Working in emergency medicine, you're bound to see some terrible things. But you're also pretty likely to see patterns happening in the community that you really wish you didn't. Sometimes you know exactly where the misinformation comes from - like the adrenaline to the heart scene in that one Travolta/Thurman film.
Sometimes it's just bad intel that gets passed around. Either way, EMTs absolutely see some dangerous trends. Now, thanks to Reddit, they have their opportunity to shout from the rooftops and tell us all to CUT IT OUT.
One Reddit user asked:
EMTs of reddit, what are some dangerous misconceptions about emergency medical care you wish could be dispelled?
Some of the answers seemed kind of nuts - like people actually do that? But others really made us rethink the things we think we know. Here are a few answers, edited for clarity and language where needed.
Honesty Is The Best Policy
Do. Not. Lie. To. Us.
We do not have to and can not report to the police outside of very specific circumstances. We need to know if you were drinking. We need to know what drugs you were using. Gentlemen, we NEED to know if you are on erectile dysfunction medication. We ask these questions so we don't do something that will kill you!
Also. Narcan. It is a wonderful, life saving drug. That being said, you will likely need more than one dose, don't just give narcan, call it good and leave someone who is overdosing. Keep in mind though it's a double edged sword. If your person overdosing comes to there's a good chance they're going to be pissed and often times they get violent because all they really know is you ruined what was probably the best high of their life.
Epi pens go in the thigh, not the f*cking throat like some movies show. And for f*ck's sake, grip the middle of the pen, don't put your thumb over the end.
Sometimes people mix up the pointy end.
Right Is Right
If an ambulance is lights and sirens behind you, pull over to the RIGHT when safe and STOP as close to the right side as possible.
I don't care if you're intending to make a left turn in a block, pulling to the left is unsafe. You're putting us into a very difficult position deciding whether to sit behind you til you figure it out, unsafely pass you on the right, or go into the oncoming lane.
And for the love of god do not slam on the breaks in the middle of the road. How can you think that's a good idea? Why are you panicking? This can't possibly be the most stressful situation you've ever been in.
If someones having a seizure you don't shove something into their mouth or try and hold them down. Thanks for that lie Hollywood. Now a good portion of the population does the wrong thing when someones having a seizure.
Oils Aren't Essential
I was an EMT and I just finished esthetician school, someone bragged to me about using Doterra for their skin care regimen and the asked me why their skin was dry. Essential oils are fucking terrible.
They don't cure actual medical situations. I'm tired of reading about people saying oils cured their cancer or whatever. They can help if you have clogged sinuses or a migraine or a stomach ache but they're not curing ANYTHING.
Separate And Not Equal
Don't argue about what hospital we say we should take you or your family member to. Not all hospitals are equal. Some are better for trauma, stroke, heart attacks, psych, etc. If it doesn't matter I'll ask if there is a hospital preference. I suspect its related to new-fangled insurance policies where only specific hospitals are covered. Back in the day, no one questioned. Now, before i even walk in the door i can hear people yelling they need to go to a hospital 30 minutes away.
Trans Lives DO Matter
"Male or female" options on medical paperwork. We understand trans people exist and that this is a loaded question for many, but please don't get mad about it. Knowing someone's biological sex is actually extremely important because of the medical differences between the sexes.
We don't care who you are, what you are, what you identify as in the back of the ambulance.
If I roll up and your jeans are bloody I need to know what parts you [currently] got. Am I treating a blown out ectopic pregnancy or a torn scrotum. If you as Steve have the first and you as Sarah has the second WE DON'T CARE, WE JUST WANT TO MAKE THE BLEEDING STOP!!!!
We get that it's a sensitive issue, but please just tell us what parts we are dealing with.
Kids Are Not Smaller Adults
Kids are not smaller adults, they're like entirely different organisms. And when they are experiencing difficulty breathing, they cliff dive. Their bodies will compensate, compensate, compensa-oof they're on the floor in respiratory arrest.
Adults will circle the drain, you'll see them steadily go from "i'm having trouble breathing" "i'm really having a hard time" "i dont...i dont feel so good" "huhhhhhhhhhh" and THEN they'll pass out.
Kids are good until they're down.
Narcan Is Not A Punishment
If you're giving enough Naloxone(Narcan) to someone to wake them up entirely - You're giving them too much.
Correct indications for Naloxone: Either apnea or insufficient respirations, generally indicated by cyanosis.
Incorrect indications: "Because they took drugs."
Narcan is not harmless. It just isn't. Between withdrawal symptoms, and the far too frequent pulmonary edema, in addition to other cardiovascular symptoms. You should be treating someone because they're not breathing adequately, or at all. You should not be using Narcan as f*cking punishment. That doesn't make you a caregiver. It makes you an as$h0le.
Not infrequently it feels a lot like kicking someone while they're down and still getting to keep the moral high ground. Hearing caregivers say things before administration like "let's see how she likes this", "time to wake up buddy" etc.
For most young twenty-somethings, the spike in heart rate and blood pressure from acute opioid withdrawal is not life threatening, but in your older patient it absolutely can be. You should be administering enough to make sure they're breathing on their own again. And then take them to the hospital to let them sleep it off. You're only creating more enemies from the population you're actually trying to help.
No Water Needed
This one's for you, college students!
STOP POURING WATER DOWN YOUR BLACKOUT DRUNK FRIEND'S THROAT.
Seriously. You're going to drown them.
You can worry about their hangover AFTER we're sure they're not about to sustain permanent brain damage or asphyxiate on their own puke.
As a rule of thumb, if they can't drink on their own, it isn't safe for you to do it for them.
Some jobs really don't serve a purpose to society, or they are a relic of times past that society has yet to say goodbye to.
Spam Spam<p>The person whose job it is to send physical spam mail. Nobody even reads it anymore.</p><p><a href="https://www.reddit.com/user/Random_Fangirl888/" target="_blank">Random_Fangirl888</a></p><p>My wife went to med school and her student loans are all federal and are at 0% interest and are in forbearance right now. At least once a week she gets a letter from SoFi to refinance her loans which would make her ineligible for any sort of loan forgiveness or federal assistance. So much wasted paper and postage sending those letters.</p><p><a href="https://www.reddit.com/user/schu2470/" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">schu2470</a></p>
Stuck In The Middle W You<p>In my experience: A large percentage of middle management. Usually they just wind up inventing fake work reports so they can appear to be adding value.</p><p><a href="https://www.reddit.com/user/PasteTank/" target="_blank">PasteTank</a></p><p>My company is trying to cut costs, and thankfully some of the layoffs and unfilled vacancies have been middle management. It makes me wonder what their purpose was in the first place? I swear management makes new management positions to give their work to.</p><p><a href="https://www.reddit.com/user/C0PPER13/" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">C0PPER13</a></p>
Grumble Grumble<p>My MIL tells me that during the days of the USSR there were people who sat at desks at the entrances of subway stations. They didn't actually do anything, but that was their job since by law for a while in the Soviet Union everyone needed to have a job.</p><p><a href="https://www.reddit.com/user/heybrother45/" target="_blank">heybrother45</a></p><p>Their job is to be unhelpful and surly. Those jobs still exist in some post-Soviet countries.</p><p><a href="https://www.reddit.com/user/jtbc/" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">jtbc</a></p>
Jogging Doggos<p>Driving around Las Vegas I passed a mobile dog treadmill service. They come to your house and let your dog walk on a treadmill inside a Sprinter van.</p><p><a href="https://www.reddit.com/user/jesset60819/" target="_blank">jesset60819</a></p><p>idk i can see the value in this. las vegas can easily get over 100 degrees F outside, not guaranteed safe to walk a dog in that, could overheat or burn their paws. and not everyone wants a treadmill in their house</p><p><a href="https://www.reddit.com/user/PizzaQuest420/" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">PizzaQuest420</a></p>
Yeah, Why?<p>Bathroom attendant. Elevator operator. </p><p><a href="https://www.reddit.com/user/openletter8/" target="_blank">openletter8</a></p><p>Imma dispute Bathroom attendants by saying, their actual job is to keep drunks form trashing the stalls, the whole towels and mints shebang is to give them something to do on the meantime</p><p><a href="https://www.reddit.com/user/Maycrofy/" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Maycrofy</a></p>
I Am The Captain Now<p>Casino Barge Captain.</p><p>Many places in the US have riverboat casino laws that are used to justify large casino barges that are tethered in position and never move, not even having any engines or other means of conveyance. </p><p>Since they are technically barges despite being immobile they are legally required to have a Captain certified to operate vessels of that tonnage and crew on board at all times of operation.</p><p>I can't imagine a more gravy position than "exist on the premises with your piece of paper"</p><p><a href="https://www.reddit.com/user/Umbrella_merc/" target="_blank">Umbrella_merc</a></p>
You May NOT Touch Your Gas<p>For the states that require it, the gas station employees that fill up your tank. I ended up in New Jersey and it was super awkward.</p><p><a href="https://www.reddit.com/user/DaveyJonas/" target="_blank">DaveyJonas</a></p><p>Saw this woman standing next to her SUV for ten minutes at the gas station. Finally she asks me why no one is pumping her gas for her. So I says to her "We hate you cause you're from New Jersey." </p><p>She looks at me amazed and asks how we can tell. Eventually I let her in on the joke and helped her pump her gas. She was in her 40s, had she never driven out of NJ before?</p><p><a href="https://www.reddit.com/user/damasu950/" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">damasu950</a></p>
Up And Down<p>Elevator Operator. It's a union job. A dude sits in a chair next to the buttons. He asks you what floor you want to go to and he pushes the button.</p><p><span></span><a href="https://www.reddit.com/user/Real_Time_Delay/" target="_blank">Real_Time_Delay</a></p><p>SF hired elevator operators for the subway stations. They're only there to ensure people don't piss on the elevators... which they would otherwise do.</p><p><span></span><a href="https://www.reddit.com/user/tyinsf/" target="_blank">tyinsf</a></p>
Sell Sell Sell!<p>Car sales people. Because you end up dealing with the sales manager when you actually purchase the vehicle. Car sales people can't even give you a price without checking with sales manager. They are literally there to babysit you.</p><p><a href="https://www.reddit.com/user/Aroon164/" target="_blank">Aroon164</a></p>
Life doesn't come with a blueprint, instructions, nor a roadmap of what to expect in the days and years ahead. It does, however, contain all kinds of people who've lived life for longer than you.
Until It's Breezy<p>"Study to the point where the tests seem like they're insulting your intelligence. Best calc professor Ive had" -- <a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/mkqicu/what_is_the_best_piece_of_advice_youve_ever_gotten/gthzyk0?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3" target="_blank">Fruooop</a></p><p style="margin-left: 20px;">"That's a really good way of putting it. I'll have to remember that."</p><p style="margin-left: 20px;">"Something I've read in the past, that's sort of similar: 'Don't just study until you *can* get the questions *right*. Study until you *can't* get the questions *wrong*.' " -- <a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/mkqicu/what_is_the_best_piece_of_advice_youve_ever_gotten/gtj84pl?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3" target="_blank">skullturf</a></p>
Stock Up First<p>"Pay your savings account FIRST."</p><p>"Don't wait until the day before you get paid to move the left overs into an account."</p><p>-- <a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/mkqicu/what_is_the_best_piece_of_advice_youve_ever_gotten/gthl3w1?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3" target="_blank">FrostyRain5286</a></p>
Actions, not Words<p>"Anyone can replace you in the job you do. It's not your job to boast about how irreplaceable you are, but to prove to them that they don't WANT to replace you."</p><p>"There's a difference." </p><p>-- <a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/mkqicu/what_is_the_best_piece_of_advice_youve_ever_gotten/gti7zi9?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3" target="_blank">[deleted]</a></p>
The Cardinal Directions<p>" 'When it's her moment stand behind her. When she's nervous stand beside her. When she's scared stand in front of her. The rest you'll figure out.' - My Grandmother on women" -- <a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/mkqicu/what_is_the_best_piece_of_advice_youve_ever_gotten/gthtx99?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3" target="_blank">WholeMilkStandard</a></p><p style="margin-left: 20px;">"I love your grandma!!" -- <a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/mkqicu/what_is_the_best_piece_of_advice_youve_ever_gotten/gtjky5h?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3" target="_blank">Neverthelilacqueen</a></p>
Keep Rage At Bay<p>"From my friend's late father, a wise old man from Trinidad:"</p><p>"Any man can get your goat, if you let him know where your goat is tied."</p><p>-- <a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/mkqicu/what_is_the_best_piece_of_advice_youve_ever_gotten/gthmelk?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3" target="_blank">JimmyBallocks</a></p>
Check Your Sources<p>"Don't take criticism from someone you wouldn't take advice from" -- <a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/mkqicu/what_is_the_best_piece_of_advice_youve_ever_gotten/gthtigw?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3" target="_blank">thehotdeskpodcast</a></p><p style="margin-left: 20px;">"Well that rules out like 98% of the people I interact with." -- <a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/mkqicu/what_is_the_best_piece_of_advice_youve_ever_gotten/gti82zo?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3" target="_blank">MrEngin33r</a></p><p style="margin-left: 20px;">"Thank you. No need to give our power away." -- <a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/mkqicu/what_is_the_best_piece_of_advice_youve_ever_gotten/gtjihka?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3" target="_blank">kittanjaan</a></p>
People Are Not Psychics<p>" 'You have to ask for what you want from people, make your position clear.' "</p><p>"Don't just assume people know what your problem is, communication is key. It is great for relationships, work, friendships, school and even playing team sports or video games."</p><p>-- <a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/mkqicu/what_is_the_best_piece_of_advice_youve_ever_gotten/gti4ssq?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3" target="_blank">SuecidalBard</a></p>
Let It Go<p>" 'You will continue to suffer if you have an emotional reaction to everything that is said to you. If words can control you, that means everyone can control you. Breathe and allow things to pass.' "</p><p>"It's easier said than done, but it's 100% true."</p><p>-- <a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/mkqicu/what_is_the_best_piece_of_advice_youve_ever_gotten/gthmxbc?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3" target="_blank">mytwoquarters</a></p>
Give More Love<p>"Don't be afraid to show gratitude. I don't know why, but for most of my life I was embarrassed to reach out and thank people for a variety of things." </p><p>"I'd say 'thanks' to stuff like everyone does. But feeling comfortable giving specific and thoughtful expressions of gratitude has been a journey well worth taking."</p><p>-- <a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/mkqicu/what_is_the_best_piece_of_advice_youve_ever_gotten/gtikmwh?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3" target="_blank">wtfreddititsme</a></p>
Comparative Suffering Doesn't Work<p>" 'It doesn't matter if someone has it worse than you, you're still having a hard time and that makes your problems valid and gives you the right for help.' " -- <a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/mkqicu/what_is_the_best_piece_of_advice_youve_ever_gotten/gtjac08?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3" target="_blank">BenaBenaBadBad</a></p><p style="margin-left: 20px;">"I remember one similar to this that was like 'just because someone else is in a full body cast, it doesn't mean that your broken arm doesn't hurt' " -- <a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/mkqicu/what_is_the_best_piece_of_advice_youve_ever_gotten/gtl6ln4?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3" target="_blank">UnwaveringBear</a></p>
A school is supposed to be a place for educating and care for children.
Probably Shouldn't Be Around Kids Anymore<p>There's telltale signs when a person most likely shouldn't be around children. The following stories are those educators who should maybe consider a job doing something else. </p>
Unable To Keep Her True Thoughts Together<p>The one at a private school who broke down crying yelling "You're all f-ck-ups!" to the class and stormed out. </p><p>She was hired just out of college and didn't last long.</p><p><a target="_blank" href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/mm3as2/what_was_the_worst_teacher_you_ever_had/gtoz53w?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3">dougiebgood</a></p>
Silly Rules Which Benefit No One<p>A 6th grade teacher.</p><p>She was very mean to all the students and not just from our perspective. She was very particular about how things were done and in many ways it was unfair.</p><p>Example:</p><p>We were not allowed to take our sheets out of the three ring binder to write on them. The problem is, I'm left handed, so the rings were in the way of my hand and then she would yell at me for my handwriting.</p><a target="_blank" href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/mm3as2/what_was_the_worst_teacher_you_ever_had/gtp5fke?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3">AntiqueStatus</a><a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/mm3as2/what_was_the_worst_teacher_you_ever_had/gtp5fke?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3"></a>
Taking Personal Issues Into The Classroom Way Too Far<p>Had this one teacher who'd hit me for almost no reason. Found out years later she had problems with my mum at the time</p><p><a target="_blank" href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/mm3as2/what_was_the_worst_teacher_you_ever_had/gtox0ae?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3">tattooedbutemployed</a></p><p>Wait why didn't your mom file a lawsuit because of this?</p><p><a target="_blank" href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/mm3as2/what_was_the_worst_teacher_you_ever_had/gtq228k?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3">Yung_Mulann365</a></p><p>This was pretty normal where I grew up. (Really small Pacific island, rather not say exactly) Disciplining your kids in and out of the house was normal. Like every morning all us kids had to line up in front of the classroom with our hands out. If our fingernails were too long or dirty, you get hit with ruler. </p><p><a target="_blank" href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/mm3as2/what_was_the_worst_teacher_you_ever_had/gtq461w?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3">tattooedbutemployed</a></p>
Enacting Improper Teaching Procedures<p>Becoming a decent teacher means taking hours of training, attending professional development classes, and doing everything you can to try to perfect your craft.</p><p>Or you might encounter one of these individuals leading a class with their less than stellar skills. <br></p>
Classic Awful Behavior<p>Ms C, sixth grade.</p><p>She would frequently body shame kids she didn't like and she was racist AF I was the only Asian in class and she would openly say things like, "what breed of dogs do you think is the delicious-est?" There was only one white kid in class and whenever he did something kinda dumb, she'd say, "What a white person thing to do."</p><p>She had no respect for other people's privacy and would openly announce grades. There was a dyslexic student who got poor grades and she would mock her for that.</p><p>She would never actually teach the class, she'd literally just rant about her life. She'd gossip about the other teachers and she was just a b-tch.</p><p>Did I mention she was a toxic feminist with a hatred for men?</p><p><a target="_blank" href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/mm3as2/what_was_the_worst_teacher_you_ever_had/gtp46ps?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3">PuppyCumMeowMeow</a></p>
Little Reason For Choices<p>Social Studies teacher in 6th grade. I worked incredibly hard on a project for National History Day and she pulled me aside, threw it in the trash and said she'd be ashamed to put her name on it. Still makes me mad to this day.</p><p><a target="_blank" href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/mm3as2/what_was_the_worst_teacher_you_ever_had/gtp7hz5?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3">SnugBear</a></p>
Inappropriate Disciplinary Behavior<p>Had a woodworking teacher that used to lock disruptive students in a closet/room. Think he got fired for locking a girl in there. </p><p>Also had a teacher in primary school that whacked the class clown over the head with one of those old wooden 1m rulers and It snapped</p><p><a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/mm3as2/what_was_the_worst_teacher_you_ever_had/gtp7epu?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3" target="_blank"></a><a target="_blank">Existing_Lettuce_639</a></p>
Being Too Much Of A Creeper<p>Then there's those teachers we've encountered who...</p><p>Well, just take a look. </p>
Maybe Don't Talk About Boys' Willys?<p>Mrs. Thomson, fourth grade. She was a Brit who was always going on about how boys shouldn't let their "willy" do the thinking. I didnt even know what a "willy" was.</p><p><a target="_blank" href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/mm3as2/what_was_the_worst_teacher_you_ever_had/gtp1evk?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3">ChaseDonovan</a></p>
What A Jerk<p>My History teacher in 9th grade. 1970's style, grey chest pubes popping out of his shirt with a gold necklace entangled in them. well over the line of obese but still not waddling. This was right after 9/11, so we all had to wear IDs around our necks and he'd always stare at girls' boobs saying he was checking ID. He used to give me detention if I walked in the class when the bell was ringing, but if anyone showed up after me it was fine. Made it a point to give me a hard time and belittle me in class, and I even had a meeting about it with him with out principal. Nothing happened of course because he'd been working there for 20 years. </p><p><a target="_blank" href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/mm3as2/what_was_the_worst_teacher_you_ever_had/gtozbsj?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3">mmm-pistol-whip</a><br></p>
Wait Until Your Personal Time<p>The one who got sacked for watching porn in his lunch break at school</p><p><a target="_blank" href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/mm3as2/what_was_the_worst_teacher_you_ever_had/gtowryd?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3">CupperT2</a></p>
Human bodies are weird, man. And at times, they're completely unexplainable. Like, I can link my arms and bring them around my body all the way, without letting go. Don't ask me how I figured it out, but weird, right?!