Fast Action Saves Lives: Role Plays
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Role Play 1: At Home
Lola Idad’s home. Lola lives with her daughter, Mila. Lola and her longtime friend, Ligaya, are chatting over their midday snack (merienda) at the kitchen table.
- Ligaya: Idad, I am not feeling my best today. My arm hurts a little and it feels uncomfortable here. I feel a little light-headed.
- Lola: You do not look well. I went to that meeting at the community center. Dr. Cabaya talked about what to do if you or someone else has signs of a heart attack. He stressed that the first thing we should do is call 911.
- Ligaya: Oh, I am sure it’s not anything serious. Maybe it’s my ulcer acting up again. I have been worried about my sister lately. Never mind, I’m sure I am fine. Are we going to play mahjong tonight?
- Lola: No! You have some of the signs of a heart attack. Dr. Cabaya said that even if you are not sure it’s a heart attack, have it checked out immediately. Mila! Call 911 immediately while I stay with Ligaya. She needs an ambulance!
- Mila, Lola’s daughter, enters the room panicked and calls 911.
- Lola: Kumare (friend), if it is a heart attack, fast medical treatment can prevent damage to the heart. Getting to the hospital quickly means that you can be treated right away. Calling 911 may save your life!
Role Play 2: At Work
Lola’s son-in-law, Cesar, is at work one afternoon and sees that his coworker Rolando does not look well.
- Cesar: Rolando, are you okay?
- Rolando: I haven’t been feeling well all morning. My stomach feels queasy and I feel light-headed. I don’t think it’s anything serious. Maybe it is just my morning breakfast–a little indigestion.
- Cesar: Are you sure? You don’t look good.
- Rolando: It’s okay. But my chest does feel heavy, and I have shortness of breath.
- Cesar: You know, Rolando, those are signs of a heart attack. It is best to go to the hospital and get it checked out. I am going to call 911
- Rolando: Cesar, how could I be having a heart attack? I am not even 50 yet! I’m still slim and I do physical activity regularly. I walk a lot. You are overreacting. If I still feel like this tomorrow, I will call my doctor for an appointment.
- Cesar: Rolando, even if you are not 100 percent sure it’s a heart attack, you should check it out immediately. If it is a heart attack, fast medical treatment can prevent damage to your heart. Getting to the hospital quickly could save your life! I am calling 911 now.
Role Play 3: At Night
Lola’s daughter, Mila, is home reading a magazine when she suddenly starts to feel very sick. No one else is home, so she telephones her brother, Jose, who is a nurse. He is not home.
- Mila: Hi, Rose, is Jose there?
- Rose: No, he is out bowling tonight. What’s wrong, Ate (elder sister)? You sound upset.
- Mila: Cesar took Mama (Lola) to the market, and I’m worried because I do not feel well. My neck hurts, and I have been in a cold sweat. And it is hard for me to breathe. I think I should drive myself to the hospital. Can you watch the kids while I go to the hospital?
- Rose: Ate Mila, it sounds like you are having a heart attack. Do not drive yourself to the hospital. Call 911 right now! The medical team will treat you and get you to the hospital quickly.
- Mila: No, I do not want to wake up the neighborhood and cause a big scene with the siren and lights. Also, I do not want to scare the kids. It is easier to drive myself to the hospital.
- Rose: Ate, no! Call 911 right now! Once the ambulance comes, the medical team can start medical care immediately. And people who arrive by ambulance tend to get faster treatment when they get to the hospital.
You may not think you are having a heart attack because you’ve never had one before, but your symptoms sound like those of a heart attack. Call 911 right now. I am coming over.
- Mila: Okay, Rose. I will call. Thank you.
Back to Session 2
Information on this page is taken from the English print version of “Healthy Heart, Healthy Family: A Community Health Worker's Manual.” U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, National Institutes of Health, National Heart Lung and Blood Institute, NIH Publication No. 08-3674, Originally Printed 1999, Revised May 2008.
Last Updated March 2012