I figured it would be easiest to make this multiple posts, considering what is running around in my head at the moment.
Yesterday my wife forwarded me a story out of the Sacramento Bee that would have made my hair curl if I had any. It's an investigative article about Paramedics in the state of California and problems with drug and alcohol abuse. The second part deals with falsification of continuing education for renewing provider licenses. It was a difficult story to read, mostly because it really made my chosen profession look bad. I don't disagree that there aren't problems - they likely exist in most states - but is the solution to expose and not to suggest ways to help solve the problems?
I thought overall it was a well-written piece, but the tone suggested (at least to me) that the majority of providers, in their view, abused alcohol and drugs and did fraudulent things to get renewed licensing. As I said, we are not a perfect bunch. However, I think the majority of us have the integrity to do things the right way. What good does it do to cut corners? Would I want to work with someone who went about getting their licensing renewed in this way? Certainly not. If I can't trust the person I'm working with to do a good job with a patient and do everything they are supposed to do with the skills and, hopefully, the integrity that they have, how can I trust them with this other stuff?
Anytime there is reporting of this sort with any professional licensing establishment, it is always difficult to read about simply because it brings the integrity of the profession as well as the licensing process into question. I always have to question the motives of the reporters as well; who brought the issue at hand to their attention, and more importantly, why? Did whomever put the subject in front of journalists have an axe to grind or did they have a legitimate problem they wanted attention brought to? In any case, it makes for tough journalism. And as difficult as it is to read, I think there is an honest attempt to be objective. At least I hope so.