SWMC Staff – Exceeding Patient Expectations

As an Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) working at the emergency room at Sonoma West Medical Center, Patrick Lee (above right) treats everything from scrapes and bruises to cardiac arrests, strokes and drownings. Patrick says that drowning emergencies happen most frequently during the summer when victims are brought in from along the coast, Bodega Bay, or the Russian River.

Patrick, was honored at the Annual Survivor’s Reunion this past May for exceptional work as an EMT. This event is held each year to recognize individuals and emergency personnel for their role in noteworthy life-saving events. During this event Patrick was reunited with a toddler the EMTs attended following a near-drowning incident in the family pool. The 19-month old boy was playing hide-and-seek and fell face first into the water. After being retrieved from the pool, he was unresponsive for at least a full 10 minutes. By the time Patrick arrived on the scene, the boy’s parents and the fire department had performed CPR, and he was struggling to breathe. At this point Patrick took over and worked to respirate and suction the child to help remove the water from his lungs. The EMT team then established an IV line and continued to monitor the patient, until finally he started coming around, and screaming. This response provided the parents with much relief, given the patient was clinically dead when the 911 call initially went out. “We knew at that point he was going to be OK,” says Patrick.

Photo: Patrick Lee received the award supported by ambulance partner and best friend Kelly Speer.

Patrick is full-time employee at SWMC. He also works part-time as an ambulance EMT in Mendocino County and is studying to be a paramedic, commuting two hours to Sacramento College of Continuing Education. Patrick attended EMT school at Santa Rosa Junior College. “Working here was a good change of pace for me. There have been some bumps in the road, but I have learned a lot working hand in hand with the doctors and nurses. We’ve developed a good rapport, the nurses trust what I am doing and we all work as a team. It’s like a family. I enjoy helping people who come through the door.”

Exceeding Expectations