Today I called 911 for a patient. This is a woman I know well. I know her well enough to see subleties. I know her well enough to know what she normally looks like and can do. So along come the paramedics who actually told her that I made her sound worse than she is. Excuse me???? How many hours have they spent with her so that they can hear if her speech changes, or if she can't use one leg? Why does she have to have advanced stroke symptoms before they believe they exist? And given that I have more clinical training and given their ages much more experience than they have, they can just shut up. (This same crew last year insisted my equipment was wrong because I called due to very low oxygen, then spent 20 minutes working to get the man's oxygen up. As we all know, get the oxygen up, lethargy will decrease. By the time they got there I had him in better shape; they insisted I didn't know how to read oxygen levels (stick probe on finger. Turn on. Wait. Got it) or that my probe was wrong. No way could I actually use clinical skills to help my patient improve.
It makes me so, so mad. Especially since today I went to the patient's home because when she didn't answer the phone after a zillion calls I was worried as this is atypical. I went there to be sure she wasn't in trouble and well, since she realized something was wrong but totally lacked concern (goes with strokes sometimes), she may not have called for help until something bad, like a fall, happened. Or worse. Again, I went there because I know my patient and I knew something was wrong and I was right. Yet to those stinking paramedics I was overreacting. Which is bad because that's what they'll tell the drs. at the hospital and that will weigh in the assessment of my patient, regardless of what I thought or the nurse at the dr's office thought.
But at least I'm saying I'm mad. Twice in a week yet.