Paramedic Stuff – Clinical Approach and Figuring Out What to Actually do with a Patient

Something that’s become quite apparent to me over the past couple of days is that as a paramedic, the number one treatment you apply is not some wonder drug, nor and type of sling or needle, not any type of dramatic act like deflating a tension pneumothorax.

It’s reassurance. Rocking up, doing a thorough assessment, showing that you care. Even when the case is a massive “we need two more cars here yesterday case”, it’s still something that applies.

As a student, I’m being taught how to react in a variety of emergency situations. There are certain conditions that we treat that we also have to diagnose, there are certain symptoms we can treat independent of those conditions. Outside of this, we’re not much use. Our function then becomes: do I take this person to further care, or do I advise them to go to their GP.

Honestly, I think for the first couple of years, I’m probably going to stick on the safe side and take most people to hospital. I dare say that number will decrease as I gain more and more experience in recognising certain conditions.

Keeping all this in mind, I considered my Clinical approach, and I mindmapped:

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This is basically everything I want to check when I first approach the patient. I’m sure I’ll add more to the “no pain” list as I go along, but I think that’s quite enough for now. Obviously, this will be tailored depending on what the patient tells me first. Then once I have all this information, I have to figure out what to do with it. Thus, we have:

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This is a summary of everything I can actually treat. Some of these (the medical emergencies especially) I’ll be learning about this year, but I thought it a good idea to list them. I’ve seen more than one stroke on placement thus far and had no idea what to do with it.

Going through the first mind map should help me figure out what I actually want to treat the patient for. And while I don’t know much about illnesses and conditions outside the ones listed above, I think having the information available will be help in figuring out whether I’d want to take the patient to a hospital. We shall see.

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