I’ve found that usually most patients, especially older ones, are pleased to see a small, reassuring smile on the faces of their responding crews. I’m not laughing at anyone, and I don’t think anything’s funny. (OK, you got me – a lot of stuff we see is funny.) Just a little something more than our usual calm, professional, robotic stoicism. (Did I beat that deep enough into the ground?) Just a bit of warmth, kindness, compassion and human emotion injected into an otherwise bad day.
Except for the occasional jerk, like the 20-year-old admitted alcoholic with ulcers. I understand it’s a matter of perception, such as her perception that my faint smile was akin to me wanting to take her first-born for some ritual sacrifice.
“What’s so funny? Why are you smiling?”
“Fine. I’ll be outside. So’s the gurney.”