EMS   |    Communication
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Communication at 11,000 Feet: Thoughts from a New EMT

By Shawn Olson

Last summer, I had the opportunity to take an EMT class and subsequently obtain my license from the state of Montana. Not knowing exactly what I wanted to do with my new licensure, I thought back to my roots — growing up in Montana and skiing my whole life, Ski Patrol had always appealed to me. Being outdoors while getting to serve would be a dream come true — not to mention, first and last tracks on one of the most amazing ski mountains in the world!

20180802_194749My background has always been in technology, but over the past few years working with Pulsara, I have gained a lot of exposure to hospitals and clinician workflows, and have spent extensive time alongside those clinicians, hearing their on-the-job frustrations and successes. 

But what I couldn’t fully appreciate until I became a first responder myself, was how much communication and coordination it takes to appropriately respond to something as seemingly simple as a broken arm. The training and knowledge that our clinicians go through is extensive and I am forever thankful for all of you.

Working at Pulsara, I continually hear how important communication is with every clinical decision and case. As a Pulsarian, this is impressed upon you from day one. The message is simple but it’s present in every meeting, every social post, it's presented throughout the Pulsara App in innovative ways … it’s everywhere.

Yet even though I’d heard this message a thousand times, I wasn’t able to fully understand the impact of good clinical communication (or lack thereof) until my first day on the hill. My very first call was a relatively easy patient with minor injuries, but communicating the details of his condition was much more difficult than I expected.  

Explaining my location, patient information, and the transport plan suddenly became REAL. As a fellow new EMT and I fumbled our way through a radio call, I quickly realized how right my fellow Pulsara colleagues had been about the importance of instant, clear communication in patient care.

We finally got the patient down to the bottom of the hill and to definitive treatment, but reflecting back on the entire process revealed so many delays that could have been prevented. As a new EMT, I will get better with experience, but I also know that I will never underestimate the power of good communication again!  

Our Pulsara clients are excellent clinicians, who have helped me understand the impact of proper communication on all medical situations — for this I’m very grateful, and I know I will be taking it to heart this winter on the slopes!

ARTICLE CATEGORIES: EMS, Communication
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Shawn Olson

Shawn Olson

Shawn is a Client Services Specialist whose experience creating and selling data acquisition equipment for electrophysiology uniquely qualifies him to work both in software development and in customer support.

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