August 17, 2010

Dear EMT Partner

I'm all for explaining why I did or did not do something to a patient after a call.



But never, ever, challenge my patient care decision INFRONT of a patient, if you disagree with a specific choice.

(Exception to the rule is doing something that can harm the patient, like giving them a drug they are allergic to)



Last week we got called to a person that was reported to be "short of breath" by the family. Patient was in the early 90's, no hx of COPD, no asthma, no respiratory history at all aside from recent bout of pneumonia.

SpO2 96% on 3LPM via nasal canulla. No labored breathing, and at a rate of 22. Clear lungs. No peripheral cyanosis. No other indicator that she was in in distress at all, just the family stating she was (but rehab facility nurses said that was normal baseline). I opt to keep on NC.

My EMT says, and I quote "Are you sure?"


Yes, I'm sure. I don't just randomly throw out medical decisions without thinking them through first.

I'd like to think that at some point in my 2 years of education in emergency medicine, my internship, my passing of my certification test, and the fact that I was cleared by an FTO means that I might have possessed some little tidbit about how to practice some emergency medicine.





This isn't the first time this EMT has challenged my choice, either. He's under the firm belief that his 1 year as an IFT EMT supercedes my 5 months as a medic and 7 months as an EMT... and lets it be known to the patients when he states he "has more experience".


*sigh*


I love EMTs... I stand up for them all the time and hate medics that exhibit "Paragodness", but this is getting old.

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