Prehospital Emergency Care | 7th Edition
AUTHOR: Hafen, Brent Q. and Karren, Keith J.
PUBLISHER: Prentice Hall PTR
Also available at Amazon.com
I would like to commend you for your decision to undertake an EMT-Basic educational program. The field of emergency medical services is extremely rewarding and will provide you with experiences you will find both challenging and gratifying. In your EMS career, you will respond to a variety of calls in uncontrolled environments requiring confidence, compassion, and a high degree of competence. As an EMT-Basic, you will be put to the test to think critically and respond instantaneously. The foundation for these skills will be provided in your educational program; you will learn further and gain better clinical insight through patient contact, continuing education, and experience. Once you have read this textbook and completed your EMT-Basic program, you will have only begun your educational experience as an EMT-Basic. Every day you should strive to learn something new that may enhance your emergency patient care. Due to the dynamic nature of emergency medical services, you will become a lifelong learner.
Patient assessment is one of the most important skills that an EMT-Basic performs, requiring good practical ability and also the capability to think critically. You must take each finding from the assessment, determine if an immediate life-saving intervention is required, store the information learned in the back of your mind as you continue with the assessment, and finally put all the pieces of the assessment together to provide effective emergency medical care. The challenge is similar to putting a puzzle together. You start out with individual pieces of the puzzle that have to be connected together to form a meaningful picture. The pieces of the puzzle correlate to signs, symptoms, and other findings of the assessment. You must take the findings, consider them individually, and then put them together to form a whole picture of your patient. Specific findings are meaningless without fitting them into the entire picture.
Prehospital Emergency Care, Seventh Edition,provides a strong, comprehensive approach to patient assessment, which is reinforced at several points in the chapters—in the case study, chapter text, assessment summaries, and algorithms. This approach reinforces assessment information and also provides an alternative learning method. You will find the necessary clinical information integrated into the assessment approach for each section, unlike other sources that integrate the assessment information into the clinical information.
This textbook uses a two-tiered approach to patient assessment: assessment-based and diagnostic-based. An assessment-based approach to patient injuries and illnesses is used initially. This approach teaches you to identify life-threatening conditions and provide immediate interventions to reverse those problems. An assessment-based approach to acute patient care is followed no matter what level of care is provided. Once you have managed life-threatening conditions, you will then move to the next level of assessment, the diagnostic-based approach. The diagnostic-based approach entails putting the signs, symptoms, and other assessment findings together to come to a probability of what condition the patient may be suffering from. Many EMS providers refer to this as their "field impression."Prehospital Emergency Care, Seventh Edition,presents the necessary information to move naturally, successfully, and effectively from the assessment-based approach to the diagnostic-based approach. Much of the "field impression" information is contained in enrichment sections throughout the textbook.
As you progress through your educational program, you will learn a new system of communication that involves the use of appropriate medical terminology. It is important to establish a basic understanding of medical terminology so that you may communicate effectively, by both written and oral means, with other members of the medical team.Prehospital Emergency Care, Seventh Edition,has integrated a basic foundation of medical terminology that will allow you to enhance your professional image and communication skills. You should expand your medical terminology base as you continue your education.
Because of continued threats of terrorism, a chapter has been added on weapons of mass destruction. Chapter 44, "EMS Response to Weapons of Mass Destruction," presents critical information regarding biological, chemical, and nuclear weapons and the assessment and management of patients who have been exposed to the use of these weapons. It is always better to be proactive and have knowledge that will enable you to preplan and react in a situation that may involve weapons of mass destruction. The chapter also emphasizes what is necessary to keep you safe as an EMT-Basic when responding to such incidents and provides you with the ability to recognize a potential biological or chemical exposure.
You will find thatPrehospital Emergency Care, Seventh Edition,provides current information regarding the practice of emergency medical services. The assessment and emergency care sections provide the most up-to-date strategies for providing competent care. The enrichment sections will allow you to further enhance your ability to assess and manage ill and injured patients in the prehospital environment.
I wish you the best of luck in emergency medical services. My best piece of advice to you is to provide the best emergency care possible and always do what is right for the patient. This will allow you to contribute to the mission of emergency medical services.
Good luck and best wishes!
Joseph J. Mistovich
PUBLICATION DATE: 4/10/2003