Developing a network of resources from which you can learn and share ideas is a critical component to your own professional development and the advancement of goals towards improving system performance. While there are many social media options for engaging others, it is more important that you regularly participate in whatever forums make the most sense for you. Joining social groups are really only a value if you intend to engage with others. They serve no real purpose if they are merely badges to be collected like unread industry journals in your break room. Like exercise, social engagement for professional development requires some level of commitment to yourself and also the community. It does not demand the same effort from each person or necessarily even provide the same results. Just find what works for you and get started.
If you enjoy a variety of topics in very short bursts, often with links to websites for further reading, I suggest using Twitter and start by following us at @hp_ems. Hashtags (that is any word preceded by the # symbol), such as #EMS or #paramedic, make searching for topics easier and can help you find other accounts to follow. For some, Facebook is a very popular way to connect and there are many EMS specific pages similar to High Performance EMS for you to “Like.” If you prefer videos, check out YouTube channels like High Performance EMS or TEDx Talks filtered specifically for EMS topics. Some videos may be very short while others can be quite lengthy, but this is often a great way to pass time on your mobile device while waiting at a post. Many conferences make PowerPoint-style slide presentations available through SlideShare and of course High Performance EMS is active there too. Many professionals have accounts on LinkedIn to help them stay connected within their industry. Groups like High Performance EMS provide a forum for posting questions and articles of interest to be discussed with peers. Conversations on LinkedIn typically stretch over much longer time periods and can sometimes take days or weeks to get answers. Finally, there is the EMS Blog. These forums really vary is style and quality, but they can be a great way to get to know others in your profession and learn from them. Here are some suggestions of EMS related blogs that I enjoy:
EMS Office Hours – Jim Hoffman is very good about posting a brief topic including an audio podcast each week
Everyday EMS Tips – Greg Friese posts his helpful hints on EMS nearly every day
Rescue Digest – Rom Duckworth posts on leadership topics but also has great tips on effective presentations
The EMS Leader - Forum and articles on leadership topics related to EMS
The EMT Spot – Steve Whitehead doesn’t always publish on a schedule but his videos are definitely worth watching
The Social Medic – Dave Konig often provides an irreverent view of his world working EMS in New York City, he also authored several good books including 25 Things They Should Have Taught You In Medic School… But Didn’t
EMS in the New Decade – Scott (MedicSBK) tackles all sorts of EMS issues
Rescuing Providence – a regular blogger on interesting topics related to EMS
EMS 12-Lead – case studies and podcasts on understanding cardiac care
Many other paramedics who work in EMS (and consequently post on a more infrequent basis) that are often great to read include: flobachrepublic, The EMS Patient Perspective, The Unwired Medic, Rogue Medic, The EMS Nomad, Paramedic Mastery, and Ambulance Junkie.