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Something I wrote and published nearly a quarter of a year ago. Seems like the first posts have been buried under a plethora of other posts now and seems like now people have forgotten about this work thats supposed to be useful so I decided to repost it.
Any questions, comments, or concerns, please feel free to reply to this thread or privately IM/NC me in-world. Offline IM’s go to email and dont cap-for quickest reply-pls use IM or email [email protected] .
Also Available At: http://caimartinjg.blogspot.com/p/a-medics-guide-to-medical-roleplay.html
A MEDIC’S GUIDE TO MEDICAL ROLEPLAY
By Martin J.G. “Marty” Cai (CaiMartinJG)
This is the corresponding guide to “A Patient’s Guide to Medical Roleplay” for those who roleplay as Paramedics, Nurses, Doctors, and other medical professions. It contains everything that appears in the patients guide AS WELL AS additional instructions underneath the patient sections for those roleplaying as medical professionals/responders. While it is understood that this sequel version is very long (as if the patient’s version isnt long enough already), even though the patient’s version contains sufficient info for members of the general public not roleplaying in the professions, it is highly recommended that non-professions go through this sequel version as well as the patient’s version to gain additional insight as well as to better understand and recognize the medic’s tactics as the medic guides the patients along.
The standalone patient’s version of this guide can be found here:
Oftentimes, roleplayers will find themselves in a position where their characters will be in need of medical attention-but will struggle with coming up with quality posts while roleplaying with the EMT’s and Hospital Staff who respond to their character’s calls. Many times, especially when a character is unconscious or just laying there getting treated, it can be very difficult for the roleplayer to come up with much to write. This guide will provide tips to aid the player whose unfortunate character will end up in the hands of some medical professional in creating longer, quality, more interesting and more realistic posts while conducting some form of medical roleplay.
It is also recognized that, while everyone in a roleplay shares the responsibility of making the RP a quality RP, those roleplaying as medical professionals (“medics”) should bear the larger bulk of responsibility for ensuring the quality of a medical roleplay for several reasons, in order to make the lessons taught in these guides viable in rp. The medic specific sections will show those roleplaying in the professions how to do their share in promoting quality medical roleplay. The goal is for the medic to get a patient to do as the patient’s section/guide teaches them to do, using the medic’s own actions, roleplay, and roleplay posts without having to force the patient to (speed-)read the patient’s sections/guides or sit down for a boring lecture on those lessons prior to or during a medical roleplay. The goal is: for the medic to skillfully get the patient to do as the patient’s section/guide says to do, without the patient even knowing it using tips/techniques taught by this medic’s guide and perhaps even using tactics and techniques of the proactive medic’s own. The key is: everyone, especially medics, should be as proactive as possible in following these guidelines and getting others involved to do so as well.
1. PATIENTS: Inform a newly arriving medic of your characters condition in the first post he/she may read. The first thing any medic will do when (s)he comes upon your character would be to look him/her over and get a determination of your characters injuries/symptoms/extent. Oftentimes the medic will even send you an IM and ask you OOCly what they will come upon when they look over your character. In your first post with a medic, include a detailed description of your characters current state when the medics comes upon him/her, include: what injuries you have and their extent, symptoms and extent, anything other rescuers/good Samaritans may have done to change the status of your injuries/symptoms-if they had made things better or worse, and whatever else may be pertinent. You may also want to let your rescuers know at this time any special requests or specifications of your roleplay-for example, if you would like a detailed roleplay at the EMS level or something more cursory-as many times, a patient will prefer the EMS level to be done quickly as it is the intermediate between a long roleplay that resulted in the patients injury and another long roleplay to come-at hospital. As much as possible, you may also want to find out (if you haven’t already done so) beforehand how exactly your character will realistically be.
MEDICS: As you come on the scene and start setting up, please be sure to give the patient this information thru NC or the link, and let them know you will be guiding them along the guide in your own roleplay. Allow them a few moments (suggested 10 mins) to review the material-you may want to do this the very first thing as you or even before you get to a patient, and use the meantime wisely to do other things you may have to do in order to set up for a scene. Remember-as you come upon the scene, you also have to wait for everyone else already there to post first-if the patient posts as instructed by this guide and informs you of their injuries/condition in their post-great. If not, proceed to IM them and ask OOCly what youd find. If the patient’s injuries or how they are roleplaying out their injury don’t seem to be realistic to you based on your knowledge and experience as a medical professional, be sure to IM them and politely inform them of what you believe (based on your knowledge and experience) would be more reasonable. Let them know, in detail, what would be the most likely injury(ies)/symptoms/extent to result from their rp and how they should be roleplaying out each injury. Remember, your patient might not have the medical expertise that you do, so you should, let your patient know what would be realistic for their roleplay/circumstances and provide them with whatever information necessary to roleplay as realistically and accurately as they can. Guide them along-be sure to make helpful suggestions, but do NOT force anyone to play anything against their will-that would be powergaming. Help them decide the appropriate injury, but leave it to them to actually make the decision. This would also be the time to communicate any objectives you may wish to accomplish in the rp. Similarly, if you are a heavy paraposter, you might want to check with your patient as to his/her preference-some people would be more than happy to roleplay a medical scene out while others would rather have it done more cursory, especially at the EMS level.
2. PATIENTS: Describe your characters response to the medic’s treatment. In almost all cases, when a medic treats a patient-the patient will almost invariably get better immediately and because patients seldom ever post how their characters are responding to the treatment, medics will almost invariably assume that the patients are responding as intended-otherwise-if a medic starts to roleplay that their patient is deteriorating, their patient may get upset with them and call them out for powergaming. There is several things wrong with this. First off-a medic should never have to assume/decide how another’s character will respond to something-according to the most basic of roleplay conventions, only the player of a character has the right to determine what happens to their characters. Secondly-it is very unrealistic that every patient, every time, responds as intended to treatment. Sadly, in real life, many times, despite a medic’s best efforts, a patient may not always get better, and sometimes will continue to get worst unless the medics step up their efforts. The more serious a patients condition is, the more likely they will refuse to get better or deteriorate despite a medic’s best attempts to treat. Sometimes, it is the medic’s treatment that will cause a patient’s injuries/symptoms to get worst, or create additional injuries/symptoms for the patient. CPR for example, will often mean that a patient’s rib bones breaking, and intubation will often result in the patient having a sore throat and having difficulty speaking for days to come after the breathing tube’s removal. Sometimes, such as in the case of setting a broken bone prior to splinting it-a medic might even have to cause more pain in order to relieve pain. Every drug has its possible side effects, almost all drugs carry the risk of nausea/vomiting, yet most patients seldom every play out more than the intended effects of medication administered by a medic. In most cases, there should be at least some sort of response. Make the roleplay interesting-and while you’re at it, prolong it as well-give the medic’s extra surprise challenges along the way. Make the roleplay suspenseful-make it seem like a drag before your character starts to get better, make it seem uncertain for some time if your character will get better or not. Better yet, bring your character to the brink of death before allowing him/her to improve his/her condition-this is not to say though, by deteriorating your patient, you will necessarily have to ultimately roleplay permanent damage you did not intend originally or have to kill your character.
MEDICS: In your ic/rp post, continue to provide your patient with the info they would need to know in order to rp and respond to your treatment realistically as instructed above, state in your ic/rp post what options/possibilities the patient has in terms of possible outcomes/effects to your character’s treatment, and make it clear that you will be expecting them to describe how their character is responding to treatment, as described above corresponding patient section. State in your ic/rp post what will and what can happen to your patient as you treat, without dictating their roleplay or appearing to dictate-as such could considered powergaming or lead to accusations of PG. Let your patient know in your ic/rp post that getting better as hoped for isn’t the only option (and what other options they have-getting better, continuing to get worst, neither getting better/worse), that possibly the treatment may more than likely have other than intended effects as well as what they might be, as described in the (corresponding) patient section above. In other words, you should make indications in your ic/rp posts hinting (not dictating) the effect your treatment may have on your patient. For ex, put in your post that “…carefully and cautiously he tries to set the fractured bone into place-this is what makes this the most painful part of the entire EMS treatment process. because he wants to get thru this as fast as he can…” When possible, give options, if not, state in your ic/rp post what will happen due to your treatment but leave it to your patient to decide how (e.g. applying pressure to a bleeding wound will almost always cause a sting-but how much of it is felt and how the patient responds to it-will be up to them, but allow your patient to decide if the bleeding will start to subside, get worst, or not get better/worst).Since as a medic you will be, for the most part, when you can, be talking to the patient and keeping the patient updated on their condition and whatever you’re doing to them, you might want to have your character warn your patient about (what) possible effects may come with your treatment in IC speech. Lastly, hint it out in your (ic/rp) post that your patient should be putting in their (ic/rp) posts how they are responding to your treatment, perhaps with something such as posting that you will be periodically checking to see how your patient is responding to treatment, how your patient is progressing – thereby letting your patient know they are to tell you in their post how they are responding to your character’s treatment. For ex, post icly that “…every here and there he’d look to check to see if the bleeding is getting any worst, getting any better, or staying the same, either 3 can happen and depending on which happens he will then act accordingly…” If your patient fails to pick up that they are to indicate in their (ic/rp) posts how they respond to treatment despite you laying out in your (ic/rp) post all the possibilities-then either let them know in IMs what they are to do (and perhaps ask them then and there) or just assume then the default that the treatment is doing as it intends and that they are responding how they would be likely expected to.
3. PATIENTS: Interact with the medic treating your character especially if your character is conscious and able to. Roleplay is not about one person posting how their medic character would treat a patient-it is about creating stories through different character’s interactions with each other. Medic’s are trained to continuously talk to their patients when treating, and often do, when possible (situation is not pressing enough that they have to keep rushing and cant talk), even when a patient is unconscious.Obviously, respond to the medic and respond fully, as much as possible-talk to the medic. Whine, complain. It would make sense that your character would be whining and complaining, crying and begging the medic-after all, most likely your character would be in a lot of pain by the time (s)he meets the medic, and on top of that, a lot of times the medic’s treatment can not only be invasive-but the medic’s treatment, while it is well intended, will cause some more pain before it starts to help. It might even make sense for your character to want and maybe even try to resist and fight off the well-intending medic. Something like this, realistically, isn’t all too uncommon at all when it comes to RL. The treatment may be anything but fun, your character may be petrified of the hospital, your character may be trying to detox and wouldn’t want the medic to administer life-sustaining medication that might get your character hooked to drugs again. Remember, it is now very unlikely that your character is anyhow in a good mood. Make a special request of the medic. Your character may want the medic to do a certain something to help them out of his/her misery, may want a certain person notified, may need to arrange for childcare, or may want a blankie if (s)he is cold.
MEDICS: Interact with your patients, and try to get them to interact with you. Hint in out in your post, how they might be able to interact with you. Post that your character is nervous that the patient, who might be getting impatient or is angry that they are not well, might attack/resist him/her. Or describe your character being nervous because the patient is likely to get sick to their stomach and thus your character is afraid he/she may get puked on as he/she continues to do his/her job. “Ask their name, tell them who you are, keep talking in a calm voice to them, even if they don’t respond, studies show that those in an unconscious, or semi conscious state can still hear what is going on around them” (Noel 1). Medics are supposed to talk to their patients, keep them up to date as to what’s going on, and keep them informed on what they’re doing to their patients, even when the patient is clearly not conscious a medic is trained to continue to speak to them when otherwise possible. Also, medics, when they first come upon a patient, they will ask the patient’s name, introduce themselves/colleagues, let the patient know what is happening, what may have happened beforehand if necessary/possible, and reassure your patient they are in good hands and that everything possible will be done to the best of ability for them. Medics are also supposed to keep a conscious patient awake and alert and will oftentimes ask patients to keep talking to them, especially asking about a patient’s condition-how a patient is feeling, where they are hurting, how they are doing, any new symptoms/changes in condition, etc. When possible, a medic might even start to make some small talk to distract his/her patient from the pain, to keep the patient awake and alert. Ask them about something positive, such as asking them to tell you what would be their favorite ____. Ask them about family, what they enjoy to do, perhaps even ask what they were doing/going to do when their mishap happened. Tell them small short stories even, but be careful not to lose them though. If they start to slip away, then its time to call to them make them wake up and explain to them that they need to stay conscious alert and awake until the doctor says they can rest. Remember-not only should you be just talking to the patient-but you should be encouraging the patient to respond to you and interact with you the medic, get that convo and patient-medic interaction going, if possible as well. Try to speak in a way that will elicit a response-end all statements with “alright?” or “sounds good?” “what did you think?” or maybe even “did you hear me?” or something of the like. For example, “hey sweetheart, are you still feeling nauseous? I’m going to give you something to make you feel a bit better alright, you might feel a pinprick though, sounds good?” And of course, respond to any interaction from your patient ASAP. Comfort, reassure, and console the patient. Provide them with what they ask for-if it isnt possible, explain to them nicely why not. And if possible, be humorous. Not only will the RP be more interesting if jokes and all are being cracked, or even with a bit of teasing, but chances are that will lighten up the mood for the patient as well and make their suffering character feel better emotionally. Explain your treatment, and possible outcomes/effects, as instructed above, in a humorous fashion perhaps. If possible (as in your organization’s policy allows it), if you need to move a patient but they are not (don’t need to be) backboarded, carry them flirtatiously! Scoop them up, cradle them, and bring them to the stretcher like you’re carrying your wife into your new home on your wedding day!
4. PATIENTS: Follow up with the medics once your character is feeling better. Chances are, especially if you have a character with even somewhat of a decent heart, realistically, your character would be at least quite appreciative if not feeling indebted to the medic who saved his/her life, ran to your characters aide while everyone else ran away horrified, and was by your character’s side the whole time during what would probably be some of the worst times in your characters life. Next time you see the medic out on the street off duty, go over to him/her, give him/her a big hug, say thank you, maybe even buy him/her a drink or two. See them making rounds in the hospital-call them over, and say thank you or whatnot (and EMT’s even during off times or right after they drop off a patient will head to the recovery ward and make rounds, check up on and catch up with patients they have previously brought in). Have nothing to do and notice that your rescuer is online and in the hospital/station-feel free to head over to the station and bring flowers, chocolates, or some other thank you gift. In any case, once your character gets to this point, chances are, (s)he is going to feel a special bond when it comes to his/her rescuers. Jump on that-play it out realistically-who knows what sorta friendship/storyline may ultimately result from one rescue.
MEDICS: Similarly, try to follow up with patients as well after a rescue when possible and try to get the rp-the IC relationship-to go beyond just one simple everyday rescue. If realistically necessary, instead of treating your patient, hospitalizing him/her, then letting him/her go, ask them to come back from time to time for further treatment/checkups, and schedule future rp’s accordingly. See that a recent patient is online as well, and you don’t have anything to do, see that that patient happens to be out in public as well, feel free to run into them walking, strolling, running, driving, etc, by, or just so happens to go to the same bar, grocery store, beach, restaurant, etc at the same time. Go to them, realize that the person you just ran into on the streets, or in the same place you are visiting off duty, just so happens to look quite familiar or perhaps maybe even recognize them as a recent patient if it was really that recent and your character has that sharp of a memory. Say hello, ask them if you might have met them before, tell them they look quite familiar, ask them where you may have met before, if necessary, mention your medic work and ask them if they’ve been hurt-perhaps you met them on the job. Anyhow, if you didn’t remember them already or they didn’t remember you already on the spot, lead up to that point and eventually you should (or they should) remember who each other is and the details of what happened and how you met. Then, once you know who they are, ask them how they’ve been, how they doing, are they getting/feeling better now. Ask them how things went for them after you left them at hospital-hopefully it wasn’t too bad. Get that convo going, invite them/buy them a drink or coffee or whatnot perhaps, and see where it might go from there…. Similarly, if both of you are online and you are free while they’re in hospital, stop by, visit, say hello. Hospital RP can be quite boring at times, and even EMT’s during their free/off times often do (in RL) check up on their patients in hospital, especially in certain special cases when a patient stands out to a medic for whatever reason (e.g. a young patient). Once again, stop by, say hello, ask if they remember who you are, ask them how they’re feelin, how things have been for them, if they’re getting better, etc, and get that convo going-and see where else the rp’s may take ya! Do understand that after a rescue, especially a particularly tough one (or what may seem like a particularly tough one-which could be barely anything-for the rookie), chances are not only will the patient feel a bond for the medic but the medic might feel a bond for the patient as well. Additionally, if it’s possible that your practice allows for billing/coding, another way to continue the RP beyond just the rescue/treatment would be to subsequently roleplay going after the patient for the bill as well. In any case, don’t let the RP just end with the patient being treated-try to extend it as far as you can!
5. PATIENTS: Follow up with the consequences/effects of the injury/illness on your character. Oftentimes, a roleplayer’s character will get hurt, seek treatment, stay in hospital, and soon after the roleplayer will almost nearly forget about the entire incident aside from perhaps seeking revenge or noting it in a pick describing their character of a certain physical scar. Unfortunately, realistically, it’s not that easy at all to just heal and then shrug off the event like it almost never happened, it’s not that easy at all to just forget after a short bit. Chances are-anything that will result in an ambulance ride and/or the hospital will be traumatic, and the more traumatic something is, the more profound of an effect it might have on your character, the more time it will take to heal both physically and emotionally, and the less likely your character will be able to just move on from it soon. Sometimes, the physical scars might go away after a while, but mental/emotional scars tend to take a lot longer. There’s an entire whirlwind, quite a wide range, of emotions your character might feel after a traumatic event. Appreciation-both towards rescuer’s (as mentioned above) and maybe even towards a higher power or for life in general-and this may end up making your character more religious. Similarly, your character might become quite angry-perhaps even at the same time-towards those responsible for the trauma, and once again towards a higher power, people, or life in general-your character might become far less religious, and perhaps much more withdrawn and tough towards others in this case. That anger might also lead to crime/an increase tendency towards violence. Grief, PTSD, increased anxiety, and fear might happen as well. All of these might also lead to alcoholism or other forms of drug abuse. In sum, there is a wide range of ways your character might be suddenly altered mentally and emotionally, and what combo of effects your character might feel depends on both your character’s nature and the circumstances of the trauma-you’ll prolly need to do some homework-research, consideration, etc-in order to make a good choice of what might result as it is on a case by case basis. Additionally, while most times physical scars heal faster than emotional ones-those don’t always heal either and certainly most likely not immediately after you leave the doctor’s/hospital. Yes, injuries in most RP’s tend to heal much quicker than in RL-but they don’t go away immediately either. Chances are you’re not going to leave the doc’s or hospital fully healed, and there’ll be something left for a few days even though you’ll be mostly healed by then. Spice up the rp immediately after a bit-have your character go around in crutches, or a cast, maybe even a wheelchair, if not limping or otherwise weakened for a few days after your character gets out-it may just be interesting, and certainly a lot more realistic.
MEDICS: Once a patient is out of your hands, naturally it’s a lot harder then go guide them along. Thankfully, as it is already many sims require that patients play out the effects of their injury and many patients already do so. Once again, make sure they are aware and have access to this/the patient’s guide as it already provides tips on how to roleplay out the injury. Additionally, before you allow patient to return to the general public, once again inform them on what would be realistic, what options they may have going forth, what they should play out (that realistically they would most likely be guaranteed to have to deal with) and what they might (depression, etc) have that they are not guaranteed to have that they could play out. Let them know what would be realistically required, but once again don’t dictate their rp either, and do allow them to leave with options where possible. Finally, remind patients that additional research can be conducted on the internet where more info is available-and be available to answer questions/provide additional aid if needed or have someone on your sim (chief of medicine, mod/gm/admin, etc) designated as available to aid with this if needed. Similarly, realize that not only are there possible effects on the patient after an injury/illness, the work of a medic in general can have a profound effect on the medic as well-especially when the medic is still a rookie and especially after a particularly traumatizing case, and certainly after a medic loses a patient (and especially certainly if the patient died as a result of something the medic did/didn’t do). As a result of his/her work, a medic can very likely end up losing his/her innocence. Certainly after a while a medic will toughen up quite a bit most likely. In some cases they may become more appreciative and realize how fragile life can be-and become far more cautious about things. The effect on the medic may not always be so positive as well-grief, PTSD, anger may result along with a very negative view on life and constantly being very gloomy as a result of all the **bleep**ty things a medic might have to see happen. In sum, a medic can be affected by witnessing trauma very much like how a patient might be affected by experiencing trauma as described above-but while a patient only has to go thru trauma on occasion-trauma is more of a every day thing for the medic, which can cause the effects to slightly differ as well.
In the status quo (in other words, the time before/during when this guide was first written) it has been noticed that patients’ rp (as a whole) tends to be very repetitive and in some ways, uninteresting to the person who deals with patients on a daily basis and in a way, even unrealistic. It is the hope in writing this guide that after reading this, you will find this guide helpful in improving your medical RP quality, in making your medical RP far more interesting, fun, and realistic, regardless if you are the patient or the professional hinting out in your posts what your patient should be doing as per this/the corresponding patient’s rp guide. Once again, while the above sections may provide a lot of advice, tips, tricks, and ideas, this doesnt include everything possible either-that cant possibly be done-so please, be sure to think outside the box, and try to come up with your own ideas as well. Good luck, happy rp’ing, and once again, hope it helps!
NOTICE: Permission is granted for ONLY noncommerical use and distribution by roleplayers and by roleplay community leaders via any means, including inclusion in welcome packages and sim-related websites of this guide provided that credit is given to the author and the guide is provided as it appears including with this notice. Any questions or requests please contact the author.
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