Pet names?

Canadiangoose

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What would you do if someone responding to the scene of an incident as medical person calls the patient "pet" names? Like "cat" and "b"-word and asks, "Do you have any friends?" ? They carried out their job and took care of the patient and made sure the patient was safe physically. Patient was complying. I felt bad about this. Several years later, there was an apology to the patient, and the patient forgave and was forgiven. They complained. Just a regular good person.

To be honest, I was shocked anyone could say that to anyone let alone someone we are trying to treat and administer care. They are a PERSON not an animal. (You honestly never know who knows who or how important a person is just by looking at them at the wee hours.)

Wouldn't that make the patient feel worse? And push them into feeling worse again.

YOUR words make a difference at a critical time.

Shouldn't we shape our words to heal the spirit and soul just as the mind.

Why not lift them up with kind words of encouragement in their dark valley as a representative of company.

I can provide no further details, as it is confidential and sensitive in nature to protect all parties involved. I care about privacy. I really do. And I care about everyone who was there at the time.

What would you do if that was your partner?
 

mgr22

Forum Deputy Chief
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When I was going through my inner-city ambulance rotations during medic school, it wasn't uncommon for preceptors to address patients as "Mommy," "Sweetie," or "Honey." They sounded sort of inappropriate to me, but I wasn't in a position to criticize or judge.

Now, 26 years later, if I heard a junior partner use any of those terms to address a patient, I'd probably question it privately after the call -- not as a major issue, but as a way of fine-tuning dialogue to be less patronizing.
 

NomadicMedic

EMS Edumacator
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To me, everyone is a ma’am or sir, until proven otherwise. I often ask patients what they want me to call them if I’m having conversation, otherwise it’s just “we’re going to move you to our stretcher now ma’am”

Using terms like “honey”, “sweetie“ or “doll“ for women or “buddy”, “dude” or “guy” is inappropriate and should be addressed in the FTO phase of orientation when it’s noticed.

It’s one of my pet peeves and I make it a point to address it with newer providers in the initial education and reinforce it throughout orientation.
 

Peak

ED/Prehospital Registered Nurse
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I’ve had a couple of very entitled and self centered patients complain that I called them Sir or Ma’am and not by their name. You can’t make many people happy, and they will find something to complain about.

I have learned to talk to patients without using their name, honorific titles, or gender specific pronouns.
 

RedBlanketRunner

Opheophagus Hannah Cuddler
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YOUR words make a difference at a critical time.
Speaking across the patient, Physician A to Physician B, "Let's call it. This is one for the pathologists." Patient's wife in doorway of the trauma room fainted. (Patient survived)

Chaos on a beach. Bodies, FD and bystander rescuers all over. Family of 5 in overturned boat. Ambulance crew working on one patient. Cop calls out "Which is the live one?" Patient's vitals cratered as he heard and realized his family was dead.
 
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Canadiangoose

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Surely, it could be their worst day, the road to recovery long to find their way after it happens. I'm glad that there were people there taking responsibility, we don't really know how powerful family is and the spoken word is until it is out of place. I hope that I could offer a little hope and encouragement, it couldn't hurt. I hope to see the humanity in a person, when they are going through something difficult. Thank you for sharing these stories as it may shed light on the sensitive nature of people during an emergency especially when loved ones are involved. I hope for myself, too that I will have the right thing to say at the right time. I'm just trying my best. Still new... and hopefully a long way to go.
 

RedBlanketRunner

Opheophagus Hannah Cuddler
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@Canadiangoose Me?
Situation 1, massive head trauma. Physicians reading impressions from CT scan. Not paying attention to surroundings. Always watch what you say during rescues.
Situation 2, Diving reflex. Severely suppressed vitals but brain oxygenated and functional. Hearing is often the last sense to go. With full reflex, patients can be viable with pulse <10.

We once had a full code blue, 15 minutes into CPR. Medic saw an eye reflex and yelled in the patients face to take a breath. She did. Survived.
 
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Canadiangoose

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"Take a breath!" Good one! Thank Goodness, she survived!
 

DrParasite

The fire extinguisher is not just for show
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We once had a full code blue, 15 minutes into CPR. Medic saw an eye reflex and yelled in the patients face to take a breath. She did. Survived.
I remember something similar happening on Scrubs...
But if that's what it took to save her life, more power to you.
 

ffemt8978

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I remember something similar happening on Scrubs...
But if that's what it took to save her life, more power to you.
It's amazing how accurate that show could be. :p
 

RedBlanketRunner

Opheophagus Hannah Cuddler
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Received a call from the ER Sup. "We had one of your CPR students in here."
So I asked how they did.
His reply, "Pulled through. In ICU now. First time I've had a patient come to enough to count compressions for us."
Two weeks after taking our CPR class our friend was driving to work and recognized he had the symptoms of a HA. He rerouted to the ER. Went in, describing chest pain radiating down his left arm and up his neck. ER Sup sat him on a gurney, put in a call to RT and turned around just as he took the dive. The patient, a friend of ours, had in the past taken a 440 jolt arm to arm until he went unconscious and fell away from the wires. Had significant heart damage.
So the Sup called the code and started CPR. Turns out our friend was borderline out. Couple of minutes into the code before they could get an ariway in he woke up enough to realize what was going on and started counting compressions. In and out of consciousness. Then and it was defib time. The Sup was grim and determined. Fired the defib for about 10 minutes. Patient was awake enough to feel the defibs and desparately wanted to speak and tell them to just let him die. They finally got a rhythm back.
Patient had pretty large couple of burn marks for the rest of his life.
 

akflightmedic

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I will ALWAYS call out someone who uses this terminology.... "Full Code Blue"

1. Professionals typically say "code" or "Cardiac Arrest"

2. I personally have never tended to a "half code", so I am not quite sure how or where the "Full" part originated from other than TV Drama.

Lifelong burn marks from defibs??? Very atypical, as are many of your tales thus far. Notice I did not say impossible, just very atypical.

And the providers...in this scenario...I love colorful adjectives (grim and determined for the win), almost made me wanna rush through this chapter and get to reading the next!
 

Peak

ED/Prehospital Registered Nurse
860
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I will ALWAYS call out someone who uses this terminology.... "Full Code Blue"

1. Professionals typically say "code" or "Cardiac Arrest"

2. I personally have never tended to a "half code", so I am not quite sure how or where the "Full" part originated from other than TV Drama.

Lifelong burn marks from defibs??? Very atypical, as are many of your tales thus far. Notice I did not say impossible, just very atypical.

And the providers...in this scenario...I love colorful adjectives (grim and determined for the win), almost made me wanna rush through this chapter and get to reading the next!
We have “soft codes” or “med codes,” which are resuscitations that require active IV blousing of vasoactive medication to keep the patient from dying but did not lose pulses and require CPR. While it may sound a bit much I’d far rather med code for an hour than wait for them to slump another minute or so and need to do CPR.
 

RedBlanketRunner

Opheophagus Hannah Cuddler
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Speaking of Pet Names and wording..........

1. Professionals typically say "code" or "Cardiac Arrest"

2. I personally have never tended to a "half code", so I am not quite sure how or where the "Full" part originated from other than TV Drama.

Lifelong burn marks from defibs??? Very atypical, as are many of your tales thus far. Notice I did not say impossible, just very atypical.

And the providers...in this scenario...I love colorful adjectives (grim and determined for the win), almost made me wanna rush through this chapter and get to reading the next!
If the terminology used isn't exactly the way I learned it/use it, it must be BS!
Code blue, in some locations in the U.S., parts of Europe, Asia and Africa, any condition where cyanosis may develop or is developing. The term 'code blue', as a reference to cyanosis is not all that common of course as it sometimes develops without a cardiac emergency. Various forms of 'urgent' are much more commonly used. The word code is also often substituted.

Lifelong burn marks. As stated, the ER Sup knew the patient personally. He also wasn't entirely textbook perfect, having spent a good portion of his career on international medical response teams in foreign countries under primitive circumstances. He kept firing the defib even when the conductive gel had been worn away and dried up.
The defibrillator being used was a 1970s model HP firing a Lown wave. These defibs fired at 300 J always and direct DC. The modern replacement fires biphasic and adjusts from 150 up to 300 J. The Lown wave DC jolt is more likely to cause burns as well as always being at full power. Check with your local B-MET regarding how modern defibs function and self adjust.

Colorful language. Both the patient and the ER Sup were/are my personal friends. I substituted wording to respect their privacy and grim and determined fits that ER Sup perfectly. If a person was to have wandered into that hospital and asked anyone there who was the most grim and detemined nurse... He also took circumstances into consideration and commonly did a double shift one or two days a week to be certain the ER was fully staffed for any eventuality.


Very atypical, as are many of your tales thus far. Notice I did not say impossible, just very atypical.
My most sincere abject apologies in relating the stranger scenarios I have encountered in my 40 or so years working emergency services under a very wide variety of circumstances in and outside clinical locations. Perhaps you would like to hear about the collection of used prophylactics and the locations they were found in that hospital? How about a certain nurse becoming pregnant and the betting as to where her bust size would end up? The double martini, one up, one over? The patient that crawled into the ER with a very serious leg fracture and nobody could figure out how he got there? And several hundred more. Long strange trip, darling.
 
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ffemt8978

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Back on topic or become the focus of my complete and undivided attention.
 

RedBlanketRunner

Opheophagus Hannah Cuddler
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Why not lift them up with kind words of encouragement in their dark valley as a representative of company.
Indeed. Why not? I'll dial back to the early days of basic EMT. Friends, family and bystander management was a part of the course. Calming down the family, giving them something to do while we dealt with the patient. "Go get a clean damp towel or washcloth!" Usually only came in handy when the patient did the big spit for them to clean things up afterwards but so often giving them something to do is much appreciated. Bystanders feel so helpless. Do you have a flashlight? Could you collect all the patient's medications and put them in a container? How about you just sit down and take some deep breaths?

Pet names? A brittle down:"Sweetheart, do you have a history of diabetes? Fainting? Take insulin?" Got her attention better than clinically asking "What's your medical history."
"Hey twerp, you're handling things like a trooper!"
"Honey, you need to dial it down before a half ton of fire fighters gets in on things."
"Dude, meet Doc Strong. How about chilling out?"

Or on talk around... "We got a HUA over the cliff."
 

akflightmedic

Forum Deputy Chief
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I simply find it amazing that one individual seems to think he or she is the only person here who has worked austere, primitive, remote, solo practitioner, and any other extreme descriptive adjective you can find...and that one person seems to have tales that literally stretch the boundaries of imagination darn near every time. In fairness, myself and others, who have done the "extreme", either we were very lucky, or very fortunate, simply seemed to have missed every opportunity to encounter such oddities...that, or we keep most of if to ourselves. However, the stories which have been shared over the years, while odd or unique, still have not reached the extent of the ones which repeatedly occur to a sole individual. Sadly, I guess my 26, almost 27 years of similar adventure mean nothing...long trip indeed, swee'pea!

And pet names, yeh, typically unprofessional. Have I done them? Yes. Do I still do them n occasion? Yes. It is completely appropriate in some situations, all depends on context, patient, rapport, need for such. I have used "mama and mamacita" a lot.
 

Kevinf

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You hear a lot of incredible stories while working in EMS. Some of them are even true.

I use pet names some times depending on the context. Sometimes you want to try to put people at ease and not be extremely formal as that can be a little intimidating. I do avoid being super informal with patients however.
 

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