The EMS Blogosphere is current alight with a discussion of the dreaded phrase “ambulance driver.” Alternatively, I call today Wednesday. We’ve got Captain Chair Confessions, EMS Outside Agitator, Medic 51, Ambulance Driver, and The Social Medic all weighing in on the phrase. So, now that we’ve cured cancer, I guess we can get to some important issues like making sure the public doesn’t call EMS providers “ambulance drivers.”
Wait, what’s that? There’s still no cure for cancer? Oops.
I’ll be the first to say that language and word choice is important. It defines debates. It reveals a lot about the person speaking. There’s no debate that word choice is important and that we need to control the words used to describe our burgeoning profession. However, there is a time and a place for discussing the words that -other- people use (we can always control our language), and there are simply much more pressing issues. Heck, us controlling our field in a way that contributes to controlling the public’s word choices was my very first blog post.
However, think about the following things.
Imagine if EMS providers took this much interest in discussing the poor state of EMS education.
Imagine if EMS providers took this much interest in discussing the issues facing reimbursement for the services that EMS provides (including removing the transport requirement).
Imagine if EMS providers took this much interest in developing EMS research.
Imagine if EMS providers took this much interest in developing systems to prevent calls.
Imagine if EMS providers took this much interest in tackling any of the vastly more important issues rather than being called an “ambulance driver.”
Imagine if EMS providers put as much interest into making EMS into a profession (instead of the current “profession in name only” situation) that we currently do complaining about the term “ambulance driver.” We might actually get something done.