Chapter 2: Assessment

Introduction

Some paramedics refer to “going into detective mode” when they arrive at the scene. You and your partner are trying to make sense of a situation where you may have little or no prior knowledge and need to formulate a course of action. You’re determining:

  • What’s happening medically? Why was the call made?

  • How much do the patient and family understand about the situation?

  • Who is involved in decision making (patient, family, others) and are they on the same page?

  • What are the family dynamics that may be affecting the situation?

  • What are their expectations for care?

  • What does the patient or family see as the paramedic’s role?
  • Can they accept the reality that the patient is dying?