Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Professionalism 101...

I came across a bit recently on a helicopter forum,

"Yes I am an Air-Evac pilot so I know you hate me before I even vent about the Vanderbilts "RudeNess" but I think everyone will agree.  

Well I was at Vanderbilt a few days ago and had to orbit the heli pad for about ten mins while another helicopter off loaded their patient.    The inside was wide open and still they would not let us land there.  Our patient was post CPR and tanking on us and Vanderbilt said  "DO NOT LAND ON THE INSIDE PAD"   its private.  Ok I understand that but they were so very rude about it over the radio.  

Well when we landed one of the Vanderbilt managers came up to me and said very LOUDLY to me.....   "THE INSIDE PAD IS PRIVATE FOR THEIR OWN HELICOPTERS AND THEY DIDNT CARE WHAT CONDITION OUR PATIENT WAS IN" and "THAT IF I DIDNT LIKE IT I COULD JUST TAKE OUR PATIENTS ELSE WHERE"   That is exactly the way she said it.     And when the medical crew came up the same Vanderbilt Manager repeated her self again to them.   

All I can say is that Vanderbilt needs to police their own..

Its no wonder Vanderbilt has the reputation thay have.   

I am sure this will get deleted because Vanderbilt HATES this forum.   

The truth hurts..........

I am sure many will agree with the problems that have had with Vanderbilt..."

Friend - there are winners and losers in every company. If you have a problem with a person, it probably has more to do them than the company. Your best defense and offense is nothing short of absolute courtesy and professionalism. Smile. Offer assistance. Be cheerful.
Be an ambassador for your company, and the person your parents would be proud of.

Vanderbilt  flight nurse Kevin High wrote in an industry publication years ago. He anticipated some of the issues that would arise as the HEMS market became over-saturated and competitive pressures heated things up. Kevin wisely counselled that we should all take a deep breath and remember that we are now - and should ever strive to be - professionals. We fly sick people for a living. It's an honorable profession. 

Don't let someone strip you of your professionalism or the dignity of caring for other human beings.

At the worker-bee level, those of us who occupy the aluminum office may not understand all the hidden agendas at play in HEMS and the hospitals. Unfortunately, HEMS attracts it's fair share of scoundrels and miscreants.

There's a ton of money washing around in the healthcare tub; and money makes people behave badly. Contracts come and go, new competitors pop-up, influence is bought and sold, people and companies strive for dominance...

Let someone else worry about that stuff. If you focus on being the best pilot, nurse, paramedic, comspec or technician, everything else will take care of itself. Do not fear what the future might bring. If you are excellent, your future is secure. HEMS is a very small world. Reputation is everything.

Think forward a few years. The way you are now will matter to you then. A hospice nurse told me once that not one of her patients ever said "I wish I had made more money." The thirty or forty odd years of service you provide will end much more quickly than you might believe, and the way you have conducted yourself across that span will be very important to you. Think of being decent now as an investment in your future self-satisfaction.

Managers get wrapped up in turf wars, struggles for market share, and quests for power. They get paid for this, that is their job and they no longer have to get into a helicopter at 3:00 am.

Let them worry about their worries, you mind the wonderful human resource that is you.  Remember that we crews are much more alike than we are different, no matter who we work for. We rarely get to pick the helicopter we crew, the equipment we carry, or the market we serve. "We are just glad to have a job." (Dutch Martin, retired HEMS pilot).

It is foolish to take an adversarial position with teams from another company, and trust me when I tell you that the senior leadership of your company are cordial when dealing with competitors. After all, mergers and acquisitions can make your competitor today your coworker tomorrow.

From personal experience, twice... When there is blood on the ground and we gather to show respect, all those "differences" become trivial. Believe it or not, competing crews refusing to talk to each other contributed to a fatal mid-air between two EMS helicopters.

If you want to land at a hospital, and they say no, don't get upset. If there is a delay, ask how long. If it is too long, divert. Go to another available hospital pad or airport. Call for an ambulance. That's what you would do if there was bad weather on top of the initial destination. Just roll with it and record everything. As long as you are behaving according to what's best for safety, patient, and company - in that order - you can face anything or anybody.

That's all we as crews can do. We can't force the owner of a  private helipad to let us land. And if we can't and the patient dies, it will be for someone else to sort out.

At the end of the day, all we can do is seek to maintain our perspective and our status as a...



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