Style

Everybody has their own style. It’s what makes us unique as human beings and distinguishes our efforts when performing similar tasks as professionals, students, hobbyists etc.

It’s taken a long time and a lot of reflection for me to arrive at my style as a Paramedic, and it’s a continually evolving process. My style adapts and changes to new responsibilities, changing roles and situations as well as the people I interact with on a daily basis. It’s not perfect, nor is it infallible but it has worked for me for most of my adult life.

Until now.

I’ve recently decided to take a stab at writing as a way to challenge myself, express myself and generally open up to the world. Up until this point my writing has been confined to patient care reports and Twitter.

Which brings us to writing and style… I have no clue what my writing style is, in fact until a friend read the sparse pickings on this blog so far, I hadn’t even really thought about what my writing style could be. My previous writing experience dictated a technical style where brevity and clarity is paramount. It’s kind of exciting to break free from those restrictions and let loose (metaphorically speaking).

So will I write in a relaxed, conversational style? A darkly humorous style? A stiff, pedantic style? Will I disturb, or agitate with my writing? I just don’t know, yet….

I think I’ll just write and let my subject matter dictate the style I write in for now, I’ve got enough hangups about writing as it is… Such as a perceived lack of knowledge around the “rules” of writing.

However, according to Thomas Basbøll and his blog Research as a Second Language, a writer should be less concerned with the “rules” than with simply relaxing and allowing the “rules” to develop as you write. I think this advice is marvelous and if you’d like to read the article you can find it here.

Phew, I feel more relaxed about this writing thing already…

Till next time, do stay frosty!

Esprit de Corps

From Merriam-Webster Dictionary:

The common spirit existing in the members of a group and inspiring enthusiasm, devotion, and strong regard for the honour of the group.

www.merriam-webster.com

It’s a rare thing to see a display of esprit de corps outside of an individual paramedic service, even rarer still is to see it applied to paramedics across the province. This sad state of affairs has taken years to develop and will likely take years to correct.

We can no longer be separate little islands in the same big lake, content with the idea that “someone” will step up when the need arises. As a profession we need to develop the idea of solidarity amongst all paramedics province wide regardless of service/labour organisation affiliation.

At a fundamental level what this means is that when the honour or integrity of one paramedic is questioned, the honour and integrity of ALL paramedics are being questioned and as a result all paramedics undertake the responsibility to stand and speak in support of their colleague and profession.

We can scale this feeling to encompass a service, a region, or the entire cadre of paramedics across the province. However, to effectively engage all paramedics provincially this feeling of esprit de corp must be non-partisan and without undue influence from outside sources.

We see the concept of esprit de corp used most effectively in the fire and police services across North America. Be it an individual, or an entire service in trouble the support offered by every other member is swift, consistent and powerful. As a profession we would do well to take a closer look at this phenomenon and learn how to apply it to our own unique circumstances.

To be clear, I am not proposing that we throw away the labour organizations who represent us at this time, merely that we start to think of ourselves as paramedics in Ontario rather than Ottawa paramedics, Niagara paramedics, Flight paramedics, etc. Narrowly defining ourselves by the region we serve, or the service we work for, allows us the luxury of ignoring the plight of our fellow paramedics who may desperately need our support in times of trouble.

There are more than 7000 paramedics in Ontario and countless more the world over. We all share a powerful bond in our common purpose, goals, trials and troubles.

With these numbers and taking into consideration our similarities and common strengths, I cannot see a reason why the paramedics of Ontario continue to operate in their own little bubbles when it comes to matters of solidarity.

How do we encourage a province wide esprit de corps amongst an admittedly jaded and cynical group of professionals? I don’t have that answer yet, I’m not sure if anyone does…

This however I do know; a paramedic should never stand alone during difficult times and that it is the responsibility of each paramedic to step up to support their colleague in need.