The secret language of EMS

From the book, Responding:

I spent months in EMT cardiac school learning how to analyze different rhythms and their underlying cause. We practiced identifying and interpreting everything from a normal sinus rhythm, premature atrial contractions, paroxysmal supraventricular tachycardia, atrial fibrillation, junctional rhythms, PVC’s, V-tack, asystole and many more.

Mike has finished connecting the leads, runs a strip and hands it to me. I look it over, analyze the p-wave, QRS complex and elevated t-waves and give my diagnosis to Mike.

“He’s fucked.”

I’ve narrowed all of the rhythms I learned in school down to two. Fucked and Not Fucked.

Ever wonder what the hell half the people in this crazy world are talking about? Some days I think the world has gone mad. Then, I think of how some of the things I say would be perceived by the general public.

In EMS, we have a secret language all our own. It doesn’t end with “he’s fucked or not fucked.” Here are a few of my favorites I came across over the years.

The secret codes:

1) Da Motrin

What to say when a patient asks for that pain medicine that starts with a “D”.

2) Doctart

Female nurses or patients who have a thing for doctors.

3) Donorcycle

A motorcycle.

4) Eternal Care Unit, (ECU)

People in the morgue

5) Paragod

An EMT who thinks they know everything.

6) Trauma Handshake

Rectal exam in a trauma.

7) Treat and Street

Get them out of the ER.

The different “codes”:

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