How do you stay Up To Date?

Stretcher Jockey

Verified Military
Joined
Jul 7, 2016
Messages
270
#1
Ive been on this forum and learned a lot from the wealth of knowledge our more experience members have. That being said, I'm looking for some advice: how do you stay up to date on new protocols and medicine in general? Just a small bit of background, I'm AD AF and have been a paramedic for about 1 1/2 years now. We recently had some new protocols for our service come out (within the last 3 months) and while they are straight forward for the most part, what I struggle with is my units lack of training. I mean, literally zero. And every time I've created and brought new Power Points or hands on training for anything it never ends up happening. Without making too many excuses, how do you all keep up? I try listening to PodCasts (EMCrit and SecondShift mostly) but having an extremely slow service of 1-2 calls in a 24 hour shift, I feel like I am lagging behind. I try to also spend at least 1-2 hours every shift looking at medicine related studies and refresh myself on things I'm uncomfortable with. And while I haven't killed anyone yet, I cant help but shake the feeling that the first cardiac arrest or adrenal crisis or pediatric drowning case I have is going to go terribly.

What do you all use? And if anyone has advice for a green medic, I'm all ears.
 

DocIllinois

Verified Military
Joined
Sep 10, 2015
Messages
1,521
#3
I'm curious about this one, too.

Is little CME training time a common occurrence in AF responder units, or is it standard to expect folks to knock it out on their own time?
 

RustyShackleford

Ranger
Verified SOF
Joined
Aug 14, 2006
Messages
1,098
Location
USA
#6
If the hospital system/physician whose license you practice under are not providing CEs, protocol updates, and other educational/training opportunities, they are failing you. That said, I would imagine your unit has someone designated to coordinate these activities and set up training, whether it is classroom based or hands-on.

With that low of a call volume, perhaps you could inquire as to the possibility of working shifts at a local trauma center or EMS system with a higher call volume. In addition to my regular duties for an LE agency, I am and EMT and operate under an expanded scope of medical protocols. We receive more than adequate training, but it is essentially a collateral duty for those of us in our medical program. Most of us ride with local FD/EMS units or work with ERs to get hands-on time with patients and additional training.
 

Red Flag 1

Verified Military
Joined
Sep 28, 2010
Messages
7,872
#7
If the hospital system/physician whose license you practice under are not providing CEs, protocol updates, and other educational/training opportunities, they are failing you. That said, I would imagine your unit has someone designated to coordinate these activities and set up training, whether it is classroom based or hands-on.
 
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Stretcher Jockey

Verified Military
Joined
Jul 7, 2016
Messages
270
#8
So I guess I should have been a little more clear in my initial post about my situation. I didn't want to start placing blame everywhere except for myself, so I left a lot out that could help explain. What it essentially comes down to is that while being assigned to my on base clinic, I have very little interaction with them for two reasons: one, they offer zero urgent care or emergency services leading us to transfer all of our patients off base, and two, the facility is BLS while the ambulance is ALS, so we end up having people who don't understand ALS ambulance operations trying to do CE for us.

I've taken a lot of the "merit badge" courses to include: ACLS, PALS, PEPP, PHTLS, TCCC, and AMLS. But outside of going to these courses, I still try to listen to podcasts and read through my books to refresh myself. I've also tried moonlighting off base with local EMS and ERs but my command shuts it down due to liability issues. So I'm essentially stuck getting 1-2 calls in a shift on a generally healthy population and the only time I go an official refresher course is every 2 years when it's time to re-up my NREMT.

Again not trying to blame anyone for my situation, just looking to see what members of this community do. From what it sounds like all of your agencies has stipulations to do CE with you and allow you to work with other agencies to increase patient interaction time.
 

RustyShackleford

Ranger
Verified SOF
Joined
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Messages
1,098
Location
USA
#9
Again not trying to blame anyone for my situation, just looking to see what members of this community do. From what it sounds like all of your agencies has stipulations to do CE with you and allow you to work with other agencies to increase patient interaction time.
My situation is unique in that I am not employed as an EMT. It is a collateral duty and oversight is provided by an HQ element that coordinates with Johns Hopkins (our medical direction). We run through a refresher for NREMT every two years, plus tacmed and advance scope training. Our SOP requires us to ride an ambulance or get clinical hours every month and management provides documentation that we assume all liability while conducting these clinical hours. City fire lets me do whatever I am comfortable with and they like the fact that a guy with a badge and gun is along for the shift.

As you have probably figured out, nothing beats going hands-on with anything medicine related. If you haven't already done so, speak with your training coordinator and your Doc about your concerns and go from there.
 

Devildoc

Verified Military
Joined
Nov 3, 2015
Messages
2,835
Location
Durham, NC
#11
There has been less and less funding for USAF Medical facilities spread over the years. Medical Centers have been down staffed to the USAF Hospital level, and USAF Hospitals have been down staffed to clinic level. During my years of USAF practice, it was pretty common to see OB/GYN services farmed out to civilian facilities. The same was seen with Orthopedics, ENT, ICU, and other subspecialties. It looks like Emergency First Response has continued but without the ability to care for the individuals needing First Responders, that has been contracted out as well. The patients that the USAF First Responder care for are transported to civilian facilities.This puts the First Responders in a difficult position since the patients that are served are going to civilian facilities. This leaves the USAF first responders with only a tacit connection to Base Medical Services(BMS). The equipment is supplied by the USAF Medical budget, but evaluation and training have become something that the BMS has limited oversight capability. Somewhere along the line, there needs to be a Medical evaluation and support system. From the OP, that seems to become something on the back burner of someone else's stovetop.
Same thing is happening with the Navy. Best thing that happened to EMS at Camp Lejeune was when it went civil service; those guys also work for local civvy EMS, so they get the added benefit of that. Once they got the Navy out of the ambulance business, though, the quality of EMS went up.
 

Stretcher Jockey

Verified Military
Joined
Jul 7, 2016
Messages
270
#13
I absolutely agree, as much as it pains me to see. It honestly is just a matter of time, and all I can really do is cross my fingers that I'm not the unlucky soul who gets caught up in it.
 

Stretcher Jockey

Verified Military
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Jul 7, 2016
Messages
270
#15
Well I finally bugged my command enough about the lack of continuing education that I am now in charge of creating/coordinating all of it for my flight. I've reached out to a friend who is an IDMT-P since his Medical Director does tons of training for them for some ideas. Looks like I'm going to have my hands full creating a program for training and education for my fellow EMS personnel.

Definitely open to some ideas for topics to train on that relate to EMS.
 

Muppet

Paratrooper
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Joined
Jul 30, 2008
Messages
9,354
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Wrong side of heaven, righteous side of hell
#16
Well I finally bugged my command enough about the lack of continuing education that I am now in charge of creating/coordinating all of it for my flight. I've reached out to a friend who is an IDMT-P since his Medical Director does tons of training for them for some ideas. Looks like I'm going to have my hands full creating a program for training and education for my fellow EMS personnel.

Definitely open to some ideas for topics to train on that relate to EMS.
ACLS, PALS, PHTLS, AMLS, ASLS, AHLS, PEPP. All those canned courses. At very least, ACLS/PALS and CPR recerts. TECC also.

ACLS EP is a good canned course.

M.
 

Stretcher Jockey

Verified Military
Joined
Jul 7, 2016
Messages
270
#17
@Muppet your opinion on this greatly appreciated! I wont be an official instructor for this position, but Im absolutely planning on running through all of those. Also planning on getting my Medical Directors input on a good bit of pharmacology since our protocols just added 20 some-odd new meds.

And since Im now in this position, Im going to take the opportunity to teach our Security Forces some TECC. Did a little poll today to see how many of the patrols carried and/or knew how to apply a TQ. The answer to both was zero.
 
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FisherAD1

Ranger PA
Verified SOF
Joined
Mar 5, 2018
Messages
24
#18
Ive been on this forum and learned a lot from the wealth of knowledge our more experience members have. That being said, I'm looking for some advice: how do you stay up to date on new protocols and medicine in general? Just a small bit of background, I'm AD AF and have been a paramedic for about 1 1/2 years now. We recently had some new protocols for our service come out (within the last 3 months) and while they are straight forward for the most part, what I struggle with is my units lack of training. I mean, literally zero. And every time I've created and brought new Power Points or hands on training for anything it never ends up happening. Without making too many excuses, how do you all keep up? I try listening to PodCasts (EMCrit and SecondShift mostly) but having an extremely slow service of 1-2 calls in a 24 hour shift, I feel like I am lagging behind. I try to also spend at least 1-2 hours every shift looking at medicine related studies and refresh myself on things I'm uncomfortable with. And while I haven't killed anyone yet, I cant help but shake the feeling that the first cardiac arrest or adrenal crisis or pediatric drowning case I have is going to go terribly.

What do you all use? And if anyone has advice for a green medic, I'm all ears.
Does the AF have something like the AMEDD Virtual Library?
 
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