The Ultimate Prehospital Mnemonic

When we are with a patient, there are many things to try to remember. When we began training, we learn many mnemonics to help us with processing everything that needs to be done. We have some for history, some for assessment, some for vitals and some for documentation.

I recently had seen a memory device that seemed to be more encompassing, but still ended early. I began working on creating the ultimate prehospital mnemonic. It may be a bit large, but is pretty comprehensive. It’s called 1-ABC’s.

1.       Safety First
A.      Airway
B.      Breathing
C.      Circulation
D.      DCAP-BTLS (Head-to-Toe)
E.      EKG
F.      Fahrenheit
G.     Get Vitals
H.     History (SAMPLE)
I.       Intervene
J.       Joints (Movement)
K.      Kilos (Patient’s Weight)
L.      LOC
M.     Medications
N.     Neuro
O.     Onset
P.      Provocation/Palliation
Q.      Quality
R.      Radiation
S.       Severity
T.       Time
U.      Underway (Transport)
V.      Vitals again
W.     What did we use? (Restock)
X.      Cross your T’s (Document)
Y.       You can do better (Review & Revise)
Z.       Rest before repeating.

As most methods of memory, there are times we do things out of order. We will likely find our own way of organizing important items, and they will likely vary with each patient. We all come upon our own way of remembering things. But if someone is looking for the Ultimate Mnemonic, here’s my submission.

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