Posted by: medicblog999 | July 19, 2009

A little honesty please?


This one is for all the paramedics and EMTs out there. Just a quick simple question. Im hoping for some comments (remember you can post annonymously- just dont add an email and call yourself something odd).

Heres the question for discussion:

“Does a patient who calls 999 15 minutes before the end of your shift get the same standard of care as one that calls 1 hour into the shift” – DISCUSS.



  1. Great question!

    I know those late calls can be frustrating, but in my case, everyone gets treated the same, no matter what time the call. Of course, I’m on a BLS truck so our interventions are substantially less than a typical ALS run…

  2. Without a doubt! But on scene time will be a heluv a lot shorter!!! πŸ˜‰

  3. If they have a legitimate problem, yes. I have no hesitation ALSing a call at the end of shift if it’s necessary, because I believe in doing a good job (and staying out of lawyer’s offices).

    If it’s crap, I’m going to be slightly less sympathetic, and probably more likely to request a private ambulance if they really want to go to the hospital but don’t need a 911/emergency level of care and service.

    That said, I don’t LOOK for reasons to pawn them off. If they have to go, they have to go. Such is the life I’ve chosen, and I accept that.

  4. Yes…it’s what you’re there for. The patient has no control over your shift hours. This is a dispatch problem; be mad at them not the patient. Even if the “patient” is a total time-waster, you still have to be civil and professional.

    “Make the same decisions in the last 30 minutes of your shift as you would in the first”

  5. It’s been said already “Make the same decision 30mins till the end of your shift as you would 30mins after the start”. I don’t schedule anything important for at least two hours after my shift anyway.

    And keeping myself out of the lawyers office is a great motivator for that

  6. As annoyed as i may be when i get in the rig, by the time i get to the scene – i’ve cooled down and i make sure the patient(s) receives the same standard of care that i deliver @ any time of my sift. I don’t mind the overtime either. πŸ™‚
    It’s what we’re payed to do, so suck it up! πŸ™‚

  7. Yes, just sometimes a bit quicker.

  8. Certainly as an A&E nurse, we know when crews are going off shift – they seem a little less likely to persuade people who don’t need to come in to not come in.

    I can understand, and don’t hold it against the crews. Why should they spend 45 minutes saying “no, you really don’t need to go to hospital” with a patient who’s wanting to go (for their stubbed toe, or cough they’ve had a week), when they can run them to us and be off home in less time. It’s usually accompanied by an apology anyhow πŸ™‚

    The standard of care for the sick patients definately seems the same, at least when they arrive.

  9. Obviously the text book answer is the patient gets the same level of care be it in my first hour or last hour of my shift.

    And I have to say that its probably true – if the patient is genuine they will get the best care that I can offer, however if they are calling inappropriately they will equally get the same answer!

    Its interesting that you have related the time to the position in the shift. I wonder if you would get a different response if you said “Would a patient get the same level of care if treated within the 1st hour of your shift or after 11 hours of working back to back jobs with no meal break….”

  10. It can be damm fustrating if theres something planned for after shift, but there nirmally isnt so all is good.

    I try give the same standard of care, usually works, i do like the overtime anyways! πŸ˜€

    You may however find us using blues or just scooping and running it in. Depends aswell if theres another 12 hour shift of on call or not coming up!

    If its an rtc it get full attention, if its a stupid call that just needs a taxi, well the treatment is only of a slightly higher standard than taxi driver.

    A few years ago some regulars in our area got to know our shift times, created alot of cursing at changeover!!!

  11. My standard of care is exactly the same whatever the time. If a patient is severely ill/injured then they shouldn’t suffer. I may be miffed under neath but I wont let it show. I do get fed up when a late job comes in and, before even making contact with the patient, my crew mate will say “let’s just get em in the back and let’s just go”. I’m sorry but if I’m the Paramedic on board I’m not going to cut corners in delivery of treatment.

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