Same Old Song and Dance

When couples get old, they communicate with fewer words or sometimes just a look.

I am feeling that way about my EMS reports at the ED.

Where I used to rattle off every detail I could think of (from brand of cereal they had for breakfast to the number and locations of the moles they had removed a month prior), nowadays I try to keep it short.

Here are some examples:

“Last drink two days ago, got the shakes. 2 of Ativan and some fluid.”

“Low speed, belted, neck and back.”

“History of seizures, had a seizure.”

“It’s Curtis, same old…”

“Sugar of 20, forgot to eat, gave her D10.”

“He thinks he’s the Devil, gave him 10 of Versed.”

“Cold and flu.”

“They shot him in the leg.”

“Eight years old. Acting up in school.”

“ETOH.”

“Coughing up green phlegm for two weeks.”

“2 of Narcan IN.”

Sometimes, I don’t say anything at all. I just point to the patient. Every picture tells a story.

It helps if the nurse or doctor I am giving the report to has been around as long as I have. They just nod like all those times before.

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Mortal Men: Paramedics on the Streets of Hartford

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