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  • Words And Phrases

    This is a bit of a pet peeve I picked up from one of my instructors at my old base. Dick is the Senior First Aid Instructor, and is a certified Physician Assistant (Army) with about 900 years of training and experience.

    The other night during a training session with the FD, we viewed the CD on the new CPR protocols. All through the video the commentator referred to the patient as the "victim".

    As Dick put it to us both as students and Instructor trainees, there are only two types of "victim" where that specific word should be used.

    1) the victim(s) of a major disaster
    2) a person who has been abused: sexually, verbally physically etc.

    He drilled into us that a person who has receive injury due to circumstance of a vehicle incident, trauma from a fall, etc (our normal day to day events) is not a victim. He or she is a patient - plain and simple.

    To refer to a person who is in need of medical attention from any event other than numbers 1 or 2 above is to put that person in a disadvantaged mental state, whether that person realizes it or not. Because they are not a victim, they are a patient.

    Or maybe I am one of the few who thinks this way, I dont know, but it irritates me when I hear health care providers and emergency responders refer to a patient as a victim.

    Ok... The Rant Lamp is Out.
    If you don't do it RIGHT today, when will you have time to do it over? (Hall of Fame basketball player/coach John Wooden)

    "I may be slow, but my work is poor." Chief Dave Balding, MVFD

    "Its not Rocket Science. Just use a LITTLE imagination." (Me)

    Get it up. Get it on. Get it done!

    impossible solved cotidie. miracles postulo viginti - quattuor hora animadverto

    IACOJ member: Cheers, Play safe y'all.

  • #2
    I'm with you Rick. for some reason, to me anyway, the word "victim" sounds too morbid. All of the people I treat are "patients" whether alive or dead. I too did notice that when I was going through my CPR/ACLS refresher.
    The comments made by me are my opinions only, not of the Fire and EMS services I am affiliated with.

    I have lost my mind..has anyone seen it? it's not worth much..but it's mine

    Comment


    • #3
      They can actually be both...Your patient may be the victim of a GSW, a stabbing, an MVA, a fall, etc.

      You would not refer to the "patients" of a vehicle accident, you refer to the "victims" of a vehicle accident. Once interventions have begun, the victims then become patients.

      A victim of cardiac arrest becomes a patient as soon as care begins.




      Kevin
      Fire Lieutenant/E.M.T.
      IAFF Local 2339
      K of C 4th Degree
      "LEATHER FOREVER"
      Member I.A.C.O.J.
      http://www.tfdfire.com/
      "Fir na tine"

      Comment


      • #4
        A victim of cardiac arrest becomes a patient as soon as care begins.
        Thanks Kevin. That is exactly the point I was driving at. From our stand-point the moment we arrive, they are Patients.

        Even when I ran with a private ambulance back home, doing body pick ups for the funeral homes, to me they were always patients, and were treated with the same respect as anyone with a heartbeat.
        If you don't do it RIGHT today, when will you have time to do it over? (Hall of Fame basketball player/coach John Wooden)

        "I may be slow, but my work is poor." Chief Dave Balding, MVFD

        "Its not Rocket Science. Just use a LITTLE imagination." (Me)

        Get it up. Get it on. Get it done!

        impossible solved cotidie. miracles postulo viginti - quattuor hora animadverto

        IACOJ member: Cheers, Play safe y'all.

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by MalahatTwo7

          Even when I ran with a private ambulance back home, doing body pick ups for the funeral homes, to me they were always patients, and were treated with the same respect as anyone with a heartbeat.
          I totally agree!

          I treat each patient, whether dead, or alive, with the respect and dignity they deserve. I always try to imagine how family members would feel if they were watching over my shoulder (often times they are), about the way their loved one has been treated.




          Kevin
          Fire Lieutenant/E.M.T.
          IAFF Local 2339
          K of C 4th Degree
          "LEATHER FOREVER"
          Member I.A.C.O.J.
          http://www.tfdfire.com/
          "Fir na tine"

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by fireman4949
            They can actually be both...Your patient may be the victim of a GSW, a stabbing, an MVA, a fall, etc.

            You would not refer to the "patients" of a vehicle accident, you refer to the "victims" of a vehicle accident. Once interventions have begun, the victims then become patients.

            A victim of cardiac arrest becomes a patient as soon as care begins.

            Kevin
            That's what I thought it should be termed as.And as always,it irks me when newsies supposedly get the facts to a story and then drop in
            whatever buzzwords their job uses for any situation involving what happened.
            I heard about during the last winter Olympics how one reporter was a bit confused when a black Frenchman was competing on how to be politically correct in referring to him and kept stumbling over her words.Must have been interesting to see for that alone.

            Comment


            • #7
              TOTALLY AGREE. To the cops, they are "victims". To us the Fire service, they are "patients".

              Comment


              • #8
                One good reason that they're called patients in EMS is that the term victim tends to relay the thought that the injury incurred is not the fault of that individual (the pt.). So in the crazy sue happy world we live in a lawyer couldn't say that we were biased in one form or another. I agree 100% they are patiens in EMS, victim is a cop word, they spend half their career in court anyhow.... Just my 2
                FF/EMT-B East Franklin Fire Dept,
                Engine Co. 27
                Somerset NJ

                EMT-1 Robert Wood Johnson Univ. Hosp. EMS,
                A-651
                New Brunswick, NJ

                FTM-PTB-EGH-DTRT

                Comment

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