Monday, February 16, 2009

Hey...Are you conscious?

I had to laugh tonight when I took a 911 call. Elderly people always make me chuckle. First of all, they always feel bad for calling 911. They think they're inconveniencing us. I don't feel bad, it's our job! I had a quite funny conversation today with an elderly female today (a lady in her 80's) and I can't help but share it.

A lady called 911 to tell me that she thought her husband was having a heart attack. No problem for me, I take those kind of calls all day long. So I got her address and telephone number and continued on with my questioning...

"Me: Is this a home or an apartment?
Caller: apartment
Me: Is there a building letter or #?
Caller: #15
Me: What's the problem?
Caller: I think my husband us having a heart attack!
Me: How old is your husband?
Caller: 82
Me: Where is his pain?
Caller: In his chest, well his whole body, well I don't know if he has pain. (She was confused and scared)
Me: Is he breathing?
Caller: Yes
Me: Is he conscious?"

(This is where it gets interesting and a little funny!)

"Me: Is he conscious?
Caller: Milford, are you conscious? Are you conscious Milford? They need to know if you're conscious!"

*Side note for all you who may not be as logical as some. If you are asking a person if they're conscious and they give any type of verbal response, the answer is Yes! They're conscious! Maybe not 'with it' but conscious none-the-less!

"Me: Is that him I hear talking?
Caller: Yes
Me: Ok, so that means he's conscious. (That is a statement not a question.)
Caller: I don't know if he's conscious. He won't tell me. He just keeps saying he needs an ambulance! Milford...ARE YOU CONSCIOUS? Hey, are you conscious?"

I had to laugh! (Not on the phone, but just to myself.) She was so funny. She really was just so concerned. Oh, and she was so hard of hearing so I had to yell the same thing over and over for her to understand what I was saying.

And then she topped off the call with such an old-lady type remark.

"Me: Is your door unlocked and porch light on?
Caller Yes. I can hear the sirens now.
Me: They should be there in just a minute. Stay on the phone with me until they're there.
Caller: I can't. My husband wants to me go wait right in the middle of the street for the ambulance. So they know where to go, you know?
Me: Don't go stand in the road! It's cold and you need to stay with Milford. The ambulance has a map so they'll find you. Stay inside with your husband. (I didn't throw in that it's not safe to stand in the middle of the street...I just let her think she was needed more inside.)
Caller: Uh, oh. OH NO! Oh my gosh!!!
Me: Ma'am, what's going on? Ma'am, is there a problem with your husband?
Caller: No. I just realized that my blouse isn't buttoned up. Oh my, I have to go!"

It was right then that she disconnected. I had to laugh. It was just so funny. First she asks her husband if he's conscious, and then she realized she didn't have her shirt buttoned up. Elderly people are always especially conservative and concerned about their decency. I hear often that they need to change out of pajamas or put on a shirt. But it's rare that a caller ask the patient if they are conscious. So funny! =D

Moral of the story: If they can answer the question "Are you conscious?" then THEY ARE CONSCIOUS!!! :P

*Names have been changed and the conversations aren't necessarily word for word.

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