Thursday, September 16, 2010

Scholarship for the ACAP Conference

A little something that may encourage you to come over to sunny Perth for next months conference

Applications are now open for financial ACAP WA members to apply for the 2010 Kevin Milton Smith Scholarship to attend the 2010 ACAP  Conference at the Sheraton Hotel Perth.
As the 2010 ACAP Conference is held in Perth, 10 scholarships will be awarded which will cover the Conference Registration fee, the Welcome reception and Clinical Simulation or Triage Workshop.
Please direct all 2010 Scholarship queries to              
Australian College of Ambulance Professionals
WA Branch Inc
A:  PO Box 335 Belmont WA 6753 

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Automatic Recognition

We are at a nursing home, Patient bundled up on stretcher, heading off down the corridor.

A visitor sees us going past, and exclaims: "that's my mother!"

We stop, said visitor has a closer look, and realizes that no, our patient is not her mother.

"I thought she looked like my mum, she had white hair!"

A rare occasion in a nursing home...

Friday, September 10, 2010

You Define, We Whine...

Well, I felt like it was time for a rhyme. Or as a colleague put it:
I'm a poet
and I don't even know it

- ~ - Finish Interlude - ~ -

Taking my last few posts further, here's my take on Steve Whiteheads comment (from the ever great EMT Spot):

Quote #1:
I think the idea that people call 911 out of ignorance is a flawed analysis. People call 911 inappropriately for two reasons. 
1.) They have reached the end of their problem solving capability and need help. They don’t care if they are misusing the system. They care about getting help because they don’t know what to do. In their mind, that is an emergency. 
2.) They are purposefully abusing the system for personal gain. Whether it is for controlled medications, in-home health care, a ride to somewhere closer to the hospital, attention, a warm bed or food, they want something that we provide and they don’t care if they have to game the system to get it.

I believe there is a group in between, 1.5 so to say: People who undeniably need help. They need advice. They need someone, but not us. They just don't know that yet.

Our Comms/Control/Dispatch should control and filter these calls out, and divert them to appropriate resources (paramedic practitioner, hospital at home, telephone advice, GP, psych services, talking clock.)

And as pointed out on my last post, it would help for all health professionals to work together, know what to expect from each other, and know how to use the other agencies resources appropriately. A great step forward for paramedicine would be to be recognised as a profession (registration in Australia, hint hint.)

Quote #2:
Notice something about both of these types of people. They both have a basic understanding of the 911 system. Educating them further on the appropriate use of 911 will not prevent their next call. Even if you could stop them from calling, their problems are so common that their will almost certainly be a new person to call tomorrow instead of them. And the process begins again.

As I stated above, education for caller type 1.5 will help. You can do your bit, it won't change the world, but we gotta work on it together. Sure the big changes have to occur on a management level, but we're the road warriors actually talking face to face to the people.

So in a way, we're all asking for the same thing: More options, or tools as Steve calls them. The bottom line remains: Our current model of 'send an ambulance out for everything and treat at ED/ER/A+E' is outdated (and too costly).

Apart from those minor points I don't agree with, a brilliant (I really mean brilliant) post by Steve.

I just wish more of our breed would adopt such attitudes.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Something for the locals...

ACAP and Royal Perth Hospital are teaming up together again for this years 

Western Australian Trauma Symposium 

on the 

6th of November 2010.

Registrations are open now, earlybird closes on 30th September.

Dr Tony Smith, the Medical Director for St John Ambulance New Zealand, will be the keynote speaker.
Topics include Prehospital, Military and Rural Trauma Management, the aftermath of Disaster Management and Issues pertaining to Trauma Training

For more info go to the ACAP website:

Monday, September 6, 2010

Alternatives, pt II

Something I didn't consider in my previous post was the incompetence and lack of knowledge / laziness of other health professionals.

We picked up a bloke the other day who had been seen by his GP for an ongoing chest infection. The prescribed drugs weren't kicking in, so a couple of days and a few more visits later our patient is sent home again with no new treatment.
The patient calls the surgery again, stating the not improving condition, and wants to make another appointment.

The reply from the other end of the phone line? Call an ambulance, and go to hospital.

After all, we still are DFAs.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Someone loves me!

Thanks to the people over at Medical for featuring this blog in their top 50 EMS blogs.
Looks like a bit of a generic site design wise, but hey, some random number generator picked me, so I feel good :-)

Saturday, September 4, 2010


I recently ordered a sandwich at a cafe. Nothing fancy, but the waiter was friendly.
Halfway through my meal, some of the staff slowly started packing together the outside furniture. The waiter must have realized that I (unintentionally) was speeding up with eating, and reassured that there was no hurry, and I should take my time.

The best part came when I asked what time they close: "it doesn't matter. You take your time."

What a brilliant answer. I will be going back there. They all seemed really happy when I complimented them on their great service too.

Goes to show, you can learn a lesson from anybody.