Holding someones hand

Discussion in 'EMS Talk' started by Guardian, Aug 3, 2006.

  1. Guardian

    Guardian New Member

    EMS Training:
    Critical Care Paramedic
    Lately, many of my pts have been asking me to hold their hand because they're scared, upset, crazy, etc. From now on, I'm starting a no hand holding rule in the back of my ambulance. What do yall think about this?
  2. Chimpie

    Chimpie EMTLife Tech Support Community Leader

    Location:
    Sarasota, FL
    EMS Training:
    MFR
    Are you talking about 911 transports or regular transports?
  3. Stevo

    Stevo Forum Asst. Chief

    Location:
    Vermont
    EMS Training:
    Student
    is there something wrong about being a compassionate ems'er?
  4. MedicPrincess

    MedicPrincess New Member

    Location:
    Somewhere between Heaven and Earth
    EMS Training:
    EMT-Paramedic
    I think it is a TERRIBLE idea. Your there to provide for their medical needs. Making them feel safe and comfortable is part of taking care of your patient.

    It doesn't matter if it is a 911 call or taking Grandma back to the nursing home. Sometimes holding their hand is exactly what they need from you.

    Its not going to hurt anything. And you never know, you may be the only person to show them that much compassion all day.

    I sure hope when I need an ambulance for my daughter who has a heart condition, that Medic in the back doesn't refuse to hold her hand if she asks. I will come unglued!

    Compassion. Empathy. Just general give a crap about your patients is all part of your job.
  5. rescuecpt

    rescuecpt Community Leader Emeritus

    Location:
    Long Island, New York
    EMS Training:
    EMT-Intermediate
    Wear gloves. Hold hands. If it interferes with your ability to treat the patient, say "excuse me", do what you need to do, then hold their hand. There is something called "psychological first aid" that I practice a lot on my ambulance. Usually if you can calm a patient down a bit, some of their symptoms subside - and it provides a better, more well rounded course of care for your patient.

    If you have a probie, have them hold hands, so you don't have to. ;)
  6. Jon

    Jon Administrator Community Leader

    Location:
    Southeastern PA
    EMS Training:
    EMT-Paramedic
    I've got no problem holding the hand of a patient, if it dosen't interfere with my other responsbilities at hand.

    I've had problems with elderly women (and men) with dementia grab my leg and start trying to feel me up... but holding someone's hand is sometimes the BEST treatment we can provide for them.
  7. gradygirl

    gradygirl TROUBLE

    Location:
    right here
    EMS Training:
    EMT-Intermediate
    Holding someone's hand is so simple, yet so effective. Words can only do so much; humans thrive on touch and contact.

    This has been proven to me over and over again, but was first proven to me when my partner and I held a little boy's hands who had been abused and abandoned by his parents.
  8. Stevo

    Stevo Forum Asst. Chief

    Location:
    Vermont
    EMS Training:
    Student
    I've had quite a few patients open up with critical info on holding their hand, or what is simple eye contact and calm friendly nature

    nobody cares how much you know, until they know how much you care

    ~S~
  9. rescuecpt

    rescuecpt Community Leader Emeritus

    Location:
    Long Island, New York
    EMS Training:
    EMT-Intermediate
    Wow Stevo - very deep. :) Good line to remember.
  10. Guardian

    Guardian New Member

    EMS Training:
    Critical Care Paramedic
    Thanks for the responses everyone. Hand holding has become way to cliché and everyone expects it now. If someone wants me to hold their hand while they're dying, that's one thing. In reality, people who are dying rarely care about holding someones hand. More commonly people want me to hold their hand just because they think that's what we do. For example, some people want me to hold their hand while my partner starts an IV. You wouldn't see this being done at the hospital would you?
  11. gradygirl

    gradygirl TROUBLE

    Location:
    right here
    EMS Training:
    EMT-Intermediate
    I dunno Guardian. I hate having IVs started on me and wouldn't hesitate one moment to have someone hold my hand while getting one. I've also held friends's hands during blood drives and people's hands in the ED while doing rotations in hospital. I've always worn gloves, but these people were scared half to death, and if they were going to cooperate more by having me hold their hand, then, by all means, I was going to.
  12. lfsvr0114

    lfsvr0114 New Member

    Location:
    Texas
    EMS Training:
    EMT-Paramedic
    If by holding someones hand while they were scared for any reason helped them be calmer, then what did it hurt? A calmer pt is a better pt. I've held many a hand while procedures were being done to a pt. It keeps them occupied with you and your conversation and the procedure is less traumatic for them. Sometimes the patient only wants to have their fear acknowledged since some people forget that the patient has feelings, too.
  13. c-spine

    c-spine New Member

    Location:
    Central Wisconsin
    EMS Training:
    EMT-Basic
    Don't pick on the probies! -giggle- But yeah, like most of ya'll said... if it makes them feel better, I'll do it. -shrug-
  14. rescuecpt

    rescuecpt Community Leader Emeritus

    Location:
    Long Island, New York
    EMS Training:
    EMT-Intermediate
    I like my probies. For example, last night, when the cable died in the crew lounge, my probies went to get the cable box from one of the bunk rooms to swap it out - and proceeded to have the entire wall mount with tv and cable box fall on his face. Umm, yeah. Note to all, don't do that.
  15. MariaCatEMT

    MariaCatEMT Forum Asst. Chief

    Location:
    Champaign, IL, USA
    EMS Training:
    EMT-Basic
    Do you have a personal issue with touching a patient outside of necessary medical care?
  16. Guardian

    Guardian New Member

    EMS Training:
    Critical Care Paramedic
    I don't know what you mean by "personal" but yes, I want to keep touching to a minimum and have a problem with unnecessary handholding.
  17. MariaCatEMT

    MariaCatEMT Forum Asst. Chief

    Location:
    Champaign, IL, USA
    EMS Training:
    EMT-Basic
    Personal issue.....as in.....personal preference.....and....I was just asking. Meow!
  18. Rangat

    Rangat New Member

    I find holding someone's hand very useful.

    coz, it helps a lot if the pt is in pain and moving & grabbing around messing up ur work, and if the pt gets combative and tries to undo your stuff, etc.

    But i'll let go if i have to do other things...:p

    Except if it's a pretty girl, then she has no choice. And she'll get a T.U.B.E.

    then again, i've had thousands of rotten foot, stinky pts, and like 2 girls.:sad:
  19. Guardian

    Guardian New Member

    EMS Training:
    Critical Care Paramedic
    T.U.B.E. as in Totally unnecessary breast examination?.....wow, that will get you in some trouble.
  20. gradygirl

    gradygirl TROUBLE

    Location:
    right here
    EMS Training:
    EMT-Intermediate
    Good call. My medic friends all threaten me with being "examined" if they ever have to pick me up. I just smile and tell them to go ahead, see where that will get them. :rolleyes: :p

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