When we work hard or give up our time to help others and sacrifice our needs, we want to be appreciated. It’s human nature. We don’t need a pat on the back every time, but it’s encouraging to receive recognition every now and then. This is especially vital when it comes to our first responders, who are saving lives for the benefit of society. They deserve more than just appreciation, but the recognition for making a difference in our communities. National EMS Week reminds us to recognize the important and lifesaving work our EMS do for our communities.
Although the EMS profession is a rewarding job, it’s also dangerous. EMS are three times more likely to be injured in the line of duty than the average U.S. worker. They are known for receiving sprain injuries due to moving patients around and attending to motor vehicle accidents. The Department of Labor also reported a number of injuries and fatalities that occur as a result of an assault.
A Dallas Fire-Rescue Department paramedic was shot while treating a victim’s gun wound, two Boston first responders were shot while responding to a mentally ill patient waving a knife, and an Illinois paramedic was attacked while helping a drunken patient. But throwing themselves in potentially dangerous situations is part of their job. Every emergency EMS are called to, regardless of how minor or tragic, they provide care, comfort, reassurance, and sacrifice their lives.
But not every EMS has a hospital that recognizes their true value. Some EMS providers hardly interact with the emergency department physicians, and some physicians prefer to use nurses as a liaison between themselves and the ambulance crews. The vast majority of EMS providers are also underpaid and overworked. Yet, they continue to support our community to benefit patient lives.
Whether an EMS is in the safety of their home or station, whether they’re in the middle of a meal or leaving sleep unfished, duty calls. An emergency is unplanned, unpredictable and uncertain. Sometimes it’s as simple as putting someone back in their bed, or as life-threatening as restarting a heart. Regardless, they’re always on call.
National EMS Week reminds healthcare providers and the everyday citizen the hard work and sacrifices these heroic people make in the everyday life that we may not realize. They deserve the respect and accolade from our communities and other medical providers as they continue to provide exceptional quality of patient care.
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