Keep it simple

Look, y’all. I’m interested in your reports and everything, but let’s try to keep it simple, okay?

I don’t care that the patient had her gallbladder removed in 2004. It has nothing to do with the tibia sticking out of her skin.*

I sure as hell don’t care that the patient got bitten by a spider eighteen weeks ago.*

I don’t care that the patient stopped taking Lisinopril three years ago when his doctor switched him to Cozaar. And I don’t care why the doctor made the switch, because it probably had something to do with the cough the Lisinopril gave him.*

I don’t care that the patient speaks Spanish, because we are communicating just fine with her in English. Also, working in the Southeast United States, I’m pretty good at spotting Hispanic people.*

Just tell me what hospital they want to go to.

And don’t bother with the vitals. Because we both know you need them only to write them on your report, and I am going to take my own.


*all things I have actually been told by first responders


  1. Would rather the healthcare provider be thorough than look like an idiot when they miss something important.

  2. Flash Larry says:

    Same thing goes when reporting to the hospital. Keep it simple and relevant.

    I always give a very simple report, though everyone seems to want vital signs, to which blood glucose seems to have inexplicably been added.

    When I’m done, I give my ETA and ask, “Is there anything else you need from me.”

    Most often for people who don’t recognize my voice, there is as kind of stumbled, “Oh, no, that’s fine, see you soon.”

    My favorite encounter happened when I identified myself and the nurse said, “Is this an emergency?”
    “No, not really.”
    “See you when you get here.”

    • After about 30 seconds the nurses stop listening to the radio notification. All they really need to know is what resources are going to be required when the patient gets there.
      If you get into PMH,Meds, Allergies, patient shoe size, favorite vegetable, and that they like long walks on the beach, you’ve been talking way to long.

      • Our local hospital radio-answerer has been known to ask long-winded paramedics what the patient’s favorite color is.


        • Ours just stopped listening. If they were ones that got along with us, there would sometimes be mutual eye rolling.

          I once asked on of my coworkers how many times he had to drive around the block the hospital was on so that his partner could finish the hospital notification.

          No answer to that one.

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