice for medics with big ideas and on how to change your mindset to be in the zone with pediatrics

Listen as Dr. Antevy answers questions from the Medic Mindset Facebook group about pediatric head trauma, febrile seizures, pain management and ketamine, as well as his reflections on the Parkland shooting

 Read more.  

9. Inside EMS: How to determine if a patient has the mental capacity to decline care 

In this episode, co-hosts Chris Cebollero and Kelly Grayson discuss how to assess the mental capacity of individuals who may be experiencing challenges on-scene. It falls to the EMS provider to determine if a patient can constent to care, but, in order for a patient to decline care, providers should focus on three techniques to help prove the mental competency of the patient.  

To determine the mental capacity of a patient, EMS providers need to test their memory and recall by giving the patient something to recite back, orientation using standard questioning techniques, and cognitive ability where they must demonstrate reasoning.  

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10. The MCHD Podcast: Diagnosing and treating COPD in the prehospital setting 

If you treat every patient with a COPD history as COPD, you’ll be right most of the time, but eventually, you’ll run into disaster when that pneumothorax sneaks up and bites. 

Few shifts pass where we don’t care for a dyspneic patient with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. COPD is included in our differential for almost all adult patients with shortness of breath. However, discerning between COPD exacerbation, acute decompensated CHF and pneumonia can be a daunting task without the luxury of x-rays and lab values. 

In this series, Dr. Patrick outlines the typical prehospital treatment progression of COPD as the severity increases, with a review of pharmacology and physiology. Then, Dr. Dickson and Dr. Patrick delve further into the complex differential of a dyspneic patient and discuss several of the “chameleons” that can masquerade as COPD. 

Most of our COPD patients are far from straight forward with multiple comorbidities. After completion of this series, you’ll run your next dyspnea call with a clear plan and loads of confidence. 

COPD prehospital treatment progression 

 COPD comorbidities and chameleons 

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11. Inside EMS: Which EMS models will stand the test of time in a changing industry? 

EMS is changing and the future of an EMS reimbursement is not on solid ground. As we move to a value-based reimbursement system, will all the EMS models be able to sustain operations in the future?  

In this episode, co-hosts Chris Cebollero and Kelly Grayson look to the future and discuss which EMS model of service may not be in existence in the next 10 years. The discussion overviews the Public Utility Model, the value of System Status Management and the future of Private EMS. 

 Read more

12. The Medic Mindset Podcast: Talking teaching 

In this episode, Ginger Locke speaks with Dr. Jason Pickett, deputy medical director of Austin Travis County EMS, about tactics for classroom teaching and clinical EMS precepting.   

Dr. Pickett reveals the steps to a concept called “the one-minute preceptor.” He also offers insights into growth mindset from Carol Dweck’s book, “Mindset: The new psychology of success,” and principles for learning from a book called, “Make it Stick: The science of successful learning,” by Peter Brown. 

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