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Top 10 rules of the road for new medics

Learn from the best while establishing your bedrock of clinical progression


AP Photo/Seth Wenig

Is there a more daunting time than those first few shifts as a new paramedic? Yes, clinical knowledge and operational knowledge are key, but how are new medics supposed to synthesize this mountain of information? [Fill out the form on this page to download the 10 Rules of the Road for New Medics.]

In this episode of the MCHD Paramedic Podcast, Montgomery County Hospital District Medical Director Dr. Casey Patrick is joined by Cpt. Michael Wells-Whitworth to discuss some rules of the road for new paramedics.

From timeless career success tips, like being on time, to treating colleagues with respect, to EMS-specific guidance on connecting with patients and scripting patient handoffs, these tips will help any new recruit to master their first shifts and to work their way through their organization’s protocols.

“Not everything in that book is in your purview when you start; you’re going to have a graduated level of advanced responsibility,” Dr. Patrick explained. “You may not be able to intubate on day one, but you need to know how the BSI protocol works so you can set up properly. If you don’t know the protocol, how can you prepare?”

With these tips, establish the bedrock of your clinical progression; so you’re ready to be a good partner, and progress to the next level.

Fill out the form on this page to download the 10 Rules of the Road for New Medics.

The MCHD Paramedic Podcast was launched in early 2018 in an effort to provide easily consumable core-content EMS education and insights from prehospital care thought leaders. The Clinical Services Department of The Montgomery County Hospital District EMS service developed the podcast as a tool to better engage and disseminate continuing education to our MCHD medics as well as first responders and EMS professionals nationwide.

Dr. Casey Patrick is the assistant medical director for Montgomery County Hospital District EMS and is a practicing emergency physician in multiple community emergency departments across Greater Houston. His EMS educational focus is on innovative paramedic teaching via the MCHD Paramedic Podcast. Dr. Patrick’s prehospital clinical research involves the investigation of paramedic use of bolus dose intravenous nitroglycerin for acute pulmonary edema and the implementation of lung protective ventilation strategies for intubated EMS patients. Casey and his wife, Alyssa, work and live in Conroe, Texas, and Spokane, Washington. Together they have five children: Mia, Ainsley, Brock, Dean and Will.

Dr. Dickson graduated with honors from the University of Texas Health Science Center San Antonio in 2001 and completed emergency medicine training at Indiana University in 2004. He serves as the EMS medical director at Montgomery County Hospital District EMS and an assistant professor of emergency medicine at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, Texas. His academic interests include systems of care in stroke and other time-sensitive emergencies, neurologic emergencies and education. He is board certified in emergency medicine in both the U.S. and Australasia, and has subspecialty board certification in EMS medicine. He has authored multiple professional articles and presented at regional, national and international conferences on emergency medicine and EMS topics.