EM Physician Assistant - Patient vs. Customer

Blog page
EM Physician Assistant - Patient vs. Customer

Slide1As a “lone wolf EM physician assistant” (PA that works in a critical access hospital ED) I am never surprised at what is asked of me. I understand that about 50% of my job is social work and demands high-end human interaction skills. With that said, there is a huge difference between a patient and costumer.

My ED shift started after a brief sign out from the night PA. Two patients presented at the same time – 48 yo F with chest pain and a 32 yo M with chronic left shoulder pain. One was a patient. A STEMI. She was scared and only wanted to live. She knew her life was in jeopardy. The male wanted a shot of Dialudid. (Pain for 3 weeks… no new injury. Lot’s of opiates. Bet you can’t guess what he was allergic to.)

It’s like flying in an airplane. On the extreme end of the spectrum, I want the plane not to crash. Please. Get me there safe. (That’s the expectations of a patient.) But, we like to judge the airline by on time departure, luggage, pillows, smiles and drinks. These are customers.

So, my shift starts with extremes, a true patient and a customer. The STEMI received lytics and was satisfied when pain dropped from 9 to a zero. Chronic pain didn’t received Dilaudid – needless to say not so happy. Pain was a 10 and remained a 10.

This is my job as a PA.

I love it.

The following two tabs change content below.
EM Physician Assistant - Patient vs. Customer
John Bielinski, Jr., MS PAC is a practicing emergency medicine clinician, and has been lecturing nationally for more than ten years, teaching the tactics that have proven invaluable in his career as a medical professional.
EM Physician Assistant - Patient vs. Customer

Latest posts by John Bielinski (see all)


Professional Name, Certification Type, & Specialty are Required.

To claim credit, you must supply your Professional Name, Certification Type, and Speciality on the Account Details page.


» Click the Update Account Details button. On the next page provide your information and click the Save Changes button.