I was reading some commentary on the alphabet soup requirements we have to maintain as EMTs and paramedicsÂ and in agreement, started to join in the fray. Â Both sides, however, had some pretty good points. Â There are those who are right about the CPR and ACLS cards mandated by law being ridiculous when we are in fact, teaching to a much higher level of competence. Â And there are those who are right that if it were not for those seemingly useless certification requirements, some agencies, who admittedly are less than cutting edge providers, would require absolutely no effort to maintain any continuing education.
It would be nice if our leaders, and by extension, our organizations, would do the right thing and ensure that meaningful training is being provided. Â But before judging, consider your own organization and ask yourself, would you train on the less-sexy items if there weren’t some mandate to do so? Â Would you perform tasks that you don’t see extraordinary value in if not for regulations that force you to do so?
Jumping through hoops is a waste of time and insulting to those of us who adhere to a professional standard. Â I take the time to hone my craft and I take pride in the fact that even as a chief officer, I can still do the job, albeit a little slower than in the old days, but I can certainly say that I not only talk the talk, but I walk the walk. Â At the strategic level though, we need toÂ push our personnel to not only train on the things they think they need to be good at, but to be able to prove they are still up to par on the areas we don’t work with as often.
Organizations that think they can get by through avoiding the necessary efforts at training make us all look bad. Â They create situations where people get hurt or worse, die. Â “Failing to train your troops”, as Confucius said, “is tantamount to abandoning them.” Â Even if there isn’t a regulatory mandate to do so, we need to pay attention to all facets of the job, and make sure we are good at everything in our repertoire, so we don’t get caught in the not-knowing, and find ourselves scrambling for answers.