Understanding ideal crew configuration is vital to maintain EMS systems. There’s a lack of evidence demonstrating the need for a second ALS provider on a general ALS response. Implications of overstaffing may result in more patient care errors and draining of financial resources which could be spent on additional state-of-the-art medical equipment or number of units resulting in better system performance and patient care.
The link above provides a full article discussing a crew configuration. It investigates the ongoing discussion of whether or not a crew should be configured with 1 or 2 medics. Feel free to read the article, however, I have posted the CONCLUSION to the article above. The conclusion is telling of what the needs of a crew truly are. We have briefly developed the need for teamwork and team development but lets again address it. The number of Medics on a crew or team is really the wrong question. The number of Medics on a crew is mostly irrelevant as it relates to emergency medicine. I say mostly because I can think of a few situations where having multiple medics could help, MCI for example. The more important question should be what creates the most efficient and effective crew configuration in order to provide the best patient care possible? This comes down to team development and understanding the strengths within the team. Obviously, one medic is essential on ALS calls, however, one medic should be all that is NEEDED. On a call regardless of number of medics and EMT's everyone has to understand their role as it relates to the team. If everyone's role is defined and followed the team functions as one efficient and effective unit. The number of medics is IRRELEVANT, the individual team members understanding and willingness to fill a specific and necessary role within the team is PARAMOUNT. Taking the time to develop your specific team is vital to your success. Embrace the members of your team, fill your defined roles, and watch the success begin.
As for the Implications of multiple medics and patient care errors.... Stay Tuned. Until then keep providing great patient care, and go out the door with intention.
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