If Patrick Swayze from Roadhouse was Teaching “Restraints” in EMT School

With the way so many write about how they would handle a use-of-force situation on social media sites, Staff_will_respond2I couldn’t help but think of the movie Roadhouse and the bouncers in it. They (bouncers) did what they did, both verbally and physically, prior to being trained “properly” for what their job required. It is similar to the unofficial training that goes on at the station or in the break-room when people discuss how they would medicate and intubate a person to “fix stupid”.

In EMS , if we were supposed to get into fights on the job, as part of the job, I would imagine the “restraints” portion of EMT or Paramedic class going something like this (if Patrick Swayze from the movie Roadhouse were the instructor):

Instructor: When it comes to taking combative patients to the Emergency Department- All you have to do is follow three simple rules:

One: Never underestimate your patient. Expect the unexpected.

Two: Take them outside. Never start anything inside the ambulance unless it’s absolutely necessary.

And Three: Be nice.

Student: (sarcastically) Come on.

Instructor:  If somebody gets in your face and calls you an ambulance driver, I want you to be nice.         OK.  Ask the patient to walk to the ambulance, be nice. If he can’t walk, stair-chair him. But be nice.

If you can’t stair-chair him, several of the others will help you place him on the stretcher, and you’ll all be nice. I want you to remember that EMS, it’s a job – It’s nothing personal.

Student: (sarcastically) Uh-huh. Being called an ambulance driver isn’t personal?

Instructor: No. It’s two nouns combined to elicit a prescribed response.

Student: (sarcastically) What if somebody calls my partner a nurse?

Instructor: Is he?

Class laughs

Instructor: I want you to be nice…until it’s time to not be nice.


The reality is violence and the use-of-force in medicine is real.  The EMT’s, Medics, Firefighters and nurses that face these use-of-force encounters do so in real life. Not like in the movies at all.  If staff are not properly trained how to handle use-of-force encounters, they will respond anyway. Their response is based on their training or lack of it. With the lack of training many have become Jaded in their view of how to handle any use-of-force situation. Just look at what some staff members have done.

For those who never saw the movie… here is a clip. Beware **FOUL LANGUAGE*