Just over a year ago, I wanted to find a way to help and support the community in which I live. I joined my county's Medical Reserve Corp as a way of "helping out". I joined this forum a few months back to gain additional knowledge and feedback for responding to community wide emergencies, so far, most of the information I've read here has been helpful and extremely insightful.
Today though, as I was browsing through the groups on this forum, I came across one particular group entitled "Nursing Homes are killing me", I clicked on it, partly out of curiosity and partly because, in my "day job" I am a nurse in LTC and I was interested in reading what some EMS personnel's views of LTC and how we care for our patients involves them. I was TOTALLY taken aback as I read the posts. I simply could not believe the whining and moaning several of the members were doing regarding responding to calls in nursing homes and other LTC facilities. Several of the posts seemed to follow the thought that most nurses in LTC are complete idiots that do not know how to care for their patients or when or when not to call for transfer to an acute care facility. Several of them even commented on the fact that they were called to transfer a patient to the hospital who had a code status of DNR CC.
I'm sure that in some areas of the country there are facilities who abuse the EMS system and contact EMS to "send out" their patients for trivial reasons, I'm not disputing that. But please, do not lump all LTC facilities and for that matter all nurses together in one heap.
Another distinct impression I got from browsing through some of the posts was that some people felt that responding to LTC facilities was a "waste of their time". That was the point that disgusted me the most. When someone enters the EMS field as either an EMT or a Paramedic, I am quite certain that they were trained to care for all people, whether they are a newborn baby in the richest section of town or the elderly downtrodden individual in the public housing project or a resident in a LTC facility.
To anyone who feels that the nursing staff in all LTC facilities have no idea what they are doing or that they call for medical transfer for "stupid reasons", all I can say is, what if that person in the LTC facility that your squad responds to was your mother, father, grandmother or grandfather, wouldn't YOU want them to receive the best care possible with compassion and dignity?