EMS is an incredible resource and is coming to your emergency with some of the most highly trained and highly skilled individuals along with the latest and most sophisticated equipment.
This being said, it would make sense there would be very few, if any voids in how a patient encounter goes.
There is one area I believe may lack some of this attent...ion. It has to do with treating your patient; I mean really treating your patient.
Oh sure, the protocol was followed to the letter, the IV was placed on the first attempt and patient delivered safely to the next level of care, the Emergency Department.
Did your patient understand everything you did? Why you did it?
One late night we had an elderly female with chest pain, she was having an MI. She was frightened as you can imagine. Her elderly husband sat a few feet away watching with his own fears.
A new paramedic stood in front of her and said, “Hon, I’m going to put a line in ya.”
He then looked at one of the EMT’s and said, “Let’s get ready to turn and burn here, ‘time is muscle’.”
Of course it probably sounds worse than it was. We are very good with aggressive care, that’s what we do.
How many of us take the time to look the patient in the eye, be at their level, explain the procedure in the simplest of terms, and give them a reassuring look. This is the psychological part of the care which can have dramatic effects.
If we can lower the anxiety level in someone having a heart attack, this is as important as administering medications and transport.
I believe what we bring to a patient in need is very powerful; there is no higher level of care available. Take the time and talk to your patient, their family, make sure they are feeling like they called the right crew.
You’re an EMS provider, you have it in you, I know this just by you being in EMS and I like you am proud to be part of this system!