A woman came into work today. She had skin like alabaster, lips gone gray, and eyes so empty that you could get lost in them. She had a presence that screamed out for a hug, but made perfectly clear that she didn’t want anyone to dare try.
I wrote down:
GENERAL IMPRESSION: Poor
INITIAL ASSESSMENT: Pt. pale and diaphoretic, pupils dilated. Withdrawn.
“Ma’am,” I said, “I’m a paramedic student. I would like to ask you some questions. Is that alright?”
“What day is it?”
“July second, 2004.”
“Where are we?”
“At a hospital.”
“And why are you here?”
“I don’t believe in the Fourth of July.”
I dutifully wrote it down, followed by:
NOTE: possible altered mental status.