Tuesday, 21 April 2009

My First Ambulance Placement

Indeed, on Monday I spent a day with the Ambulance services, touring around this fair (unnamed) county. It was enjoyable. I put some effort in, where I was allowed, and (unlike in ICU) it was appreciated!

The crew were tip-top. They were both technicians, which (to paraphrase them) meant if we were sent to any RTAs or the like we were pretty much fucked. Technicians are somewhere below Paramedics. They can't give out strong medication, etc. But one of the technicians I was working with had passed all the exams and was just waiting for a 'medic spot to open up. It's all about the money, as usual.

Anyway. Despite this excellent book and the attached blog and the warnings thereof, we received no pointless calls! All day! I was almost shocked.

We went to a couple of falls of old people who were frail enough to require a trip to hospital. We attended one patient whose shoulder had popped out of joint, for the 35th time, and was in intense amounts of pain.

Could someone from A&E tell me why such a patient wasn't given morphine when the patient was brought in? Weird, I thought.

We attended an old dear with dementia who had been found half collapsed in the street. The police gave them some water as we turned up. The patient's offspring also arrived, someone with the patience of a saint. This elderly patient gave us various stories and wives' tales during our little check up. This patient also refused to go to hospital, despite appearing in massive amounts of pain, at points. There was a large amount of paperwork to fill in for someone who a) declined a trip to hospital and b) didn't appear to have capacity to make such a decision. The offspring signed it off, we put them both in their car, and waved them off.

That is a whole different kettle of fish. Although the old dear received some help at home, it didn't seem like enough from what we could gleam. And it's funny, but not shocking, to think of paramedics dealing with the fallout from shit government policy.

It was a good day. I gained awareness and a bit more of the love I've lost on ICU. For helping people, etc.

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