Exchanging phone numbers with patients

Meemawmover

Forum Ride Along
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So this isn’t at all to do with romance. I have an elderly woman who is a frequent flyer, I have her at least once a week when running BLS taking her to dialysis, and I adore her. Her and I have become very close and she asked if we could exchange numbers so she could call me and talk sometimes. Would this be unprofessional or illegal in any way?
 

luke_31

Forum Asst. Chief
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Highly questionable ethically to exchange numbers. I’d not do it as it can make things problematic at work if they found out, even if there was nothing wrong going on.
 

DrParasite

The fire extinguisher is not just for show
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illegal? well, unless you can cite the law.... and consult a lawyer for legal advice.

unprofessional? likely. that would be crossing the work life / private-life balance.

Advisable? absolutely not.
 

mgr22

Forum Deputy Chief
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So this isn’t at all to do with romance. I have an elderly woman who is a frequent flyer, I have her at least once a week when running BLS taking her to dialysis, and I adore her. Her and I have become very close and she asked if we could exchange numbers so she could call me and talk sometimes. Would this be unprofessional or illegal in any way?
I've done this twice. It didn't work out either time.
 

akflightmedic

Forum Deputy Chief
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I would not advise you to do this. You are not this person's friend, you are not her confidant, you are not her way to live vicariously, you are not anything other than a paid professional people mover on her scheduled days.

Keep it professional. Do not exchange numbers, do not connect on social media, do not do anything outside the confines of your on duty scheduled time together. Period.
 

medichopeful

Flight RN/Paramedic
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Not a good idea at all.
 

Carlos Danger

Forum Deputy Chief
Premium Member
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I'll be the dissenter here and say that I don't see anything professionally or morally questionable about becoming friends with someone you met at work. I'd also be very surprised if it were in any way legally questionable. Your employer may have a policy about this, however.

Does that mean it's a good idea? I don't know. The devil is really in the details. Like everyone else here has indicated, well-intentioned and seemingly innocuous things sometimes result in unintended consequences that you could never have anticipated. That seems unlikely the way you describe the situation. But who knows? When those unintended consequences could potentially affect your employment and professional reputation, you really do need to think carefully.
 

GMCmedic

Forum Deputy Chief
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I'll agree her that I don't see anything morally or professionally wrong with it, but that doesn't mean it's a good idea.
 

MMiz

I put the M in EMTLife
Community Leader
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I wouldn't do it, it seems like a professionally questionable practice in this instance.

Does your employer have a policy?
 

Martin95037

Forum Probie
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You work for your employer. She has your phone number so to say and can request that you be in the back of the ambulance with her as the company you work for transports her.

If the 2 of you had been going to the same church for years, Maybe. Otherwise you are just asking for potential problems to your life that could be very difficult to fix.
 

Akulahawk

EMT-P/ED RN
Community Leader
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Depending upon exact circumstances, it could be a problem professionally or legally. Normally I wouldn't do it. I have several patients in my ED that I have gotten to know over the years because they're frequent fliers. I don't exchange personal info with them and they likely (still) don't know my full name. That doesn't mean that I don't like them or that I don't care about them, rather it just means that I have a professional relationship with them and once my shift is over, I'm out the door. When I return, if they're still in the ED, I might stop in and say "hi" but after that, I'm on to my assignment.
 

johnrsemt

Forum Deputy Chief
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I have patients were I work now that I see quite often (I live and work in a community of 300, and a work community of approx 2500) so I talk to quite a few of them; and some of them have my number through church or other means.
Never been abused in any way: 1 lady thanks me every I see her at church, but when my partner and I arrived at her house she was dead; now 4 years later she still thanks me for a good job.

Thinking I guess I have been abused, I have dog sat for a couple helped a few load trucks to move, taken a few loads of stuff to the land fill for some patients: but I do that for non patients, so no big deal. LOL
 

RedBlanketRunner

Opheophagus Hannah Cuddler
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Depends on who you work for but we had a standing policy with regulars that our station's private business number could be used for the purpose of relaying assist or comfort requests. They have had several calls come through over the years of a person not wanting to sound like a worry wart and call an ambulance or the ER that turned out to be a significant issue.

Of course, if you have lived and worked in a small town, numerous people know you and your private number anyway. One memorable call we once had at home was MY HOUSE IS ON FIRE! click. Took my wife a few seconds to recognize the voice.
 

DrParasite

The fire extinguisher is not just for show
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Depends on who you work for but we had a standing policy with regulars that our station's private business number could be used for the purpose of relaying assist or comfort requests.
if you are giving out your station's private business number to the general public, so they can relay assist or comfort requests, then it is no longer private.
 
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