Tuesday, May 21, 2024

EMS Week - What is EMS today?

Is it what you see on TV or in movies? EMS started as an improvement to service to transport you to a hospital, with treatment and care along the way.

For the first time we brought care to you – but only in an emergency. It was an enormous step up from a stretcher in a hearse supplied by a funeral home (because they had the vehicles).

From the extremes of defibrillating a cardiac patient in a marathon to assisting a senior citizen with her or his prescriptions for cancer treatment or congestive heart failure: is EMS an emergency service, a health care service or a preventive medical service?

The answer to that depends on who you ask, as EMS still has several delivery models and philosophical approaches.

Are we a community service in the continuum of healthcare or just the angels of 3:00 AM? We are balancing the original-and-since-improved, yet cobbled-together, EMS system as an essential service with the changing needs of healthcare for our citizenry.

Further Reading:

Woodyard, D. R. (2023) EMS in the United States: Fragmented Past, Future of Opportunity. Colorado: Donnie Woodyard

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