Friday, October 2, 2009

Slowest shifts: observers curse

There is a thing amongst ambos, it's called karma (yes, that's right - the one that ran over your dogma).
You want big things to happen, and all you get in transfers.

I have been waiting in despair for weeks for a decent job. Something I haven't done before, that may test my skills. Not much of that been happening, unfortunately.

Yesterday was a slow day. Didn't hit the lights or sirens once. Outstanding job was a gentleman who had a swollen finger. For one month. Poor fellow didn't call us, his nursing home staff did...oh well, part of the job. Five jobs in all.

Today was the slowest day so far at my current depot. I wanted something interesting to happen, desperately. We had a first year student on board with us (full time uni student), and I was keen to show him some action. After sitting at the depot for three hours, we finally got...a transfer. We did get a mildly interesting spider bite job after that, but continued on with sitting at the depot.

So student and myself go outside, have some more chats, play with the equipment. I had given up all hope for a good day. And the beep goes off. Ooh, priority 1, at least we get to show off our lights and sirens. Ooh, a car rollover, even more exciting! Patient trapped...I silently grin to myself, but then a slight bout of panic grips the back part of my mind. What do I do? OK, remember their breathing. Airway first. A to E. Scene safety. Safety goggle. Are the police already on scene? Is the fire brigade already their? What are the injuries? Blood? Other people involved? What about thisthattheother? For the first time in weeks my heart starts racing.

Upon arrival, there is a car on it's side, surrounded by water fairies (fireies) and cops blocking the road. Some firies have already crawled in to the car. Our patient is technically trapped...because she can't open her drivers side door. Of course not, the car is lying on it. So I smile to her through the front windscreen, say hello and rudely get taken out by the windscreen wipers who have no sense of authority at all.

To cut a long story short: it looked worse than it was, but we took all spinal precautions to be sure, to be sure.

Having an extra set of hands on board was excellent too, I could sit in the corner of the ambulance and establish command, barking out orders of "another blood pressure please", "could you stick the ECG on please" and "let's get a blood sugar!". Excellent. That gave me time to kick back, remember that trauma patients should be kept warm and stick a blanket on her.

End of the story: I like keen students. They are an excellent pair of hands, and every job is something new for them, What may seem boring and routine for a seasoned paramedic is all exciting and different for a student. Like me. After 6 months things are still exciting. And being able to share that feeling with others is awesome.

Bring on the students!