A story about the pitfalls of making assumptions.
Overheard at triage the other day, between a maybe too-slick paramedic and a very elderly, very sharp female patient supposed — assumed — to be hard-of-hearing, demented or maybe a little of both.
Paramedic: . . . and her vital signs are stable, heart rate 83, BP 138/66. . .
Patient: Wait, wait a second!
Paramedic: What, dear?
Patient: How could you know my blood pressure? You didn’t even check it!
Paramedic: (covering) I, uh, estimated it checking your pulse.
Triage Nurse: [. . .]!
Patient: You did no such thing! I used to be a nurse, you know.
Oops. Is there a prize for boneheadedness? I think I was even more astonished and amazed by the second lie which, of course, only made things totally and incomprehensibly worse. The paramedic, needless to say was deeply (and deservedly so, I might add) embarrassed.