Important Facts about Impaired Consciousness for US Air Ambulance Crews

If you are part of an air ambulance crew, it’s likely that you get through some days working overtime and having to respond to multiple calls in a day. While this is all part of the job, it’s important to remember that long shifts and over-exhausted can leave you feeling drained – both physically and mentally. The result will be impaired consciousness, which can prevent you from doing your job properly. This is why US air ambulance paramedics need to ensure that they get proper sleep whenever possible.

Signs US Air Ambulance Paramedics Should Watch Out For

Whether you work for an air ambulance or a ground ambulance, being an EMS provider means there is a high risk of chronic sleep deprivation. Maybe you are secretly proud of yourself for being able to perform well despite lack of sleep. While you may be able to do so for a few days, over time you’re just going to experience impaired consciousness. This can be dangerous for your job, for the lives of your patients, and for yourself.

As a US air ambulance paramedic, here are some signs you should watch out for telling you that you need to get some sleep ASAP:

  • Inability to remember the last call you responded to
  • Inability to distinguish one patient from the other
  • More than normal illegible writing
  • Strong smell of coffee and/or Red Bull while urinating
  • Impaired ability to read patients’ vital signs
  • Impaired ability to distinguish reality from dreams

These are just a few of the more common signs of impaired consciousness among EMS providers. It may be easy to be in denial, making it difficult for you to honestly assess yourself using these signs. Get help from a partner or a fellow crew member that you trust.

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