As the Business Director at Community Ambulance Association of Ambler, I have the opportunity to observe our Paramedics and EMT’s as they respond to calls for service. After receiving the required training and background check, I am permitted to participate in a “ride-along.” When an emergency call comes in and the medical professional respond, I accompany them as an observer.
As a patient (or the loved one of a patient) in a medical emergency, tensions and fears are high, and each moment feels like an eternity. Someone is very ill or injured and it’s difficult to know how the situation will progress. Worst-case scenario fears and best-case scenario hopes are weighed minute by minute. By definition, an emergency is a surprise, and the shock of being IN this situation can be understandably overwhelming for those involved.
But on the other side of the experience is a medical professional who is providing medical care to a patient. The very purpose of this professional is to administer medical care and to calm the situation so that the emergency can be managed to its best possible outcome. This involves providing medical care by checking (and re-checking) vitals, inquiring about medications, allergies, symptoms, recent health history. In some situations, the medical care can also include administering medication, or an IV. Certainly, the medical professionals in this situation are managing a lot, with a high degree of care and compassion.
All while communicating with their EMT partner. And the hospital. While in a moving vehicle.
I have seen our Paramedics remain calm and respond to unspoken fears of the patient, explain to the patient what vitals they are checking and why, how a medication might make them feel, what is going to happen next and why they are doing what they are doing. And all of this is done with great care and compassion. Depending on the condition of the patient, our Paramedics, and EMT’s try to put the patient at ease by giving them updates on their symptoms, the actions being taken and what can be expected to happen.
In addition to the medical care being provided, our crews make our patients feel they are being taken care of. They learn the patient’s name and use it as often as possible. While they inquire about medications and symptoms, they may also be chatting about the patient’s day, the Superbowl win, plans for tomorrow, last weekend’s snowstorm. Anything to calm and comfort the patient, and get them thinking about something other than the emergency they find themselves in.
It is clear to me that the crews at Community Ambulance Association of Ambler are dedicated to their patients and providing the very best medical care. While we hope you won’t need us, I’m proud to say – we’re here if you need us, and our crews will offer you or your loved ones the best care and compassion.