I was reading through a few other blogs that regularly read. Some EMS releated some photography, some just random thoughts on life in general. One of the EMS bloggers made an intresting point. What would I want as a patient? It wasn't that long ago that I was the patient in the back of the box. The EMT that cared for me in the back was kind and joked around with me. Sarcastic and funny, though I was in pain, he kept my mind off of it, or at least tried. We had a ride along that was a fire fighter, who also was kind. We as medics sometimes forget that the people in the back of our truck are in fact...people. Even the Skels, gomers and crackheads, still are people. I am even guilty of this. Sitting behind the pt in the jump seat typing away on the computer, working on the run sheet, not paying attention except to look up once and awhile when the monitor beeps at me. Any medic who says otherwise is lying.
I have, as many us of have, thought of getting tattoos with things like DNR, no RSI unless you have done it sucessfully at least 5 times in the past year, C Spine me me and I will jump off the board and kick your ass, take me to MUSC and a list of people who under no circumstances can touch me. Call another crew, you suck.
Things I would want in my medic is really just three things:
Compassion, If you don't have it, learn to fake it, and fake it well
Competancy, really... know how to do your job. I don't want an incompetant medic giving me a dose of Succs and Etomidate.
Communication, If I'm dying, tell me I'm dying. Don't just say well..."something is strange here" Explain what you are doing. From IVs to difib to CPAP, most of the things we do is painful and uncofortable. Warn me before you scream CLEAR! and hit the button.
Now, to the patients....things to remember...
We have most likely been on the job for 12-48 hours, imagine having a shift that was two days long. Two days we haven't slept in our own bed, seen our familes or possible haven't eaten much in the form of real food.
In those 12-48 hours we have lugged 80 lbs of gear and a 200lb stretcher up and down stairs and down narrow hallways. If we ask you if you can help us out by walking to the front door to the stretcher, it not because we are lazy, its because we lost use of our arms in the first 12 hours of our shift.
Come to the first floor and to the biggest, most open room. It not only makes our job easier, but the faster we can get you into the box, the faster you get the treatment you need. I had one pt who took their dying family member out of the back bedroom and dragged them out the front yard. We scooped and ran. I was able to put the pacemaker on this woman within seconds of her "cardiac episode", thus saving her life.
Please don't spit on me, I will have you arrested, no matter how crazy you are. Spitting is a conscious activity, you know you are doing it and it's nasty.
Please, Please don't say things like "it's because she black, hispanic, russian...whatever" I work as fast as I can no matter what color you are. Black, white, green and really fast if you're blue. Don't be ignorant.
Yes, I will be riding in the back with you family member. I might even perform advanced medical care.
We are people too
Crack counts as a drug, so does Pot.
Don't lie to me. When I ask if you have used drugs or ETOH its no because I just want to know, its because I could give you something that might react with it and KILL YOU! or You may be unconscious and your friend can tell me what you took so I can give you something that might SAVE YOU. Sometimes I can tell anyways like when you sit, vibrating on the beach seat and your heartrate is 160. I hate being lied to, it makes me want to put in an inter-occular IV.
Last, but certainly not least, No you can't hit the button...