I See I Had ... Vital Signs


Study Notes:

  1. 1.While the attending paramedic performs the interview, the second paramedic assesses the vital signs and performs a physical exam.

  2. 2.The common vital signs assessed by paramedics on most calls are listed.  Know how to perform and interpret these.

  3. 3.DON’T fake it!  If you’re working in the field and you DON’T know how to take vital signs you are dangerous.  Don’t be dangerous.

“I see I had vital signs assessed and treated”


While you, as the attending paramedic, are asking about the patient’s identity, chief complaint, incident history, medical history, allergies and drugs, your partner should be taking the patient’s vital signs and performing a rapid, focused, physical exam.

The most common ‘vitals signs’ done at this point include:

  1. Bullet Pulse rate and pattern

  2. Bullet Blood pressure

  3. Bullet Respiratory rate and pattern

  4. Bullet Skin condition (CTCT: Colour, Temperature, Condition (wetness) and Turgor)

  5. Bullet Pupils

Knowing how to perform (and interpret!) these skills would require a whole lot of typing so I’m not going to get into it.  You should learn this in whatever course you are taking, and make sure that you actually know what you are looking, listening and feeling for.  Don’t fake it!  There’s nothing worse than showing up on the scene and having some pale and tachycardic EMT tell you that their patient (who is obviously in shock) is “120 over 80, pink, warm and dry”.  Don’t fake it. 

Just the facts ma’am ...