A Look at Acronyms Some EMT's Use on a Daily Basis
There are many jobs out there that are full of pressure and make you act upon your instinct within moments. One type of job that is definitely regarding that statement is Emergency Medical Technicians, Paramedics, and First Responders. When having a career like this you have to be able to get to scenes quick, access the damage done, and are able to help immediately. There is so much training that goes into having a job like this, but when an emergency is happening what are some of the things that help the men and women who have these careers?
One thing EMT’s would agree on that help them with their careers, or at least helped them when they started out, and especially during their training to become an EMT is acronyms. There is a lot going on when they arrive to a scene, and they have to gain a lot of information from their patients, and have to make it very quick, considering scene time for the National Skills Exam to become an EMT has to be less than 10 minutes. These acronyms help EMT’s remember all of the information they have to obtain from a patient on each and every call. This can help out tremendously when you have to act fast out in the field.
The first acronym is AVPU and helps to figure out the responsiveness of the patient. This stands for Alert, Verbal, do they respond to Pain, and are they Unresponsive. This is the first acronym used on the scene to gain vital information about the patient. The second acronym involved is PRBABES and this acronym helps to make sure all of the vitals are taken. This stands for Pulse, Respirations, Blood Pressure, Apical Pulse (heart sounds), Breath Sounds, Eyes, and finally Skin. These two acronyms are used for the most part initially, and can both be done without actually talking to the patient, family, or bystanders.
Secondly, there are two other acronyms that help obtain other information that can’t be completely done by the tech. These two acronyms are SAMPLE and OPQRST. SAMPLE stands for Signs/Symptoms, Allergies, Medications, Past Pertinent History, Last Oral Intake, and Events leading up to the 911 call. OPQRST stands for Onset, Provokes (What makes it feel better or worse), Quality (What does the pain feel like), Radiates (Does the pain radiate anywhere), Severity, and Time (Has the pain got any better or worse since the call).
These are four acronyms used by some EMT’s that can help tremendously, especially for someone who is just starting out. They help make sure that vital information is not forgotten, and everything is accounted for. With so much information needed to receive, it is important that things like these are used to help out. With a job like this, full of pressure and quick calls that need to be made, even little things like acronyms can help.