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Back to the Future

Screen Shot 2016 01 05 at 5.24.48 AM 

If you have listened to the Second shift podcast, you know we like our movies and TV shows….I am always down for a great distraction and I think, if you have the time, there is nothing better than a good movie or an episode of “this old house” (right, Dr. Antevy?)  Even though it didn’t make my top 5, I think one of my favorite movies of all time is Back to the Future, Part II. Typically, sequels are LAME…but not this one…why? It was so precisely interconnected to the original, you couldn’t help but love it, (assuming you like the original)! I am always looking for a good EMS analogy…whether I’m watching TV, taking a non EMS related class, reading a book, or playing music….it never ceases to amaze me how my brain works…
When Marty and Doc go to 2015 to save his kids from Griff and his band of rejects, the now “Old” Biff, steals the Delorean, goes and delivers the Grays Sports Almanac to the younger version of himself in 1955, which then changes the future from that point forward. When Doc and Marty then go back to 1985, they arrive to find that something when terribly wrong. They get back to the shop and Doc grabs a chalkboard to illustrate….He draws the timeline….PAST—————————.NOW and determines that somewhere along the way, the time line had skewed and a new reality had set in, thus creating an altered “1985” ..”altered to you and me, but perfectly normal too those living in it”  might look like this :
Normal: PAST—————— —— — NOW
                                   \—————— NEW NOW
So, what is the point and how does it apply to EMS providers? I’m glad you asked. If you think about your early days in EMS, there was nothing you wanted more than to make a positive impact on peoples lives. You wanted to learn, you wanted to save the day. You couldn’t wait to put the uniform (or scrubs) on. But something happened….. 
Along the way, something or someone stole your Delorean.
Have you found yourself in an alternate reality? When did it happen? Maybe it was too many shifts in system status management. Maybe you are tired of dealing with the drunk, homeless, needy, not sick, system abusing public…the constant barrage of BS calls that simply don’t match up to your expectations. So, along the way, you decided that you no longer "like people” ( I hear that all the time), you no longer make the effort to attend CE classes, you’ve just lost your way and now you're STUCK.
What to do? I'll tell you what I did…because yes, there was a time where I wasn’t really sure how it was gonna end. I was tired of dealing with drunk people, tired of seeing the things human beings were capable of doing to each other...I'd had it. 
I Decided to go all in!  
Yep, thats right. I decided to engage in my career full speed ahead. It wasn’t enough to now simply go to class..I wanted to teach it. It wasn’t enough to recognize my patient was in peri-arrest, I wanted to know WHY. I stopped letting the constant distraction of those around me, get to me. I wasn’t worried about “management” or what they were doing, I wasn’t worried about all the stuff that didn’t matter. I focused on being a better clinician, a better educator and a better partner. I was now in total control of the "time circuits" and set time back to this reality. My new reality! I have had a wonderful career (so far) and am looking forward to what the future holds. This month, I am starting a new chapter in my EMS book. I have accepted an EMS Training Officer Position with Clackamas Fire District #1 here in Oregon. CFD1 is the 2nd Largest fire district in the state and have some of the most dedicated professional EMS clinicians I have ever met. I am excited to join this team of caring professionals to begin 2016. It’s a big step after being with AMR for 20 years, but I know it will be a great move and I will be able to learn so much more about this business I love so much. 
i hope you have a wonderful new year. I look forward to spending it with you, along with Eric and the rest of the FlightBridgeED team. 
Mike Verkest, AAS, EMT-P | Senior Education-Operations Consultant
FlightBridgeED, LLC | The FlightBridgeED Podcast
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