Top 10 most common EMS statements...and what they really mean
If EMS calls came with subtitles, chances are they'd read something like these
Updated August 14, 2014
It is a widely accepted truism in EMS that, when dealing with patients, bystanders or supervisors, if it felt good to say something, then it was probably the wrong thing to say.
And I'm here to tell you, early in my EMS career I said a lot of things that felt really good, which probably explains why it took me quite a while to ascend beyond supervisor on the career ladder.
With age and experience, though, I learned not only how to choose my words more carefully, but how to translate the words of other paramedics into what they really mean - just as I've learned how to translate the real meaning of patient statements.
If EMS calls came with subtitles, chances are they'd read something like these:
"So what changed about your condition that led you to call 911?"
Specifically, what made it such an emergency at 3:00 am that you or your homeys couldn't drive you to the Emergency Department? Honestly, if you've been worried about this growth on your behind for a month, why didn't you get it looked at before now? Were you waiting for it to gain sentience or something?
"You're going to feel a little stick."
"I'm just doing my job, Sir. I can't treat what I can't see."
"We'll take that long distance transfer, Dispatch."
"Of course you did the right thing by calling 911!"
"We got a save last shift!"
"Your husband may be having a mild heart attack."
"Hand me an 18."
"[Insert minor complaint here] is nothing to fool with, Ma'am. I've seen it go bad before the victim could make it to the hospital. Better safe than sorry, I always say."
"Relax, I've done this a thousand times."
Got any paramedic subtitles of your own? Chime in with your comments!