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FNGfirstresponder

Do you change sheets?

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Yep.. Good practice from old time ambulance care. Protecting them from the rain or cold, the towel I mean. Another good use, aside from the obvious; tall patients. Put it over the bar that is at the foot end of the cot. To some extent, any Ferno or Stryker cot has a means to prevent the mattress from sliding off the foot end. This adds comfort as oppose to having a pressure spot on the back of the legs or ankles.

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Linen, blanket and towel swap at the ER is mostly "Accepted Practive" in NYC. Only had one incident, when some hospital exec actually chased my partner and me down, as we traversed the lobby on the way back to the truck, and grabbed the linens off the streacher, accusing us of being thieves (had a security guard with him, too).

One Brooklyn hospital exclusively used paper sheets in the ER, so having multiple sets of linen makes sense, to reset before going back into service.

As for the towels? As already stated, head cover against the weather (DON'T COVER THE FACE!), and to wrap feet that might slide down the streacher and muddy your uniform shirt or jacket when lifting (I'm from old school, Ferno TC 35s).

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Every patient gets new linens, blankets, pillow cases, towels, etc; every time, guaranteed!

Most hospitals in the areas that I've worked had a 1:1 swap policy. Normally, there was a rolling shelf unit that had linens and such just for EMS use.

I have been known to pull an 'extra set' from time to time, simply to have on the truck in case something goes wrong and I need them. I wasn't greedy about it (grabbing several sets of each at a time just to stock the truck), but it's reassuring to have a couple 'back up sets' just in case....

There's no reason to NOT change the linens and wipe down the stretcher (straps, mattress pad, side rails etc.). The ONLY reason it isn't done is out of pure laziness on the part of the on-duty crew. I mean, it's not like we're having to maintain 'military standards' on how we make up the stretcher between patients.

I'm sure that no one would willingly lay down on the cot after ANY of our patients, so WHY in the world would you force the patients to do what you would never consider?

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So I go to enroll in school Monday and there is a nursing home across the street. As I am leaving I see an ambulance at the home, and one of the crew is bringing the stretcher back out to the truck, guess they brought patient back from hospital. The guy takes the sheet off, flips it over and puts it back on the stretcher. GROSS! does everyone do this? Should I report them?

You could report them" But while you're on the phone , don't forget to drop a dime on yourself for providing unlicensed care to a trauma pt you self dispatched for!

In over 40 years in the business, I have never re-used the linen on the stretcher. We swap out at the hospitals on an as needed basis. All the hospitals in the state have no problem with this practice. Even the privates do this.

Well maybe not the evil empire! :-]

I do know of for profit services that use the paper on a roll type covering like they use at the Dr's office exam table to save costs. But thats what you get when you work for them.

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I've never seen it done, and I've never done it myself. Our patients deserve the same quality of care across the board, and that includes fresh linens. It's that crews responsibility to make sure their rig is stocked, which includes linens. Now I can kind of understand if they've been running back to back calls and ran out of fresh linens, but really, they should have at least picked up some fresh linens after they dropped their last patient off.

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No you are not reading wrong, I am shocked that there are people who carry 10 blankets on an ambulance. I've always either had 1-2 stolen from the ER when on 911 truck (one provider did buy 1 wool blanket for each truck, that we sent in for laundering once it became soiled). Most of the privates either made you steal from the floor during IFTs, or they had some made up with their name on it (like funeral home) that you kept. I always put a sheet over them first to act as a barrier for the blanket, but we have always had "shared community blankets".

We grab an extra blanket every go round from the ER when it gets cold. By the end of a week we have about 10-15 extra blankets on the ambulance. We can completely make up the cot 2-3 times with just supplies on the ambulance, for when we go to the hospital that doesn't give linens to us.

I mean, it's not like we're having to maintain 'military standards' on how we make up the stretcher between patients.

Why not?

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I think we would be lying if we said we had never done it. You should not do it though,but u don't know that might have been there last sheet and they were planning on changing it before the next call.

I'm with ER Doc here....not to pick on you...but I have NEVER EVER done this. And, as an officer of my department, if I ever catch any of my crewmembers doing this, it will not turn out well. There is no excuse for laziness. This profession doesn't need "lazy". The profession doesn't deserve it. The patients don't deserve it. If people want to do this kind of crap, then they are in the WRONG business. Guarantee you that would be a write up if I saw it.

8

Edited by medik8

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I'm with ER Doc here....not to pick on you...but I have NEVER EVER done this. And, as an officer of my department, if I ever catch any of my crewmembers doing this, it will not turn out well. There is no excuse for laziness. This profession doesn't need "lazy". The profession doesn't deserve it. The patients don't deserve it. If people want to do this kind of crap, then they are in the WRONG business. Guarantee you that would be a write up if I saw it.

8

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n 1995 before I landed respectable paramedic Job, I had just ETS-ed from the Army and had my fresh medic cert in hand. Needing money I applied to one of the large privates in Nashville. (and was hired, no real interview, no FTO or orientation...my first of mutiple red flags about this company)

This company did in the neighborhood of 120 dialysis transfers a day alone.

You were issued TWO sheets Each sheet was expected to be good for 4 patients if you flipped them right. If you needed more sheets you were honestly expected to swipe (aka STEAL) them from the hospitals any way you could.

Now keep in mind I have worked every day of my life almost since I was 15. I had never walked out on a job before or since. but based on this and other things I saw there my my first day..I walked off the job in 4 hours. I think they gave my still warm and starched (ys , i stood out in that crowd) uniform shirt to the next schmuck who walked in the door, certfied or not.

So yes this does still happen I am sure. Is it right, hell know. is it gross Hell yes. If a company deliberately puts you in a position to treat patients like this, get out as soon as you can before your reputation is poisoned by your time there.

BTW, up here in Idaho we have agreements with all the local hospital linen departments and simply swap blankets, pillows, etc...no questions asked. Except for the VA. No surprise there.

Edited by croaker260

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I don't recall if anyone mentioned this, but having a set number of bed linen sets, at least at the start of a shift, is a REQUIREMENT of ambulances covered by the NY State DoH. The inspector catches your unit, it's fines for both crew members, and for the service employing youze guyz.

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