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5 min read

EMS Trend Report 2022: 3 Toxic Traits in Medicine

By Team Pulsara on Oct 12, 2022

Editor's Note: On August 1st, 2022, EMS1, Fitch & Associates, and the National EMS Management Association released their fifth annual EMS Trend Report, proudly sponsored by Pulsara. Because the articles and advice found within contain such critical subject matter, we've elected to publish each segment one at a time here on our blog. Read, enjoy, share, and take to heart the following information brought to you by the most prestigious thought leaders in EMS. Today's entry is written by Kris Kaull, NRP, CCEMT-P, FP-C and Sara Kaull, M.Ed, Executive Director of SIM-MT.

Challenge yourself to make room for the great in your career and life by abandoning toxic behavior

My wife, Sara, is a reforming perfectionist. For much of her life, she was obsessed with control, and presenting a “perfect” version of herself to the world. Starting with gold stars in kindergarten and accolades in her professional life, Sara added more and more to her calendar, executing every commitment to perfection until life took an unexpected turn when her father was diagnosed with terminal brain cancer, and she could no longer control what was happening around her.

As helpers and caregivers, how many of us can relate to carrying too much? It’s in our DNA. We pride ourselves on busyness and selflessness. As clinicians, we’ve taken care of others to our own detriment. We say yes to protect ourselves from the judgment of others. We say yes because we feel guilty if we don’t.

But what if saying yes stops us from becoming the best we can be?

Topics: Wellness
8 min read

10 Ways Firefighters Can Support Their Own Mental Health

By Team Pulsara on May 18, 2022

EDITOR'S NOTE: This article originally appeared on FireRescue1.com. Special thanks to our guest author, Linda F. Willing, for FireRescue1 BrandFocus.


It’s a stressful job, so you need to know how to check in and take care of yourself

Firefighting is a stressful occupation. Working in unpredictable and hazardous environments takes a physical toll. Difficult calls, variable duty schedules, working in close proximity with others who may or may not be personally compatible – all of these things contribute to stress that, if not well managed, can lead to significant issues for both physical and mental health.

In recent years, fire departments have done much better in emphasizing physical health and safety, through such things as improved protocols for use and care of PPE, the mandatory use of seatbelts and requirements for rehab during prolonged incidents. Many fire departments now have regular health screenings for all members and maintain records on long-term health risks like job-related cancers.

Attention to firefighter mental health has lagged behind more obvious physical hazards. According to a 2017 study, more firefighters die from suicide each year than in the line of duty. Firefighters are at increased risk of depression, anxiety, stress and other mental health-related problems that may be either chronic or acute. While organizational support in these areas would be optimal, individual firefighters can also take steps to care for their own mental health.

Here are 10 simple things you can do to support and enhance mental wellness for yourself and your fellow firefighters.

Topics: Wellness Mental Health
4 min read

EMS Employee Retention: Building a Positive Organizational Culture

By Team Pulsara on Aug 20, 2021

EDITOR'S NOTE: Special thanks to Colin Moravec for writing today's blog post. You can connect with him on LinkedIn. 

COVID-19 has brought about a lot of challenges and changes in the healthcare industry. EMS agencies are BUSY. They have been pushing themselves to the max supporting their communities and putting themselves in harm’s way to help their communities through the COVID-19 pandemic. 

EMS agencies embody the value of grit. They get the job done at all costs, regardless of obstacles. This value is what makes EMTs and paramedics unique. They stay cognizant of their role in the community and in the chain of medical care, and they execute their job faithfully, regardless of the environment. This value of gritty determination makes up the culture of many EMS agencies and EMT professionals. 

Organizational culture is “a pattern of shared basic assumptions learned by a group as it solves its problems.”1 It's the shared beliefs and values established by leaders and then communicated and reinforced in the environment, which ultimately shape team member perceptions, behaviors, and understanding.

Topics: EMS Wellness
13 min read

10 Things EMS Providers Need to Know About Responding to Mental Health Calls

By Team Pulsara on Jul 12, 2021

EDITOR'S NOTE: This article originally appeared on EMS1.com. Special thanks to our guest author, Sarah Calams of EMS1 Frontline Voices. 


Community paramedics are pioneering new ways to care for mental health patients – here’s how

Since the COVID-19 pandemic, EMS providers have seen an alarming uptick in patients refusing to go to their doctor’s office or the emergency room. Many others – including those with urgent conditions – have even been hesitant to call 911.

“We saw patients who were just foregoing all of their medical care – they were ignoring their emergency conditions,” said James McLaughlin, director of the community paramedicine program at Ute Pass Regional Health Service District in Woodland Park, Colorado.

To ease his community’s fears, McLaughlin introduced a new Healthcare Options Mobility and Engagement, or HOME, program, which pairs an in-home paramedic visit with a telehealth consult by a physician – like Dr. Jeremy DeWall, EMS medical director at Ute Pass Regional Health Service District.

Topics: Telemedicine Community Paramedicine Mobile Integrated Health Telehealth Customer Success Wellness Mental Health
3 min read

Loss & Burnout: Covid-19’s Impact on Emergency Physicians [Survey Results]

By Kinsie Clarkson on Feb 03, 2021

This past year has been a rough one for many, but perhaps none more so than the courageous physicians, nurses, EMS providers, and healthcare workers who have put their own safety on the line in order to help take care of COVID-19 patients.

Topics: Emergency Medicine COVID-19 Wellness
2 min read

How’s Your Heart? 7 Tips to a Healthier Heart

By Kinsie Clarkson on Feb 01, 2021

With Valentine’s Day just around the corner, hearts are everywhere—heart decorations, heart candies, heart cards, even heart pancakes for the more creative sweethearts. But one of the most important hearts of all too often gets overlooked: Your heart (or your heart health, to be specific)! 

February is American Heart Month: a national event to raise awareness about heart disease and what you can do to decrease your risks. Heart disease is the #1 cause of death for Americans, killing over 650,000 people annually. It is responsible for 1 in 4 deaths in the U.S. each year, and one person dies every 36 seconds from cardiovascular disease (that's heart disease and stroke combined). And that's not just for older adults; heart disease is becoming more and more common in young adults, making it important to learn whether you might be at risk.

Topics: STEMI Wellness Health Sudden Cardiac Arrest
3 min read

Finding Purpose: A Call to Leave the Comfort Zone

By Asbel Montes on Jan 25, 2021

Special thanks to our guest author, Asbel Montes, for contributing today's blog. Asbel is a Managing Partner of Solutions Group Consulting. You can read more about him in his bio below.

“Security is a bad mistress when you’re married to purpose. It always cheats.” 

— Shules Hersh

That's a powerful statement.

For those of us who believe we're living our lives in pursuit of purpose, this idea should make us stop in our tracks. We might be aware of our tendency to get distracted, or we may consciously practice self-discipline to avoid settling for a short-term gain. Those stumbling blocks are obvious. 

But security?  

Topics: Wellness
7 min read

10 Things We’ve Learned From the COVID-19 Pandemic

By Team Pulsara on Jan 08, 2021

EDITOR'S NOTE: This article originally appeared on EMS1.com. Special thanks to our guest author, Marianne Meyers, BS, for EMS1 BrandFocus


Preparation, vigilance and taking care of your mental health will be key strategies as we move forward

As 2021 begins, COVID-19 vaccines have recently been approved, and it appears that the beginning of the pandemic’s end is in sight. That said, we are still experiencing large spikes throughout the country, and hospitals and EMS systems are under immense strain.

We aren’t quite on the other side, but we can now see the light at the end of the tunnel.

Here are 10 things we’ve learned from the pandemic that can help improve other areas of EMS response:

Topics: Telemedicine Technology COVID-19 Telehealth Preparedness Wellness
3 min read

UK Study Finds Nurses Experiencing Higher Rates of Burnout

By Kinsie Clarkson on Dec 28, 2020

To celebrate the 200th birthday of Florence Nightingale, the founder of modern nursing, the World Health Organization (WHO) proclaimed 2020 as the Year of the Nurse and Midwife. 

And what a year it's been. This year, the COVID-19 pandemic swept across the globe. Nurses everywhere have spent 2020 working through exhaustion, the daily risk of being exposed to the virus, and the stress of risking their family's safety as well as their own. According to a new study conducted in the UK, nurses are experiencing high levels of burnout and depression, and 28% of NHS nurses are quitting within three years—a 50% increase since 2013.

Topics: nursing COVID-19 Wellness United Kingdom Stress
5 min read

Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff: Work-Life Balance in the Age of COVID-19

By Team Pulsara on Dec 16, 2020

EDITOR'S NOTE: Special thanks to Bet Martin for writing today's blog post. You can connect with her on LinkedIn.


Real talk: COVID-19 has changed the way most of us live our lives. For my family, it has meant a lot of lifestyle changes. 

Working from home during the pandemic has been a great opportunity, but also at times a real challenge. It has been a blessing in the sense that I’ve gotten to be home with my school aged children. I get to spend more time with them, watching them grow and learn. I've been able to do more fun things with them, like go on nature walks. 

On the other hand, attempting to be productive at work with two young kids at home got really interesting, really fast.

Topics: Wellness Health
3 min read

The Toll of Chronic Stress (And What You Can Do to Manage It)

By Team Pulsara on Dec 02, 2020

Near the start of the COVID-19 pandemic in March 2020, I found myself in a conversation with a friend. We shared our concerns about the days ahead, talking about how we were going to handle the kids learning from home and discussing whether she was putting her family at risk by continuing to practice clinically. 

Topics: COVID-19 Wellness Health Stress
7 min read

Grit and Gratitude: A Happy Thanksgiving from Pulsara

By Team Pulsara on Nov 25, 2020

2020 has been a challenging year for everyone. As we reflect on the year, a lot has changed, and there have been many hurdles to overcome. Through it all, though, there are many silver linings that we here at Team Pulsara are grateful for.

Topics: Communication Technology Wellness
3 min read

Take Care of Your Star Player: Health and Wellness in EMS

By Team Pulsara on Nov 02, 2020

EDITOR'S NOTE: Special thanks to Kate Leatherby for writing today's blog post. You can connect with her on LinkedIn


As healthcare professionals, we spend so much time caring for the health and well being of others that we often overlook the importance of caring for ourselves. I can think back to the days when I was full time on the ambulance, working very busy 24 hour shifts. For many years, I put my health and well being on the back burner. Sleep during 24 hour shifts was scarce, especially at busy stations, and eating healthy always seemed to take more effort than grabbing something heavily processed from the gas station or fries from a fast food joint. Coffee was my best friend and caffeine became a way for me to suppress my body’s natural cues that I needed time to rest and repair. During the 7 year period I was full-time on the ambulance, I also responded to some of the most mentally draining calls of my 18-year career in EMS.

Topics: Wellness Health
23 min read

The Passion of a Serial Entrepreneur: An Interview by Brett Lyle with Kris Kaull

By Kinsie Clarkson on Oct 19, 2020

The Passion of a Serial Entrepreneur: To-Do Lists, Coaching, and Spilled Coffee

Pulsara CMO Kris Kaull recently had the exclusive opportunity to sit down with Brett Lyle, strategist, creator, and founder/coach at Brett Lyle Coaching and the Emergent Leadership YouTube channel. Kris and Brett discuss tangible practices that define and reshape mindsets, talk daily to-do lists, and lifelong goals and accomplishments. Kris also shares the tools he has used to overcome entrepreneurial challenges and explains how he intentionally designed his clinical career to be both personally fulfilling and professionally valuable to the industry. 

Special thanks and shout out to Brett for this awesome interview and opportunity! (To see more of Brett's work, follow her on social, or to contact her, see her links at the end of this post).  

Watch the exclusive interview in the video below, or read on for the full conversation.

Topics: EMS Leadership Wellness Health
6 min read

Job Attrition and Lost Passion in EMS [2020 EMS Trend Report Part 3]

By Team Pulsara on Sep 08, 2020

EDITOR'S NOTE: In July, EMS1, Fitch & Associates, and the National EMS Management Association released their third annual EMS Trend Report, proudly sponsored by Pulsara. Because the articles and advice found within contain such critical subject matter, we've elected to publish each segment one at a time here on our blog. This excerpt is from The Consequences of Lost Passion for the Job, the third entry in the 2020 Trend Report. Read, enjoy, share, and take to heart the following information brought to you by the most prestigious thought leaders in EMS. 

About the Author: Anthony Minge, EdD, is a senior partner at Fitch & Associates. Prior to joining the firm, he was the business manager for Northwest MedStar in Spokane, Washington, one of the largest air medical programs in the Pacific Northwest. He holds a Doctor of Education degree in organizational leadership.

Improve compensation, career path and safety to recruit the next generation, and retain the current EMS workforce

Parents typically hope for more for their children. This is not just a financial goal, but one of happiness and satisfaction, including a career that is gratifying. Parental encouragement and influential adults are contributing factors in young people’s career decisions that cannot be discounted. Many have followed in the footsteps of a parent, teacher, or other mentor who provided encouragement and endorsement of a particular field. There was a time when children took their parents to school and presented them to the class, bragging about what mom or dad did for a career. This year’s data suggests that not as many public safety/EMS parents are guests at show-and-tell.

Topics: EMS Trend Report Wellness
8 min read

10 Things EMS Providers Need to Know About Wellness and Fitness

By Team Pulsara on Aug 24, 2020

EDITOR'S NOTE: This article originally appeared on EMS1.com. Special thanks to our guest author, Sarah Salams of EMS1 BrandFocus.


At the beginning of each year, many people make resolutions to either accomplish a personal goal or improve their life in one way or another. These resolutions, both large and small, include goals like eating healthier, exercising regularly, and learning a new skill.

Staying focused on a resolution year-round is difficult even under the most normal circumstances. This year, the COVID-19 pandemic has upended first responders’ lives as they continue to serve and take care of patients.

It’s easy to place your own needs on the back burner while taking care of others who are suffering and need help. However, it is important to recognize that your health – both physically and mentally – is more important than ever right now.

Topics: EMS Wellness Health