PDA

View Full Version : for EMTs, nurses, doctors - is this exchange okay?



CurranCR
05-31-2010, 06:19 PM
I have just finished a scene where EMTs are treating some high school boys involved in a serious fight (off school grounds).

Does this short bit of dialogue sound accurate?

“How’s the other guy, Alex Ferrara?” I ask.

“Neck trauma and a probable concussion.” The EMT shines a light into my eyes.

“Is he paralyzed?”

“No, his motor responses are good.”


If these aren't the correct terms, what would be better? Thanks for any help you can give me.


Caroline

jclarkdawe
05-31-2010, 07:04 PM
"How's my buddy?"

"Don't know." is the correct answer. Always. Patient privacy. Especially in a fight situation. Really especially when the police are hanging around, not wanting to have witness statements screwed up.

As a captain on a fire/rescue, I would have at a minimum talked to someone who answered that sort of question any other way. An EMT could potentially be suspended for providing the information you want to get across.

Best of luck,

Jim Clark-Dawe

CurranCR
05-31-2010, 07:35 PM
"How's my buddy?"

"Don't know." is the correct answer. Always. Patient privacy. Especially in a fight situation. Really especially when the police are hanging around, not wanting to have witness statements screwed up.

As a captain on a fire/rescue, I would have at a minimum talked to someone who answered that sort of question any other way. An EMT could potentially be suspended for providing the information you want to get across.

Best of luck,

Jim Clark-Dawe

Thanks, that's a huge help. Okay, I'll have my character find out about the other guy's condition later, in some other way.

Caroline

Tsu Dho Nimh
06-01-2010, 06:24 PM
Caroline -
If your character is hanging around watching, and eavesdropping on the EMTs talking to each other, their base dispatcher, and the cops, the character can hear some medical jargon. Then the character has to patch it together, puzzle it out, and can over or under-estimate the severity if you want.

What do you want the character's condition to be?

"neck trauma and a possible concussion" ... your character will see him get strapped to a backboard, in a neckbrace (the C-collar, which is short for cervical collar), head firmly taped in head blocks, with oxygen. This is standard for any suspected neck vertebrae injury or concussion, so is could be life-threatening or minor. Field practice is to assume it's bad until docs say otherwise.

"not paralyzed" ... EMTs will be pinching toes asking "which toe am I pinching", asking him to wiggle his toes or push up and down on EMT's hands with victim's toes, telling him "grab my hands and squeeze" and probably saying "good", "bilateral hand strength equal", "CMS good" and other bits of jargon.

kayleamay
06-03-2010, 12:00 AM
I don't know if you still need any input, but I'll give you a couple cents worth if you want it.

The EMT would probably tell the bystander to step away too. Bystanders get in the way. Also, an EMT most likely wouldn't say someone had a possible concussion. He would probably just say, "closed head injury with loss of consciousness," or something else that described the patient, when calling in to the hear box.

A concussion is a diagnosis, and EMT's don't diagnose. They have no way of telling if it's a concussion or a brain bleed or if he has a 4" nail hiding in his skull under what looks like a small laceration.

If you want your character to find out more about the injured guy's condition, you could have him eavesdrop at the hospital on two doctors discussing CT results or something of that nature. Many of those conversations happen in exposed areas where it would be possible to overhear something, especially if you wanted to.

Hope that helps.

(Oh, I'm an emergency RN. I probably should have stated that upfront.)