The JEMS conference was an awesome experience. For three days I felt privileged to be surrounded by such a vast number of EMS educators and providers, to learn from them and hear their stories. I walked from class to class with my friends, an ID badge hanging from my neck identifying me as a Paramedic. I wore it proudly, turning it face-forward whenever I noticed it had turned around. I felt honored to be part of such a crowd.
Two friends and I attended classes on a huge array of subjects, ranging from difficult airway management to heart sounds, from COPD to seizures. We sat and listened as providers from around the country told their war stories and the lessons they learned, with each experience backed by science through presented research. Myths were busted as revelations were made, the truth revealed through academic rigor. It was interesting to see EMS from such a prospective. To be taken seriously. Doctors on the panels were focused towards our cause, standing ahead of the class but beside us as colleagues. It was clear to everyone there: this is how EMS is supposed to be.
I am excited to bring this feeling home with me, renewed in strength. The patient always comes first. Our actions have to be regulated through the rigor of science. We have the capability and responsibility to make ourselves better. Each of these, not lessons learned but mantras that weaved through the convention center. The message was common knowledge, both the reason and purpose of attendance. I am thrilled to be part of this.
Through the dark we drove home on Saturday night. All of us were tired from the experience, the late nights and early mornings having taken their toll. Still our conversation remained heavy with the purpose of EMS. We discussed the things we had learned, the reasons why we do this and the responsibilities we have been charged with. Exhausted, but recharged.
A quote from Biologist and Nobel laureate Jacques Monod:
In science, self-satisfaction is death. Personal self-satisfaction is the death of the scientist. Collective self-satisfaction is the death of research. It is restlessness, anxiety, dissatisfaction, agonoy of the mind that nourish science.
May we all remain dissatisfied.
In other news:
I am very sorry to have missed the meeting with the other bloggers on Friday night. I mixed up the times, staying later to watch the JEMS games instead of heading across the street. I was looking forward to meeting everybody, but by the time I got out everyone had already left. Sorry guys, next year I will be there.
I am still not sure when or with whom I will be precepting. Things seem to be still somewhat up in the air, and I hesitate to guess what will happen. I'll post about it when I find out.