Monday 13 February 2012

Patients: Take Note

"Patients of various ages acting like muppets"

Patients, patients, patients. Without them our jobs wouldn't exist. They are our bread and butter. They are what our job is all about. We get to see the best and the worst humanity has to offer. We see it day and night. They amuse, bemuse, abuse and confuse us on a daily basis but often make our jobs harder than they need to be. Indeed, our job would be so much easier without patients. Our wages are indeed funded by the tax payer and this is often pointed out but that doesn't give them carte blanche to abuse the service. This post, the fourth in the 'Take Note' series is aimed as a guide to patients the world over to make their EMS experience more enjoyable. We don't do or suggest things to piss people off (most of the time), we do it for your benefit and safety. Do as we ask and follow these simple suggestions (Rules) and I promise you a smooth journey and a happy, polite, sympathetic, caring, giving, chatty crew. Well, as long as we didn't finish an hour ago!

  • Don't call if you have no intention of going to hospital.
  • Don't look surprised when I suggest hospital.
  • Don't start a sentence with "Can't you just....." No, I can't.
  • Don't call me an ambulance driver.
  • Don't call me an ambulance man.
  • Don't lie to me.
  • Don't call me a nurse.
  • Don't tell me you need to be carried. I'll be the judge.
  • Don't bleed all over my ambulance.
  • Don't say "I pay your wages" Ever. 
  • Don't forget to tell me you have something contagious.
  • Don't lie to me.
  • Don't pretend you're asleep when we arrive. It doesn't have the desired effect.
  • Don't mumble. I'll keep repeating the question until I get an audible answer.
  • Don't hide under a duvet. You have a cold. Man up!
  • Don't go upstairs if you become ill.
  • Don't sulk.
  • Don't lie to me.
  • Don't go upstairs if you have chest pain.
  • Don't go back upstairs if you have fallen down them.
  • Don't cough in my face. Cover your mouth or I'll place a mask on you.
  • Don't give me sarcastic answers to my questions.
  • Don't pretend you have neck pain at an RTC. I WILL cut the roof off.
  • Don't lie to me.
  • Don't swear at me.
  • Don't be violent towards me.
  • Don't call if you have a cold. It's a cold. Get over it.
  • Don't walk without your frame. It was given to you to STOP you falling.
  • Don't allow your relatives to answer questions for you.
  • Don't have over priced thick rugs and carpets if a chair is likely required.
  • Don't lie to me.
  • Don't fake illness. A) We always know B) Painful stimulus is not enjoyable.
  • Don't tell us not to drop you. Dur!
  • Don't use anything other than tarmac for your driveway.
  • Don't expect any sympathy if you're a time waster.
  • Don't block the entrance to your house with your 4 cars. 
  • Don't lie to me.
  • Don't come out and meet us as we arrive. We know you're faking it. 
  • Don't spit at me.
  • Don't live on the 9th floor if you need an ambulance regularly.
  • Don't start a sentence with "I need...." You might not.
  • Don't start a sentence with "Shouldn't you......" If I should, I will.
  • Don't start a sentence with "Don't you......" No I don't.
  • Don't lie to me.
  • Don't ask for drugs. 
  • Don't quote stuff you've looked up on Wikipedia.
  • Don't tell me your nephew is a Doctor. I don't care.
  • Don't make a miraculous recovering as soon as you get into resus. I'll cry.
  • Don't vomit on me. 
  • Don't repeat "Oh my god" under any circumstances.
  • Don't lie to me.
  • Don't moan, groan or wimper. If it was that bad you'd be screaming.
  • Don't die. Please!
  • Don't sneeze in my face.
  • Don't fall over in places I can't get to. 
  • Don't say "Its bark is worse than its bite" about your dog. I don't care. Put it away.
  • Don't lie to me.
  • Don't pretend you can't understand English when you don't like what I'm saying.
  • Don't swear at me in another language. You'll be amazed what I understand.
  • Don't touch. Seriously. 
  • Don't show me any faeces, blood, clots or urine you saved earlier. 
  • Don't pretend you're more drunk than you are.
  • Don't lie to me.
  • Don't fake a seizure. We will 'out' you no matter where you are.
  • Don't call because you want a lift home. You won't get one. 
  • Don't argue. But...No! What if...No! Maybe if...No! Well if...No! What about..No!
  • Don't fake tears.
  • Don't lie to me.

Seriously, don't lie to me. Don't lie about your current condition, don't lie about your past medical history, don't lie about you medication, don't lie about your allergies, don't lie about your name and date of birth, don't lie about anything. We will know, we will call you on it and we will get wound up. We'll also tell the hospital and that will seriously effect how long you're left to wait. Well, I'm glad we cleared up the confusion as to what does and doesn't constitute ambulance etiquette. I look forward to meeting you.

Click the Take Note photo at the top to see the other posts in the series!


  1. Patients - don't under any circumstances 'forget' your medical history. State that you have no history of heart problems despite me asking several times. Then proceed to tell the Nurse that you had a heart attack last year and are awaiting a bypass. If it was me I am sure that I would remember that ''minor'' detail.

  2. Beautiful. Agree with everything LOL

  3. Bloody brilliant! The best giggle i have had - Def going to share this in our crew room!!!!! X

  4. "Don't bleed all over my ambulance."

    If I could stop bleeding already, I would?

  5. Once had a patient who once on board having received a beating began to abuse myself and my colleague who was driving and then stated that we were only a taxi as he lived across the road from the hospital and how were just stupid fu***ng idiots and how when we opened the doors he was just going to walk off! Imagine the look on his face when I opened the doors at a hospital 35 miles from his house but only 5 miles from where the incident took place


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