Learning Is A Continual Process

Every day is an education for me,every day I learn more and more about my fellow man. These are some things I learned yesterday…

  • If I ask if someone has taken painkillers for their period pain, I should expect them to say 'no', instead I should expect them to tell me they have taken some vitamins.
  • Members of the public think that someone who has their eyes closed is 'unconscious', if they are talking while their eyes are closed, they are still 'unconscious'.
  • Patients will only be incontinent of urine if I have to lift them and I've forgotten to put on gloves.
  • Patients under the age of twenty have names which sound normal but are spelt strangely – e.g. 'Caryl', 'Krystyl', 'Madyline' and 'Bryon'.
  • If you have a serious medical emergency, or are over the age of 80, you will wait 6 hours before calling an ambulance. If you are under 40 then the longest you will wait with a minor injury is 2 minutes.
  • Having a sore ankle for 8 days gives you 'severe difficulty in breathing'. Grunting in pain is the same thing as 'severe difficulty in breathing'.
  • Patients who speak no English will not need hospital, just information. Neither you, nor your crewmate will speak the same language as the patient.
  • Pain in the bladder always seems to equate to 'Chest pain'.
  • When trying to sneak into a bank to pay a bill, the importance of the bill that needs paying is directly proportional to how many people need an ambulance during the hours of 9-5.
  • Infections do not disappear after taking one antibiotic tablet.
  • Running with a stretcher into a kerb so that it smashes into my chest is really; painful. So painful it can break a rib…
  • Just because a patient has an airway inserted at hospital, it doesn't mean the hospital has put in the right airway.
  • If I want to get out of work quickly, then the last job of the shift will be miles away, and will go to a hospital even further away. Traffic will be bad.
  • 13 thoughts on “Learning Is A Continual Process”

    1. on the name point, there is a welsh name spelled 'caryl', with a different pronounciation to 'carol', just thought i might point it out.really enjoy your blog. it's making me feel guilty about the only recent time i'v been in an ambulance; accomanying my diabetic sister who had passed out drunk. oh well, my apologies to the ambulance community.


    2. Oh! and of course:The heaveier the patient is the porportionally higher floor they will live on, and the evelevator will never work when they can't walk.

    3. The “severe difficulty in breathing” issues is entirely the fault of that lousy american dispatching system which makes us ask “Are they breathing normally?” and, if they are not, “Are they able to talk normally?” How anyone is expected to talk normally with a broken ankle is beyond me, and I do try to get the callers to distinguish between Gasping With Pain and Can't Breathe Properly, although I'm not really supposed to do that and QA will come round and bombard me with pink pieces of paper if I do it too often.I often find “conscious” is a word that baffles the callers – they seem to think it applies to anyone lying down or anyone who will not speak to them. This is worryingly prevalent in nursing homes. There are also a lot of people (particularly new mothers) who think that someone cannot be breathing if they are crying. I am frequently deafened by reportedly “suspended” babies crying down the phone.

    4. And last week, I have learned that when there is somebody giving details over the radio to the switchboard so that info can be passed on to 999 it is not obvious that other radio users should keep the airwaves clear beause it is more imprtant for a powerpoint presentation to be set up than for switchboard to be able to pass on to the emergency services that the person injured is conscious and breathing.It is always best to go on the assumption of no knowledge and no logic, then you can only be pleasantly surprised.

    5. Oh! great Murphy, the laws ye have given to EMS to help a speedy recouvery, are so intriguing. So what is the code for a pain in the neck?, or the pain in the rear? Or are those phrases so Politically incorrect. There might be a difference of opinion for where delivery of said party. Maybe ye use Humber [lumbar] lower and upper? I'm so glad that I don't have to get out 1.1/4d and toodle off to Paddy fields any more, Thanks for your great insight to your world, Glad we have great guys[guys now means gals too] like you.Dungbeetle

    6. The point “If you have a serious medical emergency, or are over the age of 80, you will wait 6 hours before calling an ambulance. If you are under 40 then the longest you will wait with a minor injury is 2 minutes.” made my laugh ruefully.Last year my Dad, 82, became ill. He said he just had a bad cold and just needed “a little nap.” After a day and a half of taking care of him, I called the ambulance. He had pneumonia and had also had a small heart attack. He was in the hospital for two months.

      So here is what I learned, folks, correct me if I'm wrong: if you think someone elderly is sick enough to need a doctor, and you can't get them to the doctor because they can't get out of bed, call an ambulance.


    7. Sorry to hear about your rib. I broke 3 a few years ago and they were a bugger to heal; soon as you tell anyone they'll want to hug you which just causes more pain.Here's a hug that wont hurt (((hug)))

    8. being older : one gets to be more stubborn /macho or soft and cry wolf: those near and dear need to read deepper and read between the lines: i.e. do think we do retreat into our childhood type, tough it out or ?; with my family, it is been there, done that I can take it, not realising, we do not have the reserve energy to fight all OF our pains [HUMBER LOWER]and aches.dungbeetle.

    9. Bit late with this reply (catching up after reading the book!)I think the Welsh/Scottish/Irish versions of names are totally acceptable – but it DOES piss me off when seeing names which are used because of fashion and (usually) misspelt because of ignorance. Today's gems? Mikayla, Shorn (I kid you not!) and Britnee.

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