There have been some great comments come in from my last post and another thought provoking post from TOTWTYTR.
I was going to work through a couple of those comments but I decided to put it as another post to share my further thoughts.
I mainly want to clarify what I was trying to say and for that I will quote from two of my colleagues` comments:
Jeramedic came in with the following :
“It’s great to be able to take a patient to the best most appropriate facility, but it’s even better to start therapies early and provide care before you get there”
TacMedic85 stated that :
“all of this knowledge vs skills nonsence is just that nonsence. I have worked with knowledge junkies who can accuratly tell you what is wrong with the PT before the Doc gets out the the room in the ED but can’t treat a PT worth anything. I have also worked with the skills junkies who will never miss an intubation but can’t read an ECG strip. The fact of the matter is that unless you work on both you are cheating your patients out of the care they deserve. You have to be able to do an assessment and gain a good working diagnosis but you also have to be able to effectivly act on that diagnosis. We have to dissolve this imaginary line we have drawn between the two and work on being better medics in all aspects”
Firstly, I agree that treatment and assessment are intertwined and to be an efficient and effective EMS provider, you need to be proficient at both, and whilst I agree with these viewpoints, there is, I believe another thing to think of.
Are we now getting close to the limit of what we can do with interventions for our patients?
I for one cannot see much more that would be of benefit or that would be practicable to try and perform in an out of hospital setting with our current level of technology (who knows ones we get into Star Trek land though!).
I have been on a number of courses around assessing and treating a patient suffering from traunatic injuries (ATLS, PHTLS), but there are very few advanced general assessment courses, primarily aimed at the medical patient for me to go on.
If we take it as I said that we cannot physically do much more for our patients, then should we now be looking at where we can go to further help our patients by concentrating more on our assessment and diagnostic abilities?
Or maybe I am just barking up the wrong tree??