EMS standards: Safety and ethics
When it comes to EMS standards on safety and ethics, it is important that there are overall guidelines every team member follows
EMS standards on safety and ethics have a set of overall guidelines every team member needs to follow.
In terms of ethical standards for EMS, it is generally assumed that many of the same ethical standards that apply to other branches of the medical profession also hold true for the EMS profession.
As each state is the governing body of its own EMS standards on safety and ethics, they generally publish their own standards that EMTs and paramedics are sworn to when they become certified.
Among many aspects of EMS standards of ethics, some of the main points are as follows:
The first and foremost is the standard of all medical professionals, "Do no harm." This means that EMS professionals have a fundamental responsibility to make every effort to preserve life and alleviate the suffering of their patients.
Another important EMS standard of ethics involves the provision of medical services based on need without respect to race, religion, status or nationality. Basically, this means that EMS personnel do not discriminate against the people they are providing emergency health services for.
EMS ethical standards also require that all information gathered about patients in the course of their work remains confidential. This is also a part of the HIPPA laws regarding patient confidentiality.
Obviously, an EMS professional must relay information to the hospital emergency department if they are transporting a patient to the ER, but otherwise, they are required to refrain from divulging information, except to family members during the course of medical intervention.
Additionally, EMS providers must also retain the dignity of their profession by promoting a positive public image and doing their job to the best of their ability. This includes upholding the law both in their profession and in their personal lives.
EMS standards of safety are another important component of the profession. Safety standards are designed to protect EMS professionals, as well as the general public and the patients being treated.
Some aspects of the EMS standards of safety addressed during training are the safe operation of emergency vehicles, the safe transport of patients, assessing and securing the scene of the emergency to protect all parties involved from harm, and maintaining and using proper safety gear in the field.
Obviously, operating an emergency vehicle requires skills that are above and beyond the normal scope of automobile operation. EMS professionals realize that safety must always take precedence over the speed with which they arrive at the scene of an emergency. Driving at above average speeds, maneuvering through traffic and safely running red lights are all things that are addressed in this part of EMS standards of safety.
Safely transporting patients is another element of EMS standards of safety. EMS personnel must ensure that patients are properly strapped into the stretcher, as well as use proper lifting and carrying techniques to transport them safely to the ambulance. Patients must also be properly secured for transportation inside the ambulance.
Securing the scene of an emergency involves correctly assessing the situation before entering it.
EMS standards of safety state that workers should gather as much information as possible from the dispatcher in the event that they are called to a dangerous situation such as a crime scene, car accident, hazardous materials leak, building collapse, explosion, or natural disaster. The scene should have been secured by the police or other officials to maintain the safety of EMS before personnel enter the site.