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

OnceAnEMT

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I say "hop" and "quick" a lot. "Well hop on up there" or "Let's head over their real quick". Just the way I've spoken my whole life. I have been corrected by multiple elderly patients, saying "I don't think I can do that".
 

Mc91emt

Forum Ride Along
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i was on my ride along and I was asked to do vitals by a firefighter. While taking vitals I noticed the patients breathing I turned to the firefighters and the others then said pt has low tidal volume and spo2 is low im going to put her on 2 lpm of co2 lol
 

CdnArmyMedic

Forum Ride Along
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I was once transporting a psych patient who told me " I just want a normal job" this after being able to fully detail her psych history. I told her "You know you're not normal and you should realistic goals for yourself"
My preceptor had to look the other way......

I also once asked a patient (who was knocked out in a bar fight) how long they were knocked out for........
*face palm*
 

RevShaw56

Forum Ride Along
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This is a funny topic. I put a nasal canula on a patient and asked if they could smell the o2 coming through.
 

armydawg

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So it wasn't what I said, but what my partner said. We were responding priority 1 to a 76 y/o female,fall, possible head injury. We have to force entry into the house and then start scouting for our patient. As we enter the master bedroom we here a sad little "hhheellppp" from the en suite bathroom. The bathroom is tiny, big enough for just my partner. Thankfully I was just outside the door, and out of sight. He asked her what happened, she replied " I've fallin and I can't get up." without missing a beat his big country self says "you're just like the commercial.". I died. I couldn't help it, this poor lady even looked like the lady from the life alert commercial. Thankfully we had student that I sent to help my partner because I had to leave the room I was laughing so hard. I couldn't even stop as I walked past the family who had just arrived after a neighbor called them. Complete lost my professional bearing over 5 words.
In the interest of all you wondering, the patient was fine. No injuries found or claimed, no pain claimed, tripped over a shoe so no medical cause to the fall. Vitals all WNL, and just needed some help up, and a new front door.
 

Spyro2500

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Transporting a patient who just had a below the knee amputation and he is talking about how long the recovery is going to take and I reply - just take it one step at a time .......... Fortunately the patient thought it was very funny.
 

OnceAnEMT

Forum Asst. Chief
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I love reading this thread, here's to waking it back up.

First weeks in the ED. We failed to resuscitate a very large 70ish year old male patient who had an MI. The hearse actually beat the family. Those funeral home workers are odd folks, I tell ya. Not in a bad way, all are very kind people, they are just... odd. Anyway, that said, they tend to refuse help and work alone. This pt was big though, at least 300, so my offer wasn't turned down. We transferred and secured, and just as we were about to push to the hearse (in the ambulance bay) family was at the crash room door. They let us pass, and I still don't know if the funeral home worker was walking dramatically slow or struggling, but that was a long couple of seconds in front of family. Loaded the pt and shut the door. Turned around and shook hands with family as they said thank you. My mind picked one of the pre-made customer service good-byes, and I walked off saying "Have a good day!", before picking up my pace to my own rhythm of "Why, why, whyyyyy did you say that."

Fortunately, one of the family members my age couldn't help but smirk.

Since then I have been around enough mourning families to know I am lucky to have not been beaten that day in the ambulance bay.
 

BassoonEMT

Forum Crew Member
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Had a "diff breather".... sick x3 days. In my routine, auto-pilot questioning, i asked if he had a cough. I asked if it was productive. I asked what color it was. The patient was blind.
 

beaucait

Forum Crew Member
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Patient was being generally stubborn and was kind of uncooperative, so I started probing OPQRST SAMPLE etc.
How long ago did you start feeling sad? Is there anything that makes you feel sadder? Is it a sharp sadness? Or a dull sadness? One to ten how sad are you, ten being the saddest in your life? Does your sadness radiate anywhere?" ....
 

zFrostyy

Forum Probie
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Be trainee, arrive on scene to a priority 2 for a fall at an assisted living facility, ~80 year old female pt laying in position found after fall while ambulating w/ walker, semi-supine(kyphosis) on floor, has kyphosis, AxOx2(dementia), denies any pain whatsoever, PMS intact, no pain on palp, etc., facility wants us to take her to the hospital so I need a chief, instead of using good ol' general weakness I ask pt

"Are you feeling uncomfortable at all right now?"

Facility tech on scene, and FTO had a good giggle about that one.
 

hyounis

Forum Ride Along
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I had said something a few weeks ago that I was rather embarrassed about.
We had brought our patient to a hospital based dialysis clinic. She is anemic and gets cold, so I offered her a blanket, to which she said, "Please."
On the back of our stretcher, we just so happened to have a pink/salmon colored blanket. I grabbed it and when I handed it over said,
"Here, I have a colored blanket for you." She sort of just stared at me awkwardly, as did the dialysis technician standing by; pt was African American.
"... a nice PINK colored blanket..." I said for clarification, and then they knew what I meant, but it was still very, very embarrassing... and my partner got a good laugh out of my misery.
 

STXmedic

Forum Burnout
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Not quite to a patient, but definitely poorly timed.

Got called for a psych. When we get there, PD comes up to me and says "I think she might be dead..." He leads us to the garage, where the patient was hanging by her neck- cold, livid, and stiff. So right away, and as apathetic as you can imagine, "Oh yeah, she's dead." Well PD was kind enough to not inform me that the sister was standing 5 feet away around the corner... I was berated by the sister for the next five minutes
 

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