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Should EMTs Have to Babysit Their Medics?

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I run with a fire company that works with hospital-based paramedics. I've been on calls where both myself and my partner (I've been blessed to be partnered with excellent EMTs) have observed the medic not providing the appropriate care for the patient, e.g., giving a breathing treatment for an arrhythmia or probable MI according to both patient symptoms and cardiac monitor reading, and giving nitro and baby ASA to a patient who's wheezing and complaining of difficulty breathing with a NSR.

Because I've known and worked with a lot of these medics for years, I feel I can comfortably question their reasoning for the treatment provided, but with others all I can do is scratch my head...

Is it an EMT's place to question a medic's judgement that seems askew?

To give a little background on myself, I've been an EMT for almost 15 years, and I'm as passionate about EMS now as I was when I first started out. I put patient care above all else.

Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

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Oh oh! Impending n00b roastage.. where's Dustdevil when you need him.

To address the original poster: your experience counts for a lot, and your years lend credence to your intuition, especially if you've furthered your education and learned a lot about the drugs your partners use. If you think it may be a life/death/serious harm issue, definitely alert your partner! But you shouldn't be "babysitting" anyone. If your medics are incompetent to the level where it is detrimental to your patients, you need to inform your superiors so that remedial education can take place.

To address the new fellow who dragged out a nice cliche... you are about to get it. We've been through this discussion many times, in many forms, with many people. Search EMT vs. Paramedic as a thread topic and *please* read some of what is there so we don't have a rehash of Dust Nukes New Guy....

We are responsible to each other and to our patients. We must ensure that we are delivering quality care at all levels, including stopping our partners from making gross mistakes. Leave personal differences in style aside, do what is best for the patient, and take it up the food chain if a problem persists.



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I have seen some horrible medics at times, I don't think its a problem to question them on what they did or not do, just do it after the call.

I heard about a medic here that gave Morphine to a seizure patient. And a medic who gave D50 to an arrest patient.

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OK, we can try to make this educational (and I might win the MegaMillions jackpot on Friday). Not all that wheezes is asthma. The guy with the wheezes and resp distress can be in CHF. Just because you have NSR on a rhythm strip does not mean that the issue is not cardiac. Even pts with MIs can have a normal EKG, called a nonST elevation MI (NSTEMI). Giving a CHF pt ASA and nitro is a great idea. I don't see an issue with the treatment of this pt without having more details.

I hope I have been able to start the education process and others will help add to it.

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