You Know You’re a Paramedic When: (the Definitive List)
1. At social gatherings you drool at anyone with nice fat veins.
2. You think anything less than 4 days off in a row isn’t worth having
3. You see any person with a welfare card as your “employer”
4. You at all your friends and realize they work for an emergency service or a hospital
5. You marry a nurse
6. It drives you absolutely nuts when someone calls you an “Ambulance Driver”
7. For those of you who have worked on-call: when your 4 year old daughter knows the work phone as the “money” phone.
8. You ask yourself “what should I have for lunch” while attempting to pick up an extra piece of a limb at a motor vehicle accident
9. You start to match songs to different diseases
10. You arrive at home in your own car after work, and attempt to mark yourself “At Station” on an imaginary MDT.
11. You know that when a kid has been injured the person who will take up most of your time managing at the scene will be the parent, regardless of how sick or injured the child is
12. You really believe that the Ambulance lights and sirens are in fact an invisibility cloak that makes it impossible for cars to see you and get out of your way
13. You see sirens as an annoying sound… that you’d rather not have to use
14. You attend a regular patient, and play the game “how much of the patient health care record can I complete before I get there”
15. When you arrive at a call and your first impression is, Umm why am I here.
16. You thrive on serious trauma.
17. You have an entire closet dedicated to uniforms
18. You lay your uniform, including socks, underwears, shoes, watch, and Ambulance keys down beside your bed in preparation for the “Big Job” – even when you’re off duty.
19. You spend many nights laying on a layzee boy!
20. You have withdrawal from not wearing green on your days off!
21. You know that Full Moon = Insanity.
22. When you’re always checking out peoples’ veins for IV access.
23. Unconscious = cooperative.
24. You’re up at 2:00 am on Facebook, all in a day’s work.
25. Random phones and buzzers send your heart into VF
26. A few quiet days in a row equals an excellent call.
27. When you and your partner are the only ones not panicking in the room.
28. When you don’t let anybody get between you and the exit route at social gatherings.
29. When you tell people to standby one.
30. You get back pain just looking at really fat people!
31. You answer questions with “Roger” instead of “Yes” regardless of whose asking them.
32. Your dinner conversations often migrate toward that really messy trauma or explosive diarrhea call and you won’t lose your appetite.
33. If, every time you drive somewhere, you ask your travelling companion “You wanna drive, or attend?”
34. If you’ve ever conducted a practical joke using oxygen tubing.
35. If you have use lignocaine gel on people’s phones, car handles or any door handle
36. If you find skipping with an oxygen tubing a good form of exercise
37. If you think getting off the layzee boy and answering the phone is a good form of exercise
38. When someone needs a plaster and you pull out a trauma kit.
39. When your home first-aid kit consists of OP airways, maternity kits and bag and masks!
40. When your quick remedies kit for a hangover includes: 1L of Hartmann’s and a Maxalon
41. When you’ve wanted to hold a seminar on ’Suicide – How to Get It Right The FIRST Time.”
42. If you and your partner have discussed dinner plans over a dead body.
43. When you have come to the conclusion that you are sicker than 3/4 of the people you take to hospital.
44. You know you’re a paramedic when you wash your hands before using the bathroom.
45. When you wipe your feet on the way out of people’s homes.
46. When you back into parking spaces on your days off.
47. When you are watching TV and get annoyed and point out all the inconsistencies of the TV medics.
48. You spend your days off thinking about the calls the guys on shift are getting: the calls YOU are missing.
49. All of your best stories start with “There was this one call where…”
50. All your “funniest” stories are considered vulgar and disgusting
51. You tell the best story ever, and you’re the only one who can see the humor in it
52. You can put together a complete sentence using numbers and acronyms.
53. “LOL” doesn’t mean “laughing out loud” but rather it means “little old lady.”
54. You have at least one “things up people’s butts” story.
55. You often finish a story with “and then he died”
56. When you think you did a great job… even though the patient still ended up dead
57. You’re covered in some bodily fluid or another more often than not and it doesn’t bother you.
58. You’re tempted to use “oxygen therapy” on all annoying people, not just patients: an O2 tank over the head fixes everything (especially in combative patients).
59. You find random pairs of gloves in every pair of trousers you own, whether they be uniform or civvies.
60. You want to throw something at the TV when they shock asystole on some TV show.
61. When hot spots are not areas of heat in a babies bottle.
62. You refer to your ambulance as a “bus.”
63. You have perfected the art of responding through rush hour traffic, with a burger in the one hand and a drink in the other.
64. You hear a siren and you know exactly what service or vehicle it is.
65. It drives you nuts when some ignorant fool calls you a first aider. (This is even worse than being called an ambulance driver.)
66. You cringe when you arrive on scene and someone says you will need a chair or the patient can’t walk – umm… I will make that decision!
67. When you come home in a clean uniform after a 24- hour shift and your spouse automatically becomes suspicious of your whereabouts.
68. You and your partner are deciding what kind of burger to order after the call while your patient is projectile vomiting!
69. You remember every patient by their injury or disease and not their name.
70. You trample over people to get out of the coffee shop, fly through traffic for “SOB (shortness of breath) and chest pain” only to arrive on the scene to find a sharply-dressed senior citizen who walks up to the ambulance and says,” Good! I have an x-ray appointment in ten minutes!”
71. You get called out for abdo (abdomen) pain at three in the morning to find your “patient” at the gate with their bag packed, and the whole family waiting to wave good bye.
72. When hearing there is a doctor/nurse on scene, you consider it a bad thing.
73. You’ve ever had an altercation on scene with a rubberneck.
74. You crouch down in your car as you go past accident scenes so the crew already there won’t see you.
75. You can’t put up IV lines unless everything is shaking around.
76. You know at least 3 alternate routes to any place you are going.
77. You’ve ever blown up a glove and drawn a face on it in the hopes it will stop your pediatrics patient from screaming.
78. You can skip to the head of the line at the local Burger king or McDonald’s because you’re in uniform.
79. It drives you nuts when a driver only says they’re a “Paramedic.”
80. You resuscitate a regular patient and honestly question whether or not you have helped the community at all
81. You don’t know how to operate all the nursing machines, but you can easily identify and utilize the silence buttons
82. You describe a hospital gown as a “nice backless number”
83. You know every party drug ever invented and what the “popular” ones are this week
84. You believe that most occupants of an MVA don’t have a spinal injury
85. You deliver a 17 year old’s baby and think “wow… she made to 17 before she got knocked up… good for her!”
86. You’ve never worked out the importance of taking a diastolic blood pressure
87. Believe all patients lie
88. Although, unable to speak any other language, are adeptly fluent in all hand languages to signify that the patient can walk out to the Ambulance
89. Know that its easier and more accurate to check a patient’s medications than to ask them what previous medical illnesses they have.
90. Have been caught out at some stage by suggesting that you will decide if a patient can walk or not, only to find that they have a broken leg.
91. You’ve looked at a drunken patient and thought “they called the wrong emergency service…”
92. You often ask your patient to “wait in the waiting room” while you talk to the triage nurse
93. You class CPR as one of your weekly exercise workouts
94. You often take first note of what’s on another Paramedic’s shoulders
95. You’ve walked into a patients house with just a BP cuff and argued that really, you’re over-prepared
96. You’ve described a patient who has suddenly died as having made “a good innings”
97. You’ve made jokes, which you have honestly thought were funny, about a funny way in which a patient has died
98. You’ve had to explain to a triage nurse that the reason that you’ve come to their hospital is “because they’re a public hospital and you have a public patient
99. You know that there’s no correlation between what you have been called to and what you are actually going to
100. You know that the only real use for the Ambulance lights and sirens is to entertain the kids who watch as you go by