Here are some things that you wish you would never had said – or wish were never said by someone else – or perhaps should never be said by anyone in this line of work
1) When taking a [tippy title=”BM” URL=””] A terminology used for measuring someone’s blood sugar count in their blood. Usually done for Diabetics but in the emergency services, done to . . . . um, anyone really. Very useful for diagnosing certain problems – like Hypoglycaemia (low blood sugar – indicative of an Insulin Dependant Diabetic) . . . or ruling out diabetic problems with someone who is suffering a CVA. All we need is a drop of blood from the tip of their finger. [/tippy] from a patient.
Technician: You’re just going to feel a little prick
2) When trying to explain to a female patient how to use [tippy title=”Entenox” URL=””] “Gas and Air” This is Nitrous Oxide mixed 50/50 with oxygen. Its a very effective pain relieve which is inhaled. Comes on quick and stops working quick so useful in the emergency setting . . . people react to it in vastly different ways! [/tippy].
Technician: Right, put this in your mouth and suck on it
3) When explaining how we’re going to do an [tippy title=”ECG” URL=””] “Electrocardiogram” This is what we tend to do to most patients these days. It allows us to take a “snap shot” of the heart to see what is happening. Very useful for diagnosing heart conditions such as MI’s (heart attacks). It is done by placing several sticky lead placements across the patient’s chest and on limbs and obtaining a trace via our Lifepak machine. People with very hairy chests tend to get presented with the razor! [/tippy] to a young lady with chest pain.
Paramedic: Right, I’m just going to put my hand up your top to get to your boobs
4) When dealing with a 21 year old with abdo pains. An ‘older’ lady, approximately 45 years old sits next to him offering him support. The paramenace behind me looks at her.
Paramedic: Is this your mum?
Woman: No, I’m his girlfriend!
5) The first time I tried to put the seat belt on a very large patient.
Binder: Right, I just need to put this seat belt over you . . . oh, it doesn’t reach
Binder: ‘cos you’re too fat . . . I mean too large . . . overweight, sorry . . . um, I mean I think the seat belt’s broken that’s why.
Patient: . . . !!!
6) When checking an old female patient’s legs for signs of DVT (Deep Vein Thrombosis)
Technician: Hmmmm, I bet this is the first time you’ve had a man between your legs in a long time eh luv.
7) When concentrating on a patient who’s about to give birth
Father (holding wife’s hand): Is the baby going to come out ok?
Technician: I reckon so . . . you’re wife’s got quite a large vagina so there shouldn’t be any problem
8 ) When I was first on station.
Colleague: So, does your partner climb also?
Binder: Yeh, we like to get out as much as possible
Colleague: Does he climb better than you?
Colleague: Your partner
Binder: My partner? . . . I’m not gay Tom*. My partner’s a woman
Colleague: **going red** . . . erm
9) A patient is on the trolley bed with chest pain and the wife is sitting anxiously beside him.
Wife: Is he going to be ok?
Paramedic: Don’t worry yourself my dear, he’s going to be fine
Crew mate: . . . . erm, he’s just stopped breathing
10) A couple in their 30’s are on the ambulance. The woman has just given birth to a 20 week old deceased foetus. The woman is in tears and her partner is barely holding it together to comfort her. In the attendant’s seat is a very young and naive university student paramedic doing her paperwork.
With an unemotional voice and without looking up from her writing she utters her practised lines;
Student Paramedic: Try not to upset yourself my dear – it’ll all be OK.
*not his real name of course