Posted by: medicblog999 | January 10, 2010

A smooth Paramedic Exchange!

earth-transparentAnd no, I dont mean an exchange between to cool, handsome and ‘smooth’ paramedics. After all, that already been done hasnt it? 😉

Justin, the Happy Medic, has just put a post up on his site about how to arrange and conduct a successful EMS Exchange. He lists 20 points, all of which I strongly agree with, but I thought I would share a few more in addition to his:

1)      Before you do an exchange, know exactly where you are going! I had already agreed to go and see Justin before I even knew where he lived and worked. You can imagine my delight when I found out it was San Francisco!

2)      Do your research about where you are going to be staying. Although I didn’t mind walking past strip clubs and groups of homeless people to get to my hotel, I would rather it have been in a more ‘attractive area’

3)      Make sure the Wi-Fi is inclusive and works! Oh my god, that was such a pain in the arse to try and get that sorted out. If your project is going to be shared on social media then you need to be able to upload stuff daily.

4)      Be professional at all times, whether on duty or out socialising. When you go and work in someone else’s service you must always remember that you are an ambassador for your own service. It was even more significant for me as I felt that I was the face of the NHS for my time in San Francisco. Even when you are out socialising, you don’t know who you are going to be socialising with. For all you know, the Chief of the department you are visiting could be just across the room.

5)      Ensure that if you are going to be doing an arm wrestle which will be broadcast over the internet which has been hyped up to be the USA v UK, then ensure that you pick someone who you are fairly sure you can obliterate!! (just for you that one Chris!)

6)      Try and have a really great Camera Crew come around with you. This is essential for two reasons – (i) You will end up with a film or TV show that you will be able to treasure and watch again and again to remind you of what a wonderful time you had, and (ii) You will gain a couple of fantastic friends that make you laugh out loud each and every day!

7)      You have a responsibility to share what you are learning! No matter where you go, it will be a great personal trip for you. You will experience new things, learn new ways to look at things, gain a new appreciation for all things EMS, and be aware of a truly ‘bigger picture’, But, unless you can share it with a wider group of people, your organisation and any parties that may be able to improve and change patient care in your own area, then what was the point in doing it really??

8)      Learn the little financial things as quick as possible. Example – I need $2 for the streetcar. I have a 5$ Bill. I go into a shop and see an offer for 2 bottles of Coke for 3$. Champion!! Go to the till and pay and get $1.50 (ish) cents back. What’s that about? Oh yeah, they don’t include the vat on the price!!

So with that extra advice, and Justin’s original 20 points, you should have a fab time!

Go and do it, you won’t regret it. No matter what happens with The Chronicles of EMS, this will not be my last ever foreign exchange. It was just too good, not to repeat again.

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