This is an excerpt from my ebook 25 Things They Should Have Taught You In Medic School… But Didn’t available now on Amazon
The Blueberry Muffin Protocol
The concept at its core is very simple: Everyone loves food.
Since even before biblical times, happiness and joyful occasions have been celebrated with copious amounts of food. Fast forward to today and most holidays are usually conjoined with a traditional meal or gathering that involves food. I myself am a living testament to the joys of food.
The consumption of food has been documented to have an effect on someone’s mood. Because different foods will affect your mood differently, it’s important to choose the right combination. Grains and fruits release Serotonin into the brain which leads to increased calmness and relaxation. Proteins such as meat and cheese would release Dopamine and Norepinephrine into the brain that would increase alertness and concentration, which is something you may not necessarily want with those who are absent sanity or perhaps demonically possessed.
Here’s the rundown of how I try and handle EDPs, whether it’s an inter-facility transfer or a 9-1-1 call from their private residence:
- Do a quick visual scan of the environment to identify anything I can use to relate to the patient (posters, photos, CDs, cereal boxes, etc.)
- Introduce myself and make a comment on any relatable items that demonstrates my knowledge of the item and to build a sense of commonality with them
- Have a conversation with the patient about the item, building a rapport while also providing a distraction from their acute situation
- Ask them why I’m there and allow them to explain their perspective of what’s going on
- Explain to them that, while I realize going to the hospital/receiving facility isn’t what they want, as unfortunate as it may be it’s still a necessity but we’ll do everything possible to make it as comfortable and easy for them as we can
- In case of an adverse reaction, initiate Blueberry Muffin interventions and offer the patient the Blueberry Muffin for the ride to the facility, unless contraindicated. Only administer the Blueberry Muffin when the patient is secured in the back of the ambulance
- Transport with a muffin and a smile
The real key in this is making a connection with your patient. That becomes so much easier when you share a commonality. Whether it be sports, television shows, music, or even breakfast cereal, this shared experience with them will help you make a connection and build a rapport. It is important that we do this with all patients, but it becomes imperative when dealing with the mentally ill.
You may wonder what type of contraindications there could possibly be for a blueberry muffin. It should be somewhat obvious, but a food allergy to blueberries is a definite contraindication. I also use any nut food allergies and a history of either anorexia or bulimia (eating disorders) to disqualify the deployment of the muffin.
It’s important to understand that just throwing a muffin at them will not solve the situation. The true art is in finding that commonality with the patient. If they can identify you as someone they have something in common with and see you as someone who can relate to them, they are more likely to trust you and any type of muffin you provide them. Not building this type of relationship with your patient first will just result in wasted muffins and a potentially dangerous situation for you both in the back of the ambulance.
Save a Taser, feed’em a muffin.
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