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Top 10 EMS New Year's Resolutions

Rather than the usual prosaic New Year's resolutions, I decided to come up with some EMS-specific resolutions that all of us could try adopting

Wow, 2011 already? I mean, I only just started writing 2010 on all my checks! And as everybody knows, January also brings New Year's resolutions, those impossible and naïve goals we set for ourselves each turn of the calendar, goals usually abandoned well before it's time to fill out our income tax returns. Last year, I managed to keep only one resolution. I vowed to get in shape, and I did. Hey, round is a shape!

Still others, like attending a procrastinators' support group, I haven't gotten around to doing. But I can't take all the blame for that one. They still haven't scheduled their first meeting.

So, rather than the usual prosaic New Year's resolutions, I decided to come up with some EMS-specific resolutions that all of us could try adopting:

I resolve to remove all the stickers of agencies I used to belong to from my car, so that cops will stop asking me if I drive the Hardee's 911 car in NASCAR's Craftsman Truck Series when they pull me over. The ticket is bad enough without the sarcasm from my brothers in blue.

I resolve to stop using alphabet soup after my last name. Because, you know, writing, "Kelly Grayson, AAS, NREMT-P, CCEMT-P, ACLS RF, PALS RF, BLS TCF, EMS I/C, Farmedic I, NREMT QA, BEMS QIM, AMLS I, GEMS I, PEPP I, PHTLS I, NRP, HMFIC, BMOC, AEIOU and sometimes Y, recipient of Mrs. Sanders' 3rd grade gold star award for an especially spiffy crayon drawing of a duck, author, columnist, raconteur, studmuffin," tends to make a fellow look a bit pompous and insecure. Even if it is true.

I resolve that, when assessing my patient's mental status, I will actually know the correct date before asking the patient. Nothing sucks worse than having your patient demonstrate that they're more oriented than you are.

I resolve that the next time I have a four-hour transport of a sedated and mechanically ventilated patient, and the nurse offers to put in a Foley prior to transport, I will graciously accept her offer. In fact, make that one for the patient, and one for me.

I resolve to never again clip the remote controlled "fart noise generator" to my partner's gear belt before we get to the triage station with the hot new nurse. No matter how funny it is.

I resolve that, instead of "frequent flier," I will begin using my employer's preferred terminology of "valued repeat customer."

I resolve that, when transporting a patient from a gang fight, to check with the first-in unit to make sure we're not both transporting to the same Emergency Department. Likewise, I resolve that when I forget to do this, I will not take personally anything the triage nurse calls me.

I resolve to be more concerned with my partner's health and welfare, and that begins with just saying "NO" to gas station burritos when we're doing street corner posting at 3:00 am.

I resolve that if I ever again have to cut a down parka off my patient, I will do so at the scene and not in my rig.

I resolve never again to pick up an extra shift when the on-duty supervisor is nicknamed "The Angel of Death."

Got any EMS New Year's Resolutions of your own? Chime in with your comments below.

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