What's the dumbest thing you've said to a patient?

AjCapri

Forum Ride Along
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I'm sure i've said many dumb things to patients, but one in particular comes to mind.

As an EMT student my preceptor was showing me how to listen to fetal heart tones. The fetal heart monitor was low on battery and turned off as I was trying to locate the heart tones.I blurted out "I think it's dead" as I still had the probe on her abdomen.

The young girls eyes got huge and my preceptor said "The machine not the baby" and gave me an odd look lol.

:rofl:
 

Glucatron

Forum Crew Member
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Oh man, I've got plenty. Had a guy during my EMT clinicals with a liver that had herniated through his diaphragm. He was clearly in insane amounts of pain. I asked, " On a scale of 1 to 10, 10 being the worst pain in your life, where would you rate this?" You would not believe the look of loathing!

I also asked a tall, normal weight man for his weight. He said " 150". I asked, " kilograms or pounds?"
 
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Dan216

Forum Crew Member
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Oh man, I've got plenty. Had a guy during my EMT clinicals with a liver that had herniated through his diaphragm. He was clearly in insane amounts of pain. I asked, " On a scale of 1 to 10, 10 being the worst pain in your life, where would you rate this?" You would not believe the look of loathing!

I also asked a tall, normal weight man for his weight. He said " 150". I asked, " kilograms or pounds?"

Haha on the kilograms or pounds!
 

hogwiley

Forum Captain
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I was doing an IFT for a younger patient who recently became a quadriplegic after an accident a couple months prior, and was now on a vent. The pt mentioned they had recently been outside in the hospital courtyard for the first time since the accident.

I asked them if they enjoyed being out in the unusually warm weather we were having. The patient shot me a cold stare, and it instantly occurred to me they had no sensation in 90% of their body. After considering acknowledging that was a pretty stupid question, I decided to just keep my mouth shut.
 

IndyEMT

Forum Probie
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I told a hospice patient with a bad heart to feel better... only later did I realize that the only way he'll feel better is by dying :sad:
 

NBFFD2433

Forum Crew Member
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One time I got on scene of a rollover accident. The patient was conscious and talking and I asked if she was in respiratory distress. My partner laughed.:rolleyes:
 

blindsideflank

Forum Lieutenant
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We were picking up a patient to fly to his remote community then were supposed to head to another community to pick up another patient

In my defence, my partner was receiving the report but I should have picked on something with the patient when he thought the nurses stole all his stuff

As we are picking him up he asked, "so you just fly me back and come home?" and I replied, I think we head somewhere else to get someone after you" and he replied "you don't know where you are supposed to go" and I casually replied " I dunno, I just go where the ambulances computer tells me to go" ... I get a weird stare

My partner comes and tells me he is a paranoid schizophrenic who thinks the government is always after him.... Oops.
 

Leal271

Forum Ride Along
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While doing my ride along, went for a patient not feeling well. While doing a 12 lead, I was asking about PMH and the lady reported Parkinsons, it wasnt about 20 seconds later I told the lady she needs to stop shaking so we can get a good ekg.

I got the worst look from my preceptors, and then realized what I said. Needless to say I felt like crap after saying it.
 
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SSwain

Forum Captain
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Respond to a PNB. First responders are there doing chest compressions. My medic tells me to get pt hx from sonwhile he calls medical control to call it DOA.
My first questions for the son is..."What was his name?"

Yeah... I still look back at that one and hang my head. Rest assured, I have NVER asked that or a derivative of that question since.
 

Handsome Robb

Youngin'
Premium Member
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I used to be really overly apologetic when I said something dumb. It's kinda turned into, "sorry...haven't had my coffee yet today."

Not sure what that means.
 

Glucatron

Forum Crew Member
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I had another "shining" moment just recently when I was transporting a borderline combative paranoid schizophrenic. I couldn't get vitals without riling him up so I practiced my verbal judo. So after an hour of conspiracy theories and crazy talk I managed to talk him into allowing me to take a pulse. He offers me his wrist. I'm not wearing a watch (broken) so I take out pulse ox and explain: (verbatim) " actually I'm going to take it with a probe instead..." (my partner is looking at me like, oh god you didn't) so I make a quick save, "that goes on your finger!" thankfully, my pt didn't freak the heck out!
 

NJEMT95

Forum Lieutenant
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I once asked a non-English-speaking patient's adult son if he could speak his mother's language. I only half realized what I was saying - I knew he could speak the language, but he was being uncooperative in translating.
 

TheLocalMedic

Grumpy Badger
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Not something that I said, but a good story nonetheless.

A dentist speaking to a paranoid schizophrenic: "Ah look, you have a chip in your tooth."

After which the guy was convinced the government was monitoring him through the said "chip" they had implanted in his tooth. :rolleyes:
 

mipsyop

Forum Ride Along
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Duh

Working as Imaging Assistant in Ultrasound and bringing a PT into the room, saying as I always do, "watch your fingers and toes" as they are usually holding the handrails on the carts and so on....... Look to see the PT's wife laughing her @ss off. I look at her sort of bewildered and she points to the foot end of the cart..... PT was a dual at knee amputee!!! I turned white and started appologizing. He was cool about it though and said it was years ago and not to worry. my coworkers still bust me out on that one!:wacko:
 
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