The 10 books every paramedic should own
Inspirational and educational books can impact your EMS career and help you grow as a professional. The first five are for all levels of providers, while the last five are best suited to medics.
1. Your textbook
If you’re a paramedic or EMT, you’ll want this textbook as a reference for everything that isn’t in it; chances are, if you’re in EMT class, your textbook was written at an 8th-grade reading level, and a lot of the information in it is already outdated or contradicted by emerging science.
2. Thom Dick’s “People Care”
To be a good doctor, author Thom Dick’s compassion and people skills are crucial. “No one cares how much you know about something until they know how much you care about it,” he says.
3. Any anatomy and physiology textbook that isn’t written for EMS
Choose something with illustrations and large, difficult-to-understand words instead of anatomy coloring books and EMS A-Gauge kits.
4. “Paramedic: On the Front Lines of Medicine” by Peter Canning, or “Rescuing Providence” by Michael Morse
If you’re thinking about a career in EMS, read Michael Morse and Peter Canning’s book “Rescuing Providence,” which is a realistic, warts-and-all look into the lives of EMS providers.
5. Steve Berry’s “I Am Not An Ambulance Driver” series
Every medic needs a good laugh now and then, and Steve’s cartoons perfectly capture the cultural zeitgeist of EMS. Each panel serves to help empty that grief box we keep under the bed and pretend doesn’t exist; it’s just good therapy for us medics.
6. A good cardiology textbook
Get one or all of the following excellent books on interpreting ECGs: Dale Dubin, Mike Taigman, or Gail Walraven. Any competent medic these days needs to be well-versed in 12-lead ECG interpretation, not just the relatively narrow scope of STEMI recognition.
7. Tintinalli’s Emergency Medicine: A Comprehensive Study Guide
The hardcover 8th edition of Judith Tintinalli’s book is the most widely used and well-regarded text and reference in emergency medicine, and it contains a wealth of practical knowledge for emergency medicine providers.
8. Goldfrank’s “Toxicologic Emergencies”
Overdoses from prescription and illicit drugs are the leading cause of accidental death in the United States, so advanced providers need a good toxicology reference text. Goldfrank’s book is the best source for information on how to treat accidental drug overdoses, including accidental Beta-blocker overdose.
9. A comprehensive medical dictionary
Every library, from elementary school to university, has a dictionary; the most well-known is “Taber’s,” but “Dorland’s” is also a good choice.
10. A comprehensive drug reference
A good drug reference can also help you find out what IV drug compatibility your referring hospital has. A “Nursing Drug Handbook” is a must for paramedics and critical care paramedics. It can also help BLS providers identify that bewildering array of medication bottles.
What’s on your list?
Must-have books for EMTs and paramedics, available in print and, if you can afford it, on mobile electronic devices. Have any suggestions for books that should be included on the list? Let us know in the comments.
What every EMT needs?
EMTs and paramedics should have these 15 EMS items on hand.
- Trauma Shears, Flashlight, Stethoscope, Tourniquet, Watch, Pulse Oximeter, Blood Pressure Cuff, Oxygen Key/Wrench
What does an EMT do first?
Respond to 911 calls for emergency medical assistance, such as cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) or wound bandaging. Assess a patient’s condition and determine a treatment plan. Provide first-aid treatment or life support care to sick or injured patients.
How can I be the best EMT?
Ten Tips to Help You Become a Better EMT
- Leave the rig better than you found it.
- Learn from your peers.
- Care about your patient.
- Be the kind of partner you’d want to have.
- Master medication.
- Stop eating junk food.
What is an IFT EMS?
Interfacility paramedics (IFT-ALS) are trained to transport patients who need a higher level of care and monitoring from one location to another, as determined by their condition and care provider.
What can I put in my EMT pants?
Cargo pockets are ideal for storing these, as well as other essentials:
- Gloves, with or without a glove pouch.
- Hand wipes and sanitizer.
- Knives, seatbelt cutters, and glass-breakers.
- Medical pocket guides.
Do EMTs carry handcuffs?
Some EMS personnel have vests to wear, but I’ve never heard of handcuffs; if EMS personnel are required to carry handcuffs, we might as well cross train and become police officers. All Boston EMS personnel carry metal handcuffs.
What to Know Before becoming a EMT?
How to Become an EMT (Emergency Medical Technician)
- Complete the basic education requirements
- EMTs do not require a degree, but they do require a high school diploma or GED. Obtain CPR certification. Identify an EMT program.
- Pass the cognitive and psychomotor exams.
What can paramedics do that EMTs Cannot?
While EMTs can administer CPR, glucose, and oxygen, paramedics can perform more complex procedures like inserting IV lines, administering drugs, and implanting pacemakers.
How do I know if being an EMT is right for me?
There are ten signs that an EMT career is a good fit for you.
- Exceptional Social Skills.
- Compassion / Empathy.
- Good Physical Condition.
- Excellent Bedside Manner.
- Good Communication Skills.
- Psychological Stability.
How do EMTs gain confidence?
Take classes, watch videos, read books, and ask questions when you don’t understand something; there is no such thing as a dumb question, and everyone can teach you something different.
Is being an EMT scary?
Choosing a career as an EMT can be extremely stressful; in fact, it may be one of the most stressful jobs ever; however, every job has its own set of stresses, and if you put your mind and heart into it, you can become a successful EMT and eventually advance your career.
What is IFT?
Interferential Therapy (IFT) is an electrotherapy treatment that uses electric currents to stimulate tissue, providing pain relief, swelling reduction, and other health benefits.
Which mnemonic is used in CRM?
A crisis resource management mnemonic is Name/Claim/Aimsup>/sup>, which is used to help teams quickly organize and apply crisis resource management (CRM) principles during an adverse event.
What is an interfacility transport?
The transportation of patients between two healthcare facilities is known as inter-facility transport, and it is usually accomplished by ground transportation or air vehicles.