In the world of rapidly changing medicine where science and guidelines seem to change as soon as they are published, it is tough to stay current. Whether you teach EMT or paramedic courses, it is your responsibility to keep your knowledge fresh and relevant. Here are 5 ways to keep current on important EMS issues without breaking the budget or needing more hours in the day:
1. Emdocs.net is one of our favorite FOAMed sites. It is current, relevant and concise. The EM@3AM is short and oh-so-sweet while their practice updates and mindset pieces are more detailed and very well written.
2. The Prehospital Emergency Care journal is a joint project of NAEMSP, NAEMSE and others. It is designed to present prehospital research and is one of the few places that everything (and we mean everything) will apply to EMS. If you are a faculty member or student at a college (and sometimes even an alumnus), you will likely have free access through the library. If not, subscribe. It is worth it.
3. We subscribe to a couple of online emergency medicine newsletters from Medscape and Lippincott. These are free and effortless since they are sent to my email on a regular basis. They include news items and issues in emergency medicine and are worthy of a scan. When these sources talk about research it is important to always go to the actual research paper and form your own opinion.
4. Podcasts help those of us who like to listen and those who of us who listen on the run. Podcasts come in several varieties (EMS, emergency medicine) and in several formats (discussions, cases, lit review). Some emergency medicine sites worth noting include emergencymedicinecases.com and emcrit.com. Among our EMS favorites include the InsideEMS podcast and Medic Mindset. EMS Nation provides some hard-hitting clinical content from an EMS medical director.
5. Emedicine.medscape.com is a nice resource for most of the conditions you want to look up before stepping in front of a class. It is written by physicians, reviewed and edited, and presented in a nice format. Be sure to use the physician (not the consumer) side. You’ll have to sign up for a membership (free). While you are there, sign up for the Medscape Emergency Medicine newsletter talked about in #3.
Some of us at Limmer Education are old timers and still like to purchase a solid internal medicine text, alternating Harrison’s with Rosen’s Emergency Medicine. We keep the books on our reference shelves and under our desks, but you may be able to access these through a college library for free.
What are your go-to sources when you want to stay current?