My mother taught me to keep my mouth shut

Especially when I didn’t have anything nice or or intelligent or productive to say.

So why is it that civilians always insist on saying really stupid things to us?

“Don’t let her fall.”

“Do your job!”

“Cover him up!”

“Hurry up!”

“It wasn’t a big fire.”

Why didn’t they use a Taser?

Funniest term in EMS

Even I dare not repeat the various names and acronyms* that exist among emergency service providers for anxiety events, but this one I heard the other day is probably the most unexpectedly hilarious entry I have heard in all these years:

EEE (Triple E) – Ethnic Emotional Event

*Don’t act like you don’t know what I’m talking about

Dear dialysis patients

Dear dialysis patients,

This may sound insensitive – the only time you should miss your scheduled dialysis is when you’re dead.

I’m quite tired of hearing that you didn’t go to dialysis because you “didn’t feel good” or “didn’t feel like going.” Well, I’m no expert, but I can guarantee that you aren’t going to feel ANY better after skipping dialysis.

While your non-compliance with your appointments has a tendency to give us some cool-ass EKGs that some idiot crews will debate for days whether it’s SVT with aberrancy or VT if they’re not silently staring at the long pauses with their mouths open, I wouldn’t be professional and responsible if I didn’t tell you to just go get your blood cleaned like everyone’s already explained to you a thousand times.



Can’t ever win

Basic ED:

“Why didn’t you bring him to the trauma center?”

Trauma center:

“Why did you bring him here to the trauma center?”

EMS truism #11

Always look at every single vehicle involved in a wreck. The vehicles will tell the story. The drivers will lie.

Two sets of vital signs

“Please provide at least 2 complete sets of vital signs on EVERY patient, and additional sets of vital signs if a patient’s condition changes, or after an intervention was performed.”

Sound familiar? I’m sure you’ve seen sentences like this in memos issued by the those tough-guy desk jockeys.

EVERY patient? Yeah, right.

When I’m taking James to the hospital for the 11th year in a row for the same thing every shift, you’re lucky if I even bother. In fact, forgive me if I just wait until we get to the ED. I don’t care if you think I’m a bad medic, or a lazy one. His vital signs are irrelevant.

I really don’t see how this is dramatically different than the decision-making process that leads you to omit spinal immobilization or choose one treatment over the other. Patient presents, tells you what s/he wants, you decide what s/he needs and doesn’t need using your knowledge, experience and judgment. James walks up to the ambulance, wants a ride to hospital for the 2,546th time, he needs nothing at all.

He barely needs ONE set of vital signs; he certainly doesn’t need TWO sets of vital signs.

If I’m wrong, you can fire me.

Multiple choice

What goes through your mind when you are awakened to go on yet another call in the middle of the night?

(a) “FUCK!”

(b) “I fucking hate people!”

(c) “I’m sure this will be some fucking bullshit.”

(d) “I really need to bid onto a different shift…”

(e) “Yay! Another great opportunity to go help someone!”