Pop quiz hotshot: What is the best skill an EMT (B/I/P) can have?

VentMedic

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but I will simply draw a comparison to a TV Doctor (don;t chastize me for this reference)... House. His communication and people skills suck, but his assessemtn skills are 2nd to none. I know I am using a TV charecter as an example, but you can see how a great assessment can make up for lacking communication skills, not that anyone who takes EMS seriously should take a page from that book. Communication is just another important tool that must me utilized in a proper patient assessment. IMHO.
Okay, let's use that example. How many times has his put his hospital into a bad light? How many times has he been reprimanded? How many times did they mention patient complaints? How may times have lawsuits been mentioned? In the real world, he would have been removed from the case or fired by the patient which he has also been on the TV show. In the real world, he wouldn't be going near the patient again especially with the number of wrong diagnoses to his credit. He is also not always the one doing the hands on assessment or talking to the patient. He has the "nice" doctors to do his communication and assessment. If this guy was in private practice he would probably be broke and probably not have a medical license. It is a TV show. In reality, there are many healthcare professionals and many specialists present. Have you watched TV shows about real patients and doctors? Medical Mysteries or any of the reality based shows? There is not a lot of drama nonsense by the physicians on them. Yet, they are still be able to diagnose and treat the patient.

While the trial and sometimes error methods are part of making a definitive diagnosis, the one thing many professionals must practice on the patient and the families is effective communication.

In the health care profession, one observation has been made by the attorneys. People don't sue professionals who can communicate effectively and are perceived as nice with a professional bedside manner.

If you can not speak well and listen, all you will have is a body before you. Even surgeons, who prefer the patients are sedated, must communicate before and after surgery. They must also listen, whether they want to or not, to some of the things patients have to say.

Do an assessment without proper communication, including listening, and you could end up with an assault charge.
 
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Mountain Res-Q

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Once again, communication is vital, but it is a vital part of patient assessment in our line of work. When I perform an assessment I am constantly talking to the patient and bystanders, looking for more information and trying to keep the patient informed as to what I am do to put them at ease. But to say that Communication is more important than a GREAT assessment is wrong IMHO. I might agree if your argument is that they are just as important, but my patients need someone who can use good communication skills to further their assessment so that they can provide GREAT CARE!
 

VentMedic

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but my patients need someone who can use good communication skills to further their assessment so that they can provide GREAT CARE!
You said it right there. Good communication skills with get more information to do your assessment. As well, if you do not communicate properly, you might not even be allowed to touch the patient.

You have the elderly, young, confused, frightened, different cultures and languages to deal with. This is why healthcare professions get an education in communication during their degree programs and why healthcare organizations spend millions training and retraining employees in communication. If you don't believe me, do a literature search.
 

Sasha

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Do you guys realize that you're both saying the same exact thing with different wording??
 

Mountain Res-Q

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Do you guys realize that you're both saying the same exact thing with different wording??
I do. I can't understand why the words "I agree" can't come out of someone elses mouth. <_< Hey, Vent: Tomato / Potato. I agree Communication is beyond vital... as a part of a Solid Assessment... but not more important than the assessment.
 

VentMedic

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Do you guys realize that you're both saying the same exact thing with different wording??
Not really. He wants to get right in to the actual physical assessment of the patient which may not be possible if one can not "listen" to the directions from dispatch and gain the confidence of the diverse differences in patients when it comes to cultural and language barriers. I think you have already seen this in Orlando where men of different cultural groups will not allow female healthcare workers to touch them physicially and it is equally offensive for males to touch the women of some cultural groups. Careful communication must be done to establish boundaries of respect.

Then, if you can not effectively communicate your assessment to the med control to get orders, you may not be able to treat as believe it is warranted. As well, if you give your report to the hospital staff as part of the grunt and groan group, few will take notice of your scene observations. You might as well just loaded the patient into the taxi, ambulance or whatever you care to call.
 

Sasha

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I think you have already seen this in Orlando where men of different cultural groups will not allow female healthcare workers to touch them physicially and it is equally offensive for males to touch the women of some cultural groups.
Actually, I haven't run into that yet, but I learned how to say "Are you in pain?" and in three different languages!

I agree communication skills are vital, as are assesment skills. They're both equally important. If you can't communicate enough to do an assesment, then anything you will find would be useless. If you can communicate extremely well, but don't know what to look for, how to look for it, and what to listen for, your communication skills are pretty useless.
 

Mountain Res-Q

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Not really. He wants to get right in to the actual physical assessment of the patient which may not be possible if one can not "listen" to the directions from dispatch and gain the confidence of the diverse differences in patients when it comes to cultural and language barriers.
Never said that Vent. You are reading too much into things or simply misunderstood what I said.

Then, if you can not effectively communicate your assessment to the med control to get orders, you may not be able to treat as believe it is warranted.
Now you are getting into treatment. Assessment come first. You can't communicate in your treatment before you communicate in your assessment.

The question was: what is the most important skill a prehospital level provider can have? I still say a GREAT ASSESSMENT. That can only be achieved if you have GREAT Communication Skills, the ability to look/listen/feel, the abilty to get a set of vitals, the ability ot keep yourself safe, and oh so much more. Being a great communicator does little if you can not assess worth a damn, just as a proper assessment can not be completed without having GREAT communication skills. now, why can't you just say, "I agree... with some of that"?

God love you Vent, you are entertaining, but no more dead horse beating for me.
 
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VentMedic

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Now you are getting into treatment. Assessment come first. You can't communicate in your treatment before you communicate in your assessment.
This you miss the word "then". Communication is important for each step starting with the activation of the EMS system and getting the EMT to where they must go.


God love you Vent, you are entertaining, but no more dead horse beating for me.
Dead horse? No, not even the beginning. This is another reasaon why EMS should have it's education standards raised. Some are unaware of how to even conduct and effective patient/bystander interview to begin a good assessment. Some are even more unaware of how ineffective their communication skills are. How much time did your EMT-B class spend on effective communication?

READ! Do a literature search and then get back to me.
 
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VentMedic

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Actually, I haven't run into that yet, but I learned how to say "Are you in pain?" and in three different languages!

I agree communication skills are vital, as are assesment skills. They're both equally important. If you can't communicate enough to do an assesment, then anything you will find would be useless. If you can communicate extremely well, but don't know what to look for, how to look for it, and what to listen for, your communication skills are pretty useless.
But you may still be able to get a permission to transport and get them to the hospital. The EMS provider is not the end all access to healthcare. There may be other professionals at the hospital that can communicate more effectively and treat the patient. Besides, that is not a new comment and thank goodness for the reputation of a few services that their employees can at least communicate since their skills may not be up to par. EMT-Bs have managed to convince many patients that they "Paramedic-like" to gain more confidence from their patients or just to BS them. While deceiving it is effective communication to make up for the skills and educaton they do not have.

Those that work in healthcare anywhere in the Orlando, Miami, Tampa or any diverse area should be aware of the diverse cultures and religions. There are also many classes that are taught on this for healthcare providers.
 

Melbourne MICA

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ego

Well I reckon it's knowing your limitations.

Any skill you use is limited by your own abilities. Seeing as we have but one task - to look after the patient, then knowing your own boundaries promotes conservative and prudent management - the cornerstone of all medical care - "do no harm".

No matter whether you are brilliant or not so, there is still one undeniable fact when you start applying your skill/s to another person - ulitmately it is the patient who suffers when mistakes are made.

MM
 

ErinCooley

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the ability to get stuff from your head to your hands... if you got that, everything else will come w/ time!
 

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