Category Archives: Paramedic CE

Spineboards and Cocoa Puffs – The Role of Research in EMS

ss-of-role-of-researchMmmmmm.  Cocoa Puffs!  Did you know that the cacao extract in this popular breakfast cereal has some sort of effect on cancer and surgery?  Nor did we.  But the fraudulent journals thought it did… 17 of them to be exact.  Or how about the EMS staple: The rigid, long spineboard?  How did it become the protector of our fragile spine decades ago, and now is all but completely banished in the more progressive EMS systems?

EMS has progressed a lot in the last few years, stepping up from “ambulance attendants” to finally receiving recognition as medical professionals where earned.  Prehospital research played a major role in this transformation from ambulance drivers to practitioners.  But with the ease in finding information right at our fingertips (literally), it’s important for all EMTs and paramedics to understand the different types of studies out there that can influence protocol development and even the politics influencing prehospital practices.

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Doing What’s Right Versus What’s Easy: Professionalism in EMS

ss-of-doing-whats-right-versus-whats-easyIf you’re looking for that elusive Affective Characteristics education for your NREMT NCCP recertification, look no further!

Professionalism and cultural competency in EMS can be challenging.  While we cherish memories of those kind-hearted patients who really filled our sense of purpose, we also face the darker side of the spectrum: We’re spit at, bit, insulted, and sometimes treated no better than a pile of hot steamy canine excrement.

We shrug off much of it, but sometimes those bad encounters keep creeping into our own subconscious little by little.  Yet, our EMS profession requires the highest level of trust, compassion, and competency.  This education was developed to remind us of our professional obligations and to see other cultures and people in a more open light.

We hope you don’t see the education as yet another NREMT National Continued Competency or Texas state Preparatory CE slot to fill, but something that can hopefully benefit someone you know in the future.

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Acute Traumatic Pain Management


Squirrel Moment.jpgAcute pain is one of the most common reasons why EMS is called, but can also be one of the more controversial topics to tackle for prehospital medicine.

Can neonates feel pain?  How do I assess pain in screaming, crying children?  What can I safely give pregnant patients?  How do all of the different pain medications work anyway?

This July 2016 Case Review covers the assessment of pain, how the various analgesics target certain areas of the body, non-pharmaceutical options, and reviews pain management for a couple of traumatic injury cases.  Even though UMC EMS has ibuprofen, acetaminophen, ketorolac, opioids, and ketamine at their disposal, you should still find this education to be light on the protocol-specific information and applicable to most area EMS.

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Danger in the Water: Pediatric Drowning

SS of Danger in the WaterChildren and water… a great way to ease the summer sizzle, but another way for kids to find trouble!   Our actions on scene and our prehospital medical care can make a huge difference in the child’s outcome and future neurological development.

This continuing education focuses on prehospital BLS and ALS treatment of the pediatric aquatic distress and drowning victim, covering a wide variety of topics ranging from basic first responder rescue to advanced resuscitation.

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Those Incredible Kidneys: Chronic Renal Disease and Dialysis

SS of Those Incredible KidneysThe kidneys… superheros in their own right.  Why should the brain and heart get all the credit when these mega-filters detoxify the blood, remove excess fluid, produce hormones, regulate pH, and so much more?

And then there’s the patients with chronic kidney disease who can’t reap these benefits and instead, resort to dialysis to keep them alive.  This population keeps growing year after year, and EMS needs to understand the pathophysiology behind the condition and appropriate treatments in the field.

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Stemming the Tide: Successful Pharmaceutically-Assisted Intubations

SS of Stemming the Tide PAITo “stem the tide” is a nautical term where the ship is turn headlong into a surging tide or wave, which could otherwise  tip a vessel if hit broadside.

Intubation, and specifically pharmaceutically-assisted intubation, is one of the most critical skills performed by a paramedic.  You are betting the ship, or better yet, your patient’s life that you can get the job done correctly, efficiently, and with no harm done to the patient.   This narrated slideshow education teaches you how to successfully face this tide head-on by optimizing patient positioning, making educated decisions on medication choice, and the best techniques for the actual intubation process.

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Traumatic Brain Injury in Children

SS of January 2016 Case Review on TBI in ChildrenKids bounce, right?  

This seems to be the case most of the time.  But when faced with a seriously-injured pediatric patient, we owe it to the child, the parents, and ourselves to understand the anatomical differences between children and adults, the different types of injury, and best prehospital management practices.

In addition, we care for children at two different ends of a spectrum: The dearly-loved special needs children at one end, and at-risk pediatrics who may have been physically abused on the other.  Both deserve specialized care and management for their safety and well-being.

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Digging Deeper: Exploring the inner workings of pacemakers and ICDs

SS of Digging Deeper ICDs and PacemakersAs both technology and our geriatric population grows, paramedics are now treating more patients with internal pacemaker/internal cardiac defibrillators (ICDs) than ever before.  But, how much do we actually *know* about these lifesaving devices?

Can we dig deeper into the ECG and instead of thinking, “Oh *!%$*!  pacemaker spikes!” actually know what’s going on with our patient?  Absolutely.

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