5 Important Principles All EMS Personnel Follow

smiling EMS personnel sitting in medical ambulance

Without a doubt, Emergency Medical Services (EMS) personnel such as paramedics and emergency medical technicians are everyday heroes. They are the first people the community calls for help during emergencies. These workers sacrifice their well-being to ensure that the sick and injured receive timely and appropriate emergency medical care. The job is so challenging and risky that the rates of violence-related injury, as well as occupational injury and fatality among EMS personnel, are much higher than the average for all occupations.

Despite such risks, however, becoming an EMS worker remains a noble and highly fulfilling career. After all, very few jobs allow one to save lives on an almost daily basis. Perhaps you have a heart for service and dream of entering this worthy profession. Or maybe you want to know more about this job. Whatever the case, this article will help you discover five essential principles all EMS personnel follow.

Provide Accurate and Timely Patient Care Reports (PCRs) to Subsequent Caregivers

EMS documentation may seem irrelevant to the inexperienced, but nothing can be farther from the truth. The patient care reports (PCRs) recorded by the EMS workers are crucial to providing appropriate and continuing care to the patient. Professionals in the emergency department, trauma centers, and similar medical facilities will rely on the information contained in PCRs as they assess the patient’s condition and decide on suitable interventions.

Imagine what would happen if an ER doctor were to accidentally administer a medication that could negatively interact with a drug given by the first responder because the doctor did not read about the medications already given to the patient. Given the importance of patient care reports, EMS providers should always create accurate PCRs and make this document easily accessible to subsequent caregivers. Doing this task manually can be taxing, which is why many EMS organizations make use of a modern EMS ePCR software to create efficiency in data collection and patient information sharing by everyone involved in the care of the patients.

Treat Every Patient with Respect

Although giving due respect to the patient may seem like a given for EMS personnel, this principle is worth highlighting. EMS workers should always keep in mind that patients have a say in the type of medical care they want to receive. Even if they know what the patient needs, EMS professionals can only provide advice initially. They cannot perform any procedure or offer any intervention without the patient’s consent, unless the person lacks the ability to make rational decisions. Recognizing the patient’s bodily autonomy is just one aspect of respect. EMS personnel should also treat the patient as they would want to be treated—with compassion, dignity, and care.

Provide Services without Discrimination

EMS workers should provide medical care to anyone who needs it, regardless of race, politics, gender identity, or socioeconomic status. Their sole focus should always be on addressing the needs of the patients. They must never let their beliefs, biases, and prejudices influence their judgment or behavior toward somebody in need. In other words, they cannot let their feelings get in the way of what they are supposed to do. It is their duty to provide the same level of care to anyone who seek their help.

Practice Empathy at All Times

Patients are not mere jobs or projects to complete. They are people with feelings. As such, one of the rules that EMS workers should never forget is being empathetic or understanding the feelings and needs of the people in their care—both spoken and unspoken. This could mean offering to hold the patient’s hand during medical procedures or staying by their side until they are safely transported to the hospital. Ultimately, empathy involves treating every patient like a beloved family member and going the extra mile to make them feel comfortable and safe. 

Keep Behavior and Appearance in Check

They may not realize it, but EMS personnel offer more than emergency care to the person in need. They are also a source of hope and stability in an otherwise chaotic situation. A team of EMS professionals who are calm, polite, and empathetic toward a patient and family members can readily ease tension and bring order to any scene, even tragic ones. On the contrary, emergency crews who are inattentive, insensitive, and disrespectful in carrying out their duties can cause more physical and emotional pain to everyone involved. That is why EMS practitioners should always be wary of their behavior, words, and appearance whenever they are out helping people. 


The principles discussed above are just a few of the more essential rules every EMS practitioner should follow. If you ever wish to pursue this career, you have to take all these principles and a few more unwritten rules to heart. Keep in mind that the EMS personnel are admirable not only because they get to impact lives in remarkable ways, but more so because they adhere to high ethical standards no matter how difficult they are.


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