Firefighter Vs. Nursing Home – I can relate, can you?

Yesterday morning when I came into work, the guys were laughing about something playing on one of their cell phones. Being that I work with some um, “colorful personalities”, it literally could have been anything playing on that little screen and heck yea I was interested in seeing what it was they were busting a gut over.

The video, surprisingly related to EMS for that setting, was one of those videos made with the lego characters entitled “Firefighter Vs. Nursing Home” and I immediately related to it. The setting is supposed to be a nursing home, the “firefighter” in the video is supposed to be a paramedic or EMT, and it’s as funny as it is sad. It’s funny because you hear the “nurse” talking in the video and she’s saying things that you’ve heard from every nursing home you’ve ever been in. I mean, this could have been the “nursing” home up the street from me, or one of the myriad up the street from me in my other job, or any one of the ones in any place I’ve ever worked.

Let me know if you’ve heard these phrases:

“I just came on shift”, “She’s not my patient”, “She’s altered”, “I don’t know her history”.

If you’ve been in EMS for like, 5 minutes and have been to ONE “Nursing Home”, you’ve heard these phrases. It’s like there’s a nursing home handbook that every person that worksin onehas to read to get the phrases that they’re supposed to use with EMS providers… Really it’s uncanny how similar this is to hundreds of interactions I’ve had with nursing home staff.

I’ve embedded the video below here… and I have to put some warnings on here. First of all: There is some blue language, including a few utterances of the grand poobah of swear words. There’s also a reference or two to an “adult situation”, and obviously the person who made this (and I don’t know who it was, it was not me) was expressing huge amounts of frustration with his or her own interactions with “nursing” home staff. So if you don’t want to hear swear words, sassy-talk, and a reference to an adult situation, don’t watch it.

Oh, if you’re a nursing home nurse, or a CNA, or anyone who has worked in a nursing home, or has a friend who’s worked in a nursing home, or has someone who might work in a nursing home that you might be friends with and you’re mad at me for putting this up there… here’s my stock reply:

“Not everyone who works in every nursing home is a bad person, it just seems that way sometimes”

“Some of y’all are actually almost human beings”

and…

“I sure would NOT want to do your job, I couldn’t… ever… so Thank God for you if you care and you’re good at what you do.”

  • topv7051

    Classic, we were passing that around at work last week. Also look up “Patient faking seizure in the ER”.

  • totwtytr

    This isn't much different than dealing with health center nurses or visiting nurses for that matter. OTOH, I've been pleasantly surprised at how good the nurses are at the SNF/rehab where my mother is temporarily residing. They listen, they take appropriate steps, and they communicate with her and the family. I spent a lot of effort picking a place and based on reputation alone I rejected a number of possibilities off hand. I'm convinced that I've found the one good one in the area.

  • http://notesfrommosquitohill.com mack505

    Been there, done that CK!

    I try to remind myself and my co-workers that we only see nursing home and visiting nurses at their worst. Occasionally they do call us before things get extremely bad, and in my area these would be handled by a transfer BLS crew.

    I'm also reminded of the old doctor joke: “What do you call the guy who graduated last in his med school class?” Answer: “Doctor.”

    Same thing goes for nurses, and even paramedics.

  • Lorie

    I just had to leave you a comment. I am currently a home health nurse, but I have worked in nursing homes in the past. I have had to call EMS a few times as a home health nurse, but, fortunately, never in the nursing home. When I worked in the nursing home, it was often on weekends as it was my second job. I did not know the residents, but I made a point of finding out as much as possible about any patient who seemed on the verge of some kind of serious illness. Had I been forced to call for an ambulance, I probably would have had to use some of those lines myself. I have a lot of respect for paramedics, firemen, and EMTs, who I realize save lives on a daily basis. I don't get to do that in my job, but in many cases I get to help make their lives a little better. In my career, I've only managed to actually save one, maybe two lives. But I've made countless patients and family members more comfortable, I've done lots of teaching that some doctor or clinic nurse failed to do, and I've been able to catch potential problems well before it was necessary to call 911. All that being said, I am a good nurse, with 15 years experience, and there is not much I wouldn't do to make sure my patients are well cared for. My experience with EMTs and medics is that they approach nurses with the attitude that we don't have a clue. It would be so nice for you guys to find out that we don't have a clue before you automatically act as if we don't. Out of about a dozen times I had to call 911 from a patient's home, I've had about 4 medics who didn't come into the home with an attitude, asking me questions with a hostile tone of voice, and even rolling their eyes when they found out I am a home health nurse. Whenever there is time, assuming that the patient is relatively stable, I write down the meds and diagnoses, doctor's name, and any other pertinent info that I think they will need, so that there is no need for writing on gloves or uniform pants as I have seen many medics do. I don't call 911 if there is not a true emergency or if there is a family member who can drive the patient to the hospital. I usually call the non-emergency number in order to not tie up 911. It saddens me that there are so many of these videos that make nurses appear to be idiotic puppets. Apparently, many of you have had experiences that have made you believe that most of us are that way. Just so you know, if I were making videos, the male medics would be portrayed as cocky, hostile, impatient asses, and the female ones would be even worse. Thank goodness there are good ones out there, I just wish that the good nurses and medics outnumbered the bad ones, and that we could all learn to respect and appreciate each other as medical professionals with very valuable skills to offer our patients.

  • Lorie

    I just had to leave you a comment. I am currently a home health nurse, but I have worked in nursing homes in the past. I have had to call EMS a few times as a home health nurse, but, fortunately, never in the nursing home. When I worked in the nursing home, it was often on weekends as it was my second job. I did not know the residents, but I made a point of finding out as much as possible about any patient who seemed on the verge of some kind of serious illness. Had I been forced to call for an ambulance, I probably would have had to use some of those lines myself. I have a lot of respect for paramedics, firemen, and EMTs, who I realize save lives on a daily basis. I don't get to do that in my job, but in many cases I get to help make their lives a little better. In my career, I've only managed to actually save one, maybe two lives. But I've made countless patients and family members more comfortable, I've done lots of teaching that some doctor or clinic nurse failed to do, and I've been able to catch potential problems well before it was necessary to call 911. All that being said, I am a good nurse, with 15 years experience, and there is not much I wouldn't do to make sure my patients are well cared for. My experience with EMTs and medics is that they approach nurses with the attitude that we don't have a clue. It would be so nice for you guys to find out that we don't have a clue before you automatically act as if we don't. Out of about a dozen times I had to call 911 from a patient's home, I've had about 4 medics who didn't come into the home with an attitude, asking me questions with a hostile tone of voice, and even rolling their eyes when they found out I am a home health nurse. Whenever there is time, assuming that the patient is relatively stable, I write down the meds and diagnoses, doctor's name, and any other pertinent info that I think they will need, so that there is no need for writing on gloves or uniform pants as I have seen many medics do. I don't call 911 if there is not a true emergency or if there is a family member who can drive the patient to the hospital. I usually call the non-emergency number in order to not tie up 911. It saddens me that there are so many of these videos that make nurses appear to be idiotic puppets. Apparently, many of you have had experiences that have made you believe that most of us are that way. Just so you know, if I were making videos, the male medics would be portrayed as cocky, hostile, impatient asses, and the female ones would be even worse. Thank goodness there are good ones out there, I just wish that the good nurses and medics outnumbered the bad ones, and that we could all learn to respect and appreciate each other as medical professionals with very valuable skills to offer our patients.

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Chris Kaiser aka "Ckemtp"

I am a paramedic trying to advance the idea that the Emergency Medical Services can be made into the profession that we all want it, need it, and know it deserves to be.
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