If, in moving through your life, you find yourself lost...go back to the last place where you knew who you were, and what you were doing, and start from there. Bernice Johnson Reagon.

28 October 2012

It's the little things that turn out to be big things in the end...

Over on the Legeros Fire Blog there is this entry.The main question was about who provides pet masks for their field crews.

Every so often you see it on the news about how firefighters or EMTs treated a family pet on the scene of a residential fire. Usually, it seems, when it makes the news there is a positive outcome. And this works out more positive than most people imagine.

It signifies compassion. It signifies going the extra mile, and then some. People place a high value on their pets. Don't believe it? Obviously, you've never had a dog or cat (or any other creature) for a pet. Heck, I think more of my dog than I do most people. And that's a fact.

So when we have these stories about pets being 'rescued from the jaws of death', the PR value is immeasurable for the agencies involved.

Anywhoo, in reading the post on Mike's blog, there was the comment about how someone removed the pet masks from a truck, even referring to it as "stupid crap".

Folks, anything we do that makes the public feel better about their shitty day, as well as feeling better about us and the job we do, should never, ever, be considered "stupid crap".

Unfortunately, I have worked with several people over the years that have never quite grasped that fact.

There are a lot of things we can do to make things better for people that are having their worst day possible. pet masks are just one.

How about kids? Something I used to do was buy kids' masks for nebulizers. A kid can feel really crappy, but somehow, a cutesy nebulizer mask will not only make them feel better, but it makes Mom and Dad feel better about who is taking care of their kid. I've gotten more than one hug over the years for such little stuff.

The sad part is I left them on my ambulance one day, and when I came back from four day break, they were gone. As I was told "They ain't on the checklist, and this ain't the Hilton".

It goes further. Just making sure your patient, particularly elderly patients, have a pillow (or two or three), along with a couple of blankets ('cause Grandma always gets cold) provides a tangible measure about who you are as a caregiver (and that's what we are in EMS- caregivers). People notice it. I sued to try and make sure I had pillows (at least three) on my ambulance at one of my old employers. I also used to try and make sure I had multiple blankets for warmth and padding.

It was a sad thing when these were always removed because "This ain't no Motel 6". It was also a sad state that supervisors thought my propensity to take care of my patients (like I want my mother taken care of) was 'funny', something to be mildly tolerated.

I've said it before- the public has no idea how knowledgeable you are, whether you can read a 12-lead at 50 yards or calculate three drips in your head at once.

But they know when you are nice.

They notice when you take care of them. Or their Mama. Or their pets.

And they are the ones that vote. That run for public office. And they have long memories.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

My least favorite quote from a co-worker on this subject: "If they need a pillow, they can take a taxi." Yep, you just can't get some to understand.

That was one of the first things I was taught by my first preceptor; to not just treat your patients, but to take care of them.

-BadgerMedic