Thread: Pocket guides

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    Default Pocket guides

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    Last edited by ColoradoDave; 02-12-2013 at 12:31 PM.

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    I have heard good comments about Informed (in other online communities similar to this one, but EMS-focused). I haven't looked at one myself, although I do have their iPhone app. I'm not sure if it's the same content or not.

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    Last edited by ColoradoDave; 02-12-2013 at 12:58 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ColoradoDave View Post
    Ya I saw the app. You can buy them as a package. I though about gettin the one for my iPhone but I dont take my phone on calls and I dont think it would look to good if I was on my phone at a call even though I was looking something up.
    Yeah, I get what you're saying, but unfortunately, using a field guide in the field kind of looks just as bad. Actually, having a cell phone with you on calls has certain advantages. There are some areas in my county, for example, where the mobile and portable radios can't get a good signal but cell phones will work. There are other conceivable situations where having one can be a good thing. You are right that there are certain situations in which you should avoid using it, though, but that doesn't mean you shouldn't have it with you at all.

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    Last edited by ColoradoDave; 02-12-2013 at 12:32 PM.

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    Dave,

    I have one (forget which brand off hand) and I used to carry it at all times. Wasted weight in my pocket, especially as a first responder. I do still carry it when I do squad rotation (maybe one week every 8-12 weeks). Even then I only use it for two things -a) given a particular drug, what is it used for? and b) spelling check of med terms in my reports.

    BTW, I am a EMT (in addition to being a FF); not everyone here can make that claim, be wary of those giving you advice.
    Opinions expressed are mine alone, and do not necessarily reflect those of the Philadelphia Fire Department and/or IAFF Local 22.

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    Last edited by ColoradoDave; 02-12-2013 at 12:32 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mrpita View Post
    Dave,

    I have one (forget which brand off hand) and I used to carry it at all times. Wasted weight in my pocket, especially as a first responder. I do still carry it when I do squad rotation (maybe one week every 8-12 weeks). Even then I only use it for two things -a) given a particular drug, what is it used for? and b) spelling check of med terms in my reports.

    BTW, I am a EMT (in addition to being a FF); not everyone here can make that claim, be wary of those giving you advice.
    ColoradoDave, what mrpita is trying to tell you is that the only other person to reply to this thread so far (me) is not an EMT. And although mrpita is correct, what he is apparently unaware of (though I've posted it in public here before) is that I have been one in the past, and have had around 3,000 direct patient contacts where either I and my partner were the crew directly responsible for those patients. In 2009, I lost my job as an EMT due to an injury (it wasn't work related, but other than that, is a long story), and due to not being affiliated with any EMS agency at the time I was due to get re-certified, I was unable to do so. At the time, I wasn't much concerned about it, thinking then that my interests were going in other directions. Recently I realized I was wrong, and am now re-taking the full EMT course. I actually welcome that as an opportunity, too.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ColoradoDave View Post
    Ya I'm thats my battle. I have the space for it in my pants but do I spend the $25 for it if I never use it?? I know I have a couple LT's that like to ask questions in the rig coming back from a call. So if I could open that up to clarify things ....
    It can still be valuable even if you don't carry it with you on every call. Particularly if it's by a different publisher or author than your EMT class textbook. Reviewing it in downtime can give you a different perspective on things you've already learned, and it helps to keep various bits of knowledge fresh in your mind.

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    I thought starting out I would want the quick reference material, and thinking back to my rookie year I probably did use it more then. But basically I came back to my training.

    I am fortunate times 2. One I get to work in one of THE busiest EMS systems in the country, and even in my relatively few years of experience I believe I have more experience than a lot of EMTs get for 2, 3, even 4 times the years. (This has been reinforced by those with experience from before joining my dept.) For example, I have been first on scene EMT at dozens of shootings - more than most will see in a career; the squads I have worked do upwards of 8,000 runs/year. With that experience comes repetition, and mistakes learned from, that reinforces the training.

    My second fortune was the training; taught by my dept. in the academy, an accelerated course boot-camp style that was so thorough yet overwhelming that in 3 months I went from not knowing a damn thing to being prepped well enough to succeed in this system. The only regret for my training is I didn't know what to ask when I went through. It'd be nice to have a 1-year or even 6-month refresher to jar loose and reconnect somehow the difference from the classroom to the field. Kinda like we were a lump of clay, formed one way to get through the training, then the field shaped us to another similar but different form; some kind of compare/contrast to rectify the two forms would then be ideal.
    Opinions expressed are mine alone, and do not necessarily reflect those of the Philadelphia Fire Department and/or IAFF Local 22.

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    I have to disagree with it "looking bad" if you have to look up something in the field. When I was doing my medic rotations in the various hospitals, it wasn't at all unusual for the docs to have the physicians-style field guide on them ... and they even used it!

    Some medics & EMT's are better than others, as far as bedside manner, job performance, job knowledge, and memory of drip rates, med administration, and the like. Some simply might need a quick reminder on any of these items, and having a field guide handy doesn't hurt.

    I don't carry one on my person, but we have one (ALS version) in the jumpbag, just in case anyone on the rig needs it.
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    Quote Originally Posted by BoxAlarm187 View Post
    I have to disagree with it "looking bad" if you have to look up something in the field. When I was doing my medic rotations in the various hospitals, it wasn't at all unusual for the docs to have the physicians-style field guide on them ... and they even used it!

    Some medics & EMT's are better than others, as far as bedside manner, job performance, job knowledge, and memory of drip rates, med administration, and the like. Some simply might need a quick reminder on any of these items, and having a field guide handy doesn't hurt.

    I don't carry one on my person, but we have one (ALS version) in the jumpbag, just in case anyone on the rig needs it.
    I hear ya. And I don't mean what I said in any kind of absolute sense. I should have qualified it a bit further. Whether it's a fellow emergency responder or a patient, there are some (meaning not all) who will see a field guide being used and assume that the person using it isn't that good, or shouldn't be out there.

    Personally, I think there's nothing wrong with them. If it comes down to realizing you don't know something, and either making a guess or pulling out the field guide and possibly having some of the people around you worry about your competence, I think making the guess is probably the wrong way to go. It depends on circumstance, too. If it's a fast-paced critical life-or-death situation, you might not really have time to consult the guide.

    Just out of curiosity, these physicians you mentioned, did they do their guide-consulting in front of patients?

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    I've carried one almost every day for a few years. In addition to being a good reference for patient meds that you may not recognize, it is also a handy for reminders while you are enroute to some of the less frequent calls-pediatrics, child birth, etc. It is a convenient place to keep computer passwords for reporting software, email, etc, plus door codes for hospitals, radio frequencies, phone numbers, etc. Mine has been customized with sticky notes, taped in business cards (assisted living home contact info), and writing in the margins.

    I have found it worthwhile to buy the new version when it is released every 2-3 years, just for the updates to patient medications.

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    I work as a full time ALS provider. I currently carry the ALS version of Informed and a small PDR I found @ Barnes and Noble. While I don't carry them with me on the actual calls I will reference them when typing my PCR or reviewing things with students.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hopster View Post
    I work as a full time ALS provider. I currently carry the ALS version of Informed and a small PDR I found @ Barnes and Noble. While I don't carry them with me on the actual calls I will reference them when typing my PCR or reviewing things with students.
    How does the small PDR compare to the full version? I mean does it have some information omitted, or does it just use really small print, or what?
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    It is more like a "Emergency Medicine" guide, mostly deals with drugs commonly used/seen in an ER setting as compared to every drug out there
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    I carry a pocket copy of the regional protocols. You almost need it anymore since we are carrying double the drugs we carried when I got my paramedic in 1984.

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    I took a little index spiral book and titled it, "Marvin's Guide to Success"
    and put all the most common runs in our area. I also put the most popular medication names and why they're used, the most common diseases and illnesses, also wrote down the shortcuts to the hospital, and even what my attending paramedic likes to use and what not to use (nasal cannula, etc). I sell them for a couple bucks. All those EMS Field guides are great, but sometimes the book can only get you so far.
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    I normally carry mine with me just in case I forget something (Happens to all of us lol). I've used it once or twice.

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    Here are a few thoughts and suggestions:

    1. Most pre-printed pocket-guides are fairly generic. They may be more of a hinderance than a help.

    2. Most folks do not have an abundance of space to carry/store excess stuff in a convenient and effective manner.

    3. Most agencies have their SOPs/SOGs/MOPs and treatment protocols available either elcetronically and/or via online.

    4. Most folks know what they are supposed to do on runs, they just sometime need a memory-jogger or would like something easy to use for reference or review.

    My suggestions are as follows:

    1. Get a copy of whatever documents you are wanting to have as a pocket-guide reference and make your own based on your own organzation's procedures. Cut-and-paste them into Word, decrease the font size to where you can read them, go to Kinkos, laminate, and the have them bound in a manner to your liking. You may need to "clean up" whatever you cut-and-paste but you'll learn the topics intimately while you are reformating them and organizing them in a manner that makes sense to YOU.

    2. Many folks are utilizing laptops for their PCRs. We got our software provider to include our treatment protocols so you can review them in real time on a run if you need to by pressing one button. You "X" out or minimize that screen when you are done.

    3. If you are not computer saavy, do as suggested in a previous post and print the documents you want to have available as a reference, put them in vinyl protectors, and put everything a binder that locks well.

    Generic pocket guides are OK but if you are going to carry something, why not have something that is specifically for your organization? I made three of each - one for firefighting stuff, one for ARFF, and one for EMS. Be prepared for everyone else wanting a copy of your stuff once you make them. If it's all on the computer, email the info to them and let them organize their stuff to their liking.
    Last edited by dfwfirefighter; 01-14-2011 at 02:32 PM.
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    Most of us at my department carry a field guide that is basically a shrunk down copy of our protocols. Like was mentioned before, it is great to pull out and take a look at while you are enroute to a call that you do not run on a regular basis.
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    Every state has their own Protocols. Get them...learn them like it's going out of style...then get your Informed pocket guide. But remember it's only a GUIDE. Just a set of "standard" rule usually followed by most states. Remind yourself if you buy it your protocols WILL more than likely be slightly different & need to be attended to first.
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    They are very useful but only in between calls. You can only imagine what a patient would be thinking if you pulled out a "how to" guide and start flipping through the pages. You can certainly use them to gain some valuable information. For example I am only a basic but I have the ALS guide. Can I perform the technique's listed in there? No, but i can gain some knowledge not only for my self but to also assist paramedics in the equipment needed for the call etc etc. Be careful not to violate any of your local protocols or the departments SOP's

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