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Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Spanish Comes in Handy

We got toned out for a woman with a headache and high blood pressure at a assisted living facility. The manager met us at the front lobby and escorted us to the apartment. While we were walking the manager let us know that the tenet was Spanish speaking. As we approached the elevator the manager asked the custodian to come along to translate. I was met with some incredulous eyes by my captain and the manager when I said that wouldn't be necessary.

We were met at the door by the husband. As I approached the patient I introduced myself and asked what was going on, in Spanish. My captain was shocked at my linguistic abilities. The patient had a history of high blood pressure and had been having a severe headache since about one in the morning. I did a quick neuro check to see if she might be having a CVA. By the time that I was done AMR was on scene. We quickly loaded her up and sent to get checked out.

After that call we were toned out for another in the same facility. This time it was another Spanish speaker. This time a nice old lady had just slipped down out of her recliner and couldn't get back up. Her friends weren't able to do it either. We helped her up and then I spent a few minutes just chatting with her. Turns out she was Cuban (her accent was a dead give away). I don't get the chance to talk to many Cubans any more so it was fun. After making sure everyone was OK we cleared the call. Afterward my captain said that he didn't care if I was a lousy medic (which I'm not). The ability to speak Spanish alone made me a 14/10 in his book.
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