There are times when it is simpler, and better for the patient, to stand back and let the relatives decide the best case of action.
I went to an older woman who had suffered from a stroke some time earlier, she had made as good a recovery as expected and was being looked after in her home by her family and some paid for carers. There was a lot of equipment in the house. Lifts and hoists had been installed, the patient had a modified wheelchair and a specialist bed. The reason why we had been called was because she had developed a chest infection – this can be very serious in someone who is essentially bed-bound and so she needed to go to hospital.
As I walked into the house I sensed a vague negative attitude towards us – it may have been that they were waiting some time for the ambulance (as it was one of our low priority calls), it may have just been that they were rightfully unhappy that their mother needed to go to hospital again. So the atmosphere in the house meant that I would have to handle the family carefully. The family had a lot of experience with their mother, so, where we would normally 'barge in' and take control of the situation I decided that I would discuss the best way to move the patient with them.
At every one of my suggestions I explained the reasoning behind my thinking, and I let the family use their equipment to carefully, and in their own time, move the patient to the hospital.
And the end of the journey the relatives were a lot happier, all because I let them do most of the 'work'.
If there are any spelling/grammar mistakes in the above post – tough. Today is the only time in three weeks I get to see Laura. I hope you understand.