Whilst on a forum with some doctors recently, the obvious question came up: What in your opinion makes a good paramedic? What makes you respect someone’s work and value their insight?
The best answer was this: Nice. Fast. Good (where good means clinically thorough and accurate).
If you’re nice to patients and staff, and you’re fast, you can be forgiven for not being as good.
If you’re good and you’re nice, we can forgive you for being a little slow.
If you’re good and you’re fast, you can be a freakin psychopath for all we care.
If you can be all three? You’re a unicorn and I want you working for me.
A quick chat with some local intensive care paramedics and consultant ED doctors verified this information. Whether you’re sitting next to them in the truck, or taking a handover from them in the resus bay; we value and enjoy people who can do at least two of the three.
This is a lesson I teach all of our new interns. It’s something that I advise them to look for in the staff they work with and use as an assessment of what sort of paramedic they want to be.
It’s also forms an excellent self reflection tool: when people look at the way I work, am I nice, fast and good? Or bitter, slow and lazy?
In a job with such autonomy and variance in experience, case type and opinion, finding a tangible standard for a ‘great’ paramedic is almost impossible. But knowing if you’re nice, fast and good?
That you can do.