If there is one thing that is certain in life, it’s that John Wayne was one rough, tough, dude that didn’t take no crap off nobody. If you are anything like me, then you have probably thoroughly enjoyed his old western flicks and war-time movies. There is no doubt that he was very successful as an actor. But what would have happened if he had chosen a different career path? Personally, I think that a career in EMS would have been right up his alley. So now we must ask ourselves the question:
What kind of paramedic would John Wayne be?
While Mr. Wayne would be available day and night, it wouldn’t be very wise to require his services during the night when he is sleeping. He also wouldn’t cover a specific area as he is constantly on the move during the day.
John Wayne wouldn’t need to respond to calls for medical aid as disease processes know better than to mess with “The Duke”. Chances are, any patients of his would be people that he shot or beat up. This of course wouldn’t leave much for Mr. Wayne to do as most of the people that found themselves in that position would either be dead or incapacitated.
The Duke laughs at the possibility of an “unsafe scene”. As a matter of fact, any person wishing to cause harm to John Wayne would have to stage and wait for clearance for their own safety.
Being that The Duke is more “old school” his protocols would be rather simple and could be summarized into the following categories:
Pain Management – Consists of breaking a finger or limb to take the pain away from the original injury.
Trauma Care – The walking wounded would be told to “walk it off”, the severely injured would be shot.
Medical Emergencies – Refer back to “trauma care” and “pain management”.
Trauma shears, cardiac monitors, stethoscopes and IV catheters are great for urban EMS providers, but are over-kill for The Duke’s service. He would need a rather simple and light set of tools that he could easily carry on a horse. Given the simple nature of his protocols, all he would really need is the following:
Whiskey – The only thing carried in his “medicine bag”. Used for infection control and to either get his patients or himself drunk.
Rope – Used to tie his patients behind his horse to bring into town for definitive care.
Gun – Utilized for putting severely ill and injured patients “out of their misery”.
In paramedic school we often teach the “KISS” (keep it simple, stupid) method of patient care. John Wayne would be a great example of how that can be effective. He would operate a cost-effective service as he wouldn’t need to transport very many people (see trauma and medical protocols) and he wouldn’t require first responders or law enforcement to assist him. His resourcefulness, ability to adapt, simplicity of care and ability to kick some serious ass would make him a perfect candidate for a job in EMS.
Do you have an idea for next week’s “Celebrity Medic”? Feel free to comment below or e-mail me at email@example.com.