Be mindful of your grammar when writing reports


Bryan E. Bledsoe, DO, FACEP, FAAEM

I’m not an English prude. In college, I actually took more Spanish literature classes than English. Also, I’m from the South, and we’re allowed to butcher the Queen’s English. In fact, the famed poet Robert Frost once wrote, “You can be a little ungrammatical if you come from the right part of the country.” I take great solace in his quote.

That said, there’s been a steady degradation in communications skills in the U.S. Text messaging (LOL) and similar pursuits have reduced English to incomprehensible gibberish. Such language, however, has no role in the house of medicine.

In the modern health-care environment, a patient will see multiple health-care providers—often in different settings. These health-care providers must clearly and accurately communicate with other health-care providers. This is the fundamental basis of medical records. But EMS seems to be drifting away from the accepted decorum and formality of patient documentation. Please bear with me while I complain.

Every word deserves at least one vowel. I know it’s a lot to ask, but please add a vowel to each word. Once, back in Texas, I kept getting EMS run reports from a particular EMS provider who would often have two or three words in a row without a vowel. On day, in a fit of frustration, I scribbled on a post-it note, “Does EMT XYZ have dyslexia?” Interestingly, they took my note seriously. The EMT was evaluated and indeed had dyslexia. They thought I was a hero. I was just frustrated.

Further, there are things we learned in grammar school that still apply in the 21st century. Here are some examples:

Read the full article here.

One thought on “Be mindful of your grammar when writing reports”

  1. Thank you SOOOO much for writing this article! As an English major in the Fire Service, I try not to be too critical of my “family” or the general public. However, also being from the South, people write the way they speak, which is not always proper English. (LOL)

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