The Handover: Crisis Patients

For the month of July, I was selected to host The Handover, an EMS Blog Carnival. The topic I chose to tackle? The Crisis Patient.

Not a day goes by where I don’t have to deal with a psych crisis patient. They’re out there, we all run into them, and the training that we get to be able to deal with them is minimal. Focus moves towards ACS patients, strokes, respiratory patients, or trauma scenarios. While treatment of these patients is usually rather involved, it takes the focus away from our less acute crisis patients, which are viewed as more routine, and easy to care for. They are, however, far from either of those descriptions. Take a read through the blogs below. Chances are you’ll see a situation that you’ve been through in the past.

The Insomniac Medic shares the story about an encounter with a patient where a special bond was created, and because of it he was able to get his crisis patient the help that he very much needed.

The Happy Medic dug into the archives for his contribution to this month’s Handover. He’s asked by the Police Department to help remove someone that many of us have encountered: a horder. Physically, she’s fine. Mentally, she’s competent, but sometimes we are forced to make decisions in the best interest of our patients.

Our friend over at Paramedic Pulp Fiction takes the time to talk to his already restrained crisis patient, and takes the easier, less forceful way out. Taking this approach not only made his job easier, but could potentially make things easier on the next crew that encounters this guy.

Often times, its important that the provider takes control when dealing with a crisis patient. Over at Street Watch, we get to hear a story from 2006 about a rather large crisis patient with the potential to escalate a situation to a physical level. He remains in complete control of his scene and his patient, but he gives her the chance to feel like she’s in control with a few simple actions: letting her have a cigarette and giving her simple choices about how care is provided to her.

Our friend The Rogue Medic does a great job of breaking down the questions that I asked in my original Handover Post. He gives some useful tips and thoughtful approaches and views of what these patients need, and what we can do to meet those needs.

Finally, over at Unlimited-Unscheduled Hours, we get a different view of what a crisis patient really is. His argument? Almost everyone that we deal with is in SOME sort of crisis, and needs to be dealt with in a unique way. Its a really interesting post, and well worth the read.

Thanks to everyone who contributed to this month’s Handover. I loved reading your submissions, and took a lot from it. Until next time, stay safe out there!