Justin Schorr, FF/NREMT-P, WhO.C-arES

Emergency Services seem to thrive on certificates.

I’ve got some paper on my wall, I’m very proud of it.  At times I mention it behind my name when trying to gain credibility for what I am writing, saying or presenting.  People pay more attention when they know you are trained in what you are about to tell them, right?

But looking through some old files a few days ago I came across my last college paper “Shortening the Chain of Survival” in which I studied and showed the importance of, wait for it, early ALS intervention.

What bothered me right off the bat was how hard I was trying to establish myself on the title page.  I included my rank at the time, my NR status, my MICU cert and 3 more abbreviations I had earned at school.

I sure was trying hard to prove that paper legitimate, perhaps not relying enough on the paper itself.

Wandering through some recent issues of the leading EMS magazines and articles on leading EMS websites (blogs excluded) we can see folks doing the same thing.  An article is submitted and, as if to make us believe they’re an expert right off the bat, the letters start to get added to the name. RN, NR (Which I just noticed mirror one another) MD, BSN etc etc.

As a struggling profession it is as if we are clinging to any semblance of formal education to catch up to the MD, RN, BSN, PA etc, sometimes without reading through the things we propose to let them stand on their own merits, just like that paper I found.

Talking with a father and son Firefighting family at FDIC, I saw a generational divide on the perception of the letters after the name.  The father, near retirement, wanted to hear more about the letters I had earned, while the son seemed more interested in what can be learned on the job.  Book smarts vs street smarts all over again.

There aren’t many high school kids writing policy these days, however, no matter how much it seems like it, so maybe a touch of credibility is warranted.

When we present something, an idea, a new protocol, procedure or concept, perhaps one set of letters is appropriate, but let’s call it good there, shall we?

Agree? Disagree? Have something to add? Why not leave a comment or subscribe to the RSS feed to have future articles delivered to your feed reader?