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Chronic Empathy Deficiency

Overheard On The Bolance:

Sometimes, I can’t activate that verbal filter no matter how hard I try: Patient: “I’m allergic to aspirin, Tramadol, Vistaril, ibuprofen, morphine, and all the ‘cillin’, ‘mycin’, and sulfa antibiotics.” AD: “Uh huh. And what does each of those things do to you when you take them?” Patient: “Aspirin makes it hard to breathe, plus my nose swells up and bleeds. Tramadol and ...

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Overheard On The Bolance

Sketchy Patient: “Wait, you can’t give me pain medication!” Ambulance Driver: “Sez who? Are you allergic to Fentanyl?” SP: “No, I’m allergic to morphine.” AD: “Not the same stuff, and I thought you said ‘my guts are tearing apart’ or something like that.” SP: “Yeah, but y’all never give me pain medication in the ambulance.” AD: “That was them, this ...

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Fool Me Once, Shame On You…

… fool me twice, shame on me. I’m a pretty liberal guy when it comes to pain relief. My philosophy is simple: if you’re hurting, I try to make it stop. Acute pain is not a character builder, and it is one of the few conditions most paramedics are well-equipped to manage. I don’t like to see someone hurting if ...

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New Year’s Fireworks Protip:

The proper sequence, boys and girls is 1) light, 2) throw, and 3) run.* Get that sequence wrong, and things get messy, as in “wipe your ass with a hook from now on” messy. Also, if you’re lighting off a 3″ artillery mortar, and the launch tube has a base to hold it upright as it sits on the ground, ...

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Overheard in the ED

Psych Patient (screaming): “I HATE MAYONNAISE! I NEED MIRACLE WHIP FOR MY BUTTHOLE!” AD: “Uuhhh…” ED Nurse (shrugging): “To each his own. I’m a Hellman’s girl, myself.”

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Overheard On The ‘Bolance

Patient: “I don’t want to go to no hospital. I ain’t got no ride home. I’ll just go stay in my neighbor’s trailer tonight.” Deputy: “The medics just told you one of those cuts might need a couple stitches. Ain’t there somebody you can call to give you a ride home from the hospital? Patient: “There would be, if I ...

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Public Service Announcement

If you are 25 years old, with no appreciable health history… … and you’ve been sleeping in an awkward position for several hours… … and the limb you’ve been sleeping on is numb and tingling when you finally awake… … you are not having a stroke. You most certainly are an idiot, and quite possibly a candidate for forced sterilization ...

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A Helpful Hint From Your Uncle Ambulance Driver

Protip: If you have imbibed a bit too much of the spirits, and you pass out naked in bed, whereupon you suddenly realize you are about to lose control of your bowels and bladder like a veritable Vesuvius of feces… … then the place to run is the bathroom. The. Bathroom. Whatever happens, do not – I beg of you, ...

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Chief Complaint of the Night

Patient: “I play too many video games.” AD: ” … ” Patient: “And they make me itch.” AD: “And?” Patient: “And it kinda scared me.” AD: “And?” Patient: “And I think I need to go to the hospital to get checked out.” AD (sighing): “Get in the ambulance.” Patient: “Can I bring my video game?” AD: ” … ” As ...

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Soul Callus

It's been a long night, and we're finally getting around to washing the rig and completing station duties when the call comes in, "Cardiac arrest."

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Overheard On The Bolance

Dispatch Drone: "Head quarters to Borg Cube 69." Ambulance Driver: "Go for 69." DD: "69, we need you to respond to Fydallo Ho Expressway eastbound near the Chili's, red Chevy Silverado pickup pulled over in the emergency lane with his hazard lights on. 38-year-old male with a spider bite." [sounds of AD banging his head against the dash] AD: "Aaahhh, ...

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Mother Of The Year

Thirty years old. Eight months pregnant with her tenth child. At a bar. At 5:00 am. Medical history: Significant only for polybabydaddia, chronic and apparently uncontrolled. Mechanism of injury: An altercation with a candidate for Inseminator, 2011 Edition. I'll not describe her further, but let's just say that "employed" and "privately insured" are terms rarely used to describe her socioeconomic ...

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America: Land of the Free, Home of the… Jingoistic, Bitchy Triage Nurses

I brought a patient into the ED early this morning with a medical issue. It was a serious, potentially life-altering medical issue, but the exact condition isn't important. Somehow, during the course of hand-off report to the triage nurse, I mentioned that the patient was fasting during Ramadan. The triage nurse rolled her eyes in disgust. "Whatever," she spat, "I'm ...

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And She Gets a 2.5 From The East German Judge!

I think the next seizure faker I get, I'm going to gather the EMS crews and ED staff around to hold up little score cards for when she comes out of her "seizure." (wink wink, nudge nudge) Only problem is, no one has yet devised a scoring system. Should there be compulsory elements, like in figure skating? Maybe we could ...

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Overheard On a Skype Chat

While getting ready to record this week's episode of Confessions of an EMS Newbie, Ron Davis and I had the following exchange: Ron: "So man, how was your weekend?" AD: "Not bad. Taught a PALS class on the other end of the state, went jet-skiing on Lake Bruin, took the kids to Poverty Point…" Ron: "Poverty Point? What's that, some ...

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