Have you just started at a service that doesn't have cable? Did your service rip the carpet out from under the feet of Abby and Gibbs? Don't know where to go without DiNozzo? Is your service trying to shield you from the Illuminati grasp on cable media? Well here's some advise for you. Keep Calm and read FOAM.
But what is FOAM?
Well it's Free Open Access Meducation says the amazing folks over at Life in the Fastlane. It's a fantastic tool to learn, teach, and grow as a person who providers medical care. It isn't just residents or doctors who use it. Nurses, respiratory therapist, medical assistants, paramedics, and ALL Allied health providers can benefit. FOAM has been facilitating collaboration across the world. In my little services we find it hard to talk to our neighbors, much less work with people in other countries. With social media connecting people on opposite sides of the world, it amazing to see development happening. So how do you access it? That's the fun part!
How do I join?You're already a part of the #FOAM community if you want to be! So here are the tools used by most.
- Twitter: Twitter is an excellent tool to share links, articles, and small comments. It's rather limiting with 140 characters and use may be frowned upon by your service while on shift.
- The EMCrit community is strong there! as are many other very smart people. You're service should have any problem. 1) It's Google. 2) none of your friends use it.
- I've also been involved with a EMS based community called Quality Box Time with a medic (he runs the Facebook version, I hope G+ is more popular!) for FOAM relevant to EMS/Prehospital providers.
Go look at EMCrits
you don't have to take it from me!
Does it need a card to be educational?
The overwhelming answer to this is no. Unfortunately most of our educational budgets are consumed by keeping people competent. So it lands with the individual providers to learn more. Yes, that means you. The good news is you aren't alone, everyone else can use to learn more. Every day I learn something new that changes what I was taught before. I was told that we can not differentiate between a MI and a LBBB. Well we can with Sgarbossa Criteria, "A total score of ≥ 3 has a specificity of 90% for diagnosing myocardial infarction." (1,2), Go check out LITFL for more on that.
So who wants to have a four hour refresher on ACLS with information from 2010? FYI, the "Proven fact" that cooling our patients to 33°c has mortality benefit was debunked in 2013(3,4). I do not, but I must, because I need to keep a current card. I've learned the information and at this point, "refreshing" dosages and algorithms seems like something I could do more easily while sitting around base on my own or with coworkers as a full simulation. Without TV being a major barrier to get by I would hope people would be more then willing to "play".As good medical professionals we are responsible for keeping ourselves up to date and well trained. With the excellent resources presented to us as FOAM it is very hard to cling to ignorance any longer! Hopefully this will spur a movement make learning a daily adventure and not an annual or monthly drag.
- Sgarbossa Criteria. Mike Cadogan. Life in the Fastlane
- Sgarbossa, E. B., Pinski, S. L., Barbagelata, A., Underwood, D. A., Gates, K. B., Topol, E. J., … Wagner, G. S. (1996). Electrocardiographic diagnosis of evolving acute myocardial infarction in the presence of left bundle-branch block. GUSTO-1 (Global Utilization of Streptokinase and Tissue Plasminogen Activator for Occluded Coronary Arteries) Investigators. The New England Journal of Medicine, 334(8), 481–7. doi:10.1056/NEJM199602223340801
- Kim F, Nichol G, Maynard C, et al. Effect of Prehospital Induction of Mild Hypothermia on Survival and Neurological Status Among Adults With Cardiac Arrest: A Randomized Clinical Trial. JAMA. 2014;311(1):45-52. doi:10.1001/jama.2013.282173.
- Nielsen N,Wetterslev J, Cronberg T, et al. Targeted Temperature Management at 33°C versus 36°C after Cardiac Arrest. N Engl J Med 2013; 369:2197-2206December 5, 2013DOI: 10.1056/NEJMoa1310519