What does a paramedic call the patient?
August 27, 2017 2:26 PM   Subscribe

(Fiction filter) How does an EMT/paramedic/etc refer to the person they are transporting to a hospital -- patient? victim? subject? In the US, California if that makes a difference.
posted by BlahLaLa to Grab Bag (10 answers total)
posted by pintapicasso at 2:31 PM on August 27, 2017 [4 favorites]

Sorry -- for those answering can you just let me know if you're 100% sure? I need this to be accurate. Thanks.
posted by BlahLaLa at 2:35 PM on August 27, 2017

I am an emergency physician. People being transported by EMS are referred to pretty much uniformly as patients.
posted by killdevil at 3:01 PM on August 27, 2017 [2 favorites]

I've been treated by EMT's and transported by ambulance a handful of times. I was always referred to as "patient" when they were on the radio.
posted by The Underpants Monster at 3:04 PM on August 27, 2017 [1 favorite]

Yes, where this typically comes into play is during radio calls -- it is protocol for EMS to call ahead with "patient information" when they are enroute to the hospital. The initial radio call made from the rig will be something like "LA County EMS to <hospital name> patient information."
posted by killdevil at 3:08 PM on August 27, 2017 [2 favorites]

Thanks very much!
posted by BlahLaLa at 3:10 PM on August 27, 2017

I'm an EMT in training (well, just passed one of the two national exams to qualify, but have the other to go). I've been on ambulance rides for my clinical experience and I always heard the person referred to as "patient", which is consonant with what we learned in class. Unless there are regional differences (I'm in the mid-Atlantic), I'd say this would be standard.
posted by ClaireBear at 4:20 PM on August 27, 2017 [1 favorite]

... pretty much uniformly ...

A possible exception: if there was significant law enforcement involvement, e.g. the patient was shot while committing an armed robbery, I wouldn't be surprised to hear "individual" or "subject".
posted by Bruce H. at 5:18 PM on August 27, 2017 [2 favorites]

More confirmation that "patient" is the right word from my sister, who is an EMT training to be a paramedic (but not in California.)
posted by Redstart at 6:58 PM on August 27, 2017 [1 favorite]

I recall the communication from ambulance to hospital only identifying gender, age (approximate if not known), and injury or condition. The use of the word "patient" was not common. Example; "Hospital, medic 5. We have a male, approximate age 25, motorcycle accident, apparent femur fracture, forearm and other lacerations." I was a firefighter EMT in California. We had a contract ambulance with a paramedic and an EMT based at Station 1. The FD EMTs would ride along on patient transport to provide assistance as requested; CPR compressions, strip IV, deal with combative person etc.
posted by X4ster at 10:32 PM on August 27, 2017 [1 favorite]

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