This guest post was submitted by paramedic student Steve Hays. He replied to the Everyday EMS Tips weekly enewsletter, “Do you know your stuff?”
My preceptors have been mixed on me using apps to reference meds. My response when they asked why was simple, “I’m not comfortable taking the risk of a medication error and possibly harming my patient.”
My statement was validated during a recent call. During an RSI procedure I noticed that the dosage amounts for Etomidate on the quick reference chart didn’t seem right to me. I pulled out my phone, opened up the RapiTube app and noticed we were about to give the wrong dose!
I stopped the other team and informed them of what I found and asked for 10 seconds to verify in a second reference. ePocrates validated the correct dose.
I am not comfortable trusting my memory, under fast paced, stressful situations with drug dosages (other than my first-line, common medications). Especially since I very inexperienced. I see no harm in taking 10-15 seconds to verify dosages.
On the flip side, I have seen those who use the references as a justification for not being familiar with the medications because they can just look it up. Again, not acceptable. This, in my opinion, is just as dangerous.
Thanks Steve and good luck with your exams.