Your EMS Reputation Depends on Three Cs
Your EMS Reputation Depends on Three Cs—Credentials, Courtesy, Community
In EMS, your reputation is critical. Your character moves with you from provider to provider and from squad to squad; EMS is a small world where people know about you before you even step foot in the door.
People react to you based on judgments from not only real life, but also your digital life. With Facebook, Snapchat, Instagram and other social media networks so prevalent today, your social media profile serves as the basis of your reputation both professionally and privately.
Unfortunately, social media blunders abound among EMS providers, affecting their reputations and their future hiring ability. You can find hundreds of examples doing a quick online search; here are just two.
Three South Carolina responders fired for making statements like “idiots shutting down I-126. Better not be there when I get off work …” (Kaplan, 2016, para. 3)
A Brockton, Mass. dispatcher who said of a pregnant overdose patient, “She needs to be left to rot …” (Shephard, 2018, para. 5)
A better way to think of your reputation is the “Three Cs” — Credentials, Courtesy and Community.
- Credentials may also be called Continuing Education, as it’s vital to keep learning throughout your career. Many of the best paramedics and EMTs are lifelong learners; in contrast there are others who take the NREMT exam and then never do more to see EMS from a wider perspective.
- Courtesy means being courteous not only to your patients and coworkers but also to yourself. When others feel comfortable around you, it is easier to develop those close ties and professional relationships that boost your reputation.
- Community refers to both where you live and the broader EMS community at large. The public and our industry look to us to build and improve a framework where we can all grow and thrive. Professional norms promote collaboration, knowledge sharing and a collective responsibility for improving ourselves and our treatments.
So, let’s follow the “Three Cs” to improve EMS as a community. Let’s have better, more convenient education that goes beyond the “same old, same old.” Let’s push our medical directors for improved, evidence-based treatments. Let’s pull each other up and be leaders at the healthcare table. Lastly, let’s stand out in the community with reputations that reflect the consummate professionals we truly are.
Scott F. McConnell is Vice President of EMS Education for OnCourse Learning and one of the Founders of Distance CME, which recently launched a new learning platform. Since its inception in 2010, more than 10,000 learners worldwide have relied on Distance CME to recertify their credentials. Scott is a true believer in sharing not only his perspectives and experiences but also those of other providers in educational settings
(Kaplan, 2016, para. 3) “Three S.C. first responders fired for threatening comments about protesters” Retrieved from https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/post-nation/wp/2016/07/13/three-s-c-first-responders-fired-for-threatening-comments-about-protesters/
(Shephard, 2018, para. 5) “Dispatcher put on leave for harsh Facebook comments” Retrieved from https://www.ems1.com/ems-social-media/articles/378700048-Dispatcher-put-on-leave-for-harsh-Facebook-comments/