A Quick Lesson From The Grammar Nazi

When writing your run report, you whip out your handy-dandy dictionary, and maybe even your assorted pocket reference thingies. You want to make sure that the clinical words you don’t spell every day are spelled correctly so you don’t look like a doofus.

Good on ya, mate!

Why is it so hard to take that extra brain cycle to do the same thing with plurals and contractions? I cringe every time I’m reading an EMS blog/article, and while the content is great and I’m learning something while reading it, I want to smack the author for not going the one extra step to finish checking their work. It drives me ablsolutely bonkers!

So, here is a breakdown of the common ones I see the most. Pay attention here. The doctors, nurses, and even supervisors reading your reports might even thank you for it one day. They’ll probably think you took an extra class in English Grammar in an attempt to further your career.

Don’t laugh. It does make that big of a difference in the way people think about you. People DO judge you by how well (or poorly) you write. Making excuses for your poor grammar skills just makes you appear lazy or ignorant. Don’t give anyone the excuse to think of you as either.

OK, enough of The Lecture. On with The Lesson.

If something belongs to an EMT/EMT-B, it’s EMT’s/EMT-B’s.

I grabbed the EMT’s stethescope.

The plural of EMT or EMT-B is EMTs/EMT-Bs.

There are two EMTs/EMT-Bs on the truck today.

If it belongs to the Paramedic/EMT-P/MICP, it’s Paramedic’s/EMT-P’s/MICP’s.

The Paramedic’s/EMT-P’s/MICP’s assesment was spot-on today.

The plural of Paramedic/EMT-P/MICP is Paramedics/EMT-Ps/MICPs.

There were three Paramedics/EMT-Ps/MICPs yearning for a day off.

If it belongs to the patient, it’s patient’s.

I assed the patient’s vitals before loading him/her/them in the bus.

The plural of patient is patients.

We had two patients in the ambulance yesterday.

If it belongs to a nurse, it’s nurse’s.

I don’t know where that nurse’s charts are.

The plural of nurse is nurses.

There were three nurses complaining about a doctor.

If it belongs to a doctor, it’s doctor’s.

Don’t mess with the doctor’s golf clubs.

The plural of doctor is doctors.

All of the doctors are playing golf today.

I’m going to go back through all of my previous posts now, just so someone doesn’t flame me for making a mistake of my own :)


  • FDMedic

    “I grabbed the EMT’s stethescope.”

    “I’m going to back through all of my previous posts now, just so someone doesn’t flame me for making a mistake of my own :)”

    Ahem. QED.

    • http://thedivemedic.com DiverMedic

      Good catch.

  • Steve

    I am standing and applauding! I must also thank you for using the word the, as in the patient, the EMT’s, the ambulance. The lack of use of this word, in the reports that I QA, is what drives me bonkers.

  • Jim

    I enjoyed the post, thank you for placing emphasis on an often overlooked topic! I advocate making English a prerequisite course for the national registry EMT curriculum for the very reasons you describe. On a side note, “It drives me ablsolutely bonkers!” has a grammatical error. A post lamenting grammar errors with an error is simply Murphy’s law in action.

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