Thursday, April 26, 2012

Me, As A True Hero...

Welcome back Loyal Readers..

A lesson, if you will, for the EMS Newbies.  Listen to your patients. Engage them, actually talk to them, not over them or around them. They called you, because they needed help. They did NOT call you for you to spend your time seated in the back conversing with your partner who is driving. Talk to them and find out what is really wrong. Listening to them, and interacting with them can make a world of difference in how a call turns out.

A while ago, I got called to a private residence for leg pain, non emergency..Showed up, walked inside, and found an older gentleman sitting in his front room. He explained that he has gout and arthritis, and the pain had become unbearable. Using the super fantastic pain score, he rated his pain at a 9/10, and I believed him. He could barely stand up, let alone walk around at home. He was widowed, and family only came to visit once in a while. He was obviously a bit lonely, which was understandable. We loaded the patient onto a stair chair, and then lifted him as gently as we could onto the stretcher, and took him to the squad. I got my initial set of vitals, finding nothing remarkable.  He wanted to go to a hospital across town, and before we began the transport, I apologized about the roads and the bumps that we would encounter along the way. While talking with him I found out he was actually a Physician, who had lived in Barbados for many years. We got to talking about his experiences and what life on the Island was like. He told me a bit about a prominent point on the Island that is named after some of my somewhat distant family. We joked, laughed, and just enjoyed talking. I was rather disappointed when it came time to call in my report to the receiving facility, and asked him his pain score to give them an update while I re-assessed his vitals. He looked surprised for a minute, and told me he didn't even notice the pain anymore.

Was a life saved or heroic's preformed? No. Simple, basic humanity was shown, along with a little bit of humor as medicine. A patient who initially was near the point of tears was actively engaged in conversation and joking banter, and became pain free, off of something that simple.

That is what patient care is about...

Till next time kids..



  1. Do you keep in touch with him at all? Seems like he might enjoy your company. And it seems like you could learn some interesting things from each other. :-)

  2. I do not..although I am sure that he would have LOTS of interesting things to share