Stepping away from working on the car yesterday, I was able to do a shift back on a truck with a woman I’ve known for a while now, Jules*.
Working on the car is very different from working on a truck – and vis versa. Both Jules and I had to readjust accordingly. Jules was driving and her “readjustment” showed throughout the day . . . but pretty soon she’d got back into the mad road-rage persona that every medic achieves whilst behind the wheel. This meant I was attending, or “on the board” and had to talk to all the patients. My god it was exhausting. On the car, you often get there first, do whatever has to be done (usually not much), hand over to the ambulance crew and then bugger off. Bish bash bosh – done. So my readjustments were equally as tiring.
It didn’t help matters either with having to deal with patients throughout the day who had quite considerable social issues attached to their ailments. But I suppose it keeps us on our toes eh.
One of our final jobs was to an RTC, car vs car. And, after packaging our patient on our truck we took him off to hospital. I was going to cannulate him and give him morphine, as he was suffering severe pain in his lower back. But after giving him Entenox (laughing gas) I didn’t need to . . . he was flying.
“Woo yeh man! Dis shit is great innit! Tell me where ah can get dis shit – it’s better dan weed innit!”
Bless. Oh how I enjoyed the journey to hospital.
After a brief handover in majors at A&E they sent us round to resuss to get the patient’s C-spine cleared. We expected this so we weren’t put out. And, eventually we had our patient beside the resuss bed ready to move across . . . but first, my grand handover to the Doctor and his team . . .
“Ok, this is Adjay*, he’s been involved in an RTC. Traveling at approximately 40mph he’s managed to hit a car that was turning into his path. Airbags have been deployed and afterwards Adjay has got out and walked about. There has been no loss of consciousness, no neck pain or C-spine tenderness. Chest sounds are clear with no obvious deformity and there is no DIB. No abdo pain or guarding. Pelvis appears intact as do all long bones. Adjay’s only complaint appears to be based at around S1 and L5 on his lower back. The pain is radiating extensively but he appears to have no neurological problems associated to his injury and has remained GCS 15 and haemodynamically stable throughout. Interventions – as you can see, we have collared and boarded Adjay and given him entenox . . . which, he has taken to rather nicely might I say.”
“Yeh man! It’s good shit innit!” Adjay finished the hand over with poignance.
For once in my career, I believed I’d done a pretty good hand over. Quick, informative and to the point. Everyone listened. I felt good. I felt in control. I felt powerful. I looked proudly at Jules who was stationed at the other end of the patient, poised ready to move him across to the resuss bed on my command.
“On 3 yeh?” I said, “1 . . . 2 and 3”
I’d forgotten to undo the strap that was securing our patient to our trolley bed. Oops.
This meant that when we went to move him across, he stayed where he was . . . and to mark this painful occasion, he screamed – loudly.
Stationed at Adjay’s feet I was out of his line of sight. And this was just as well as by then I’d doubled up and was practically crying with laughter. I didn’t mean to laugh. And I certainly didn’t mean to laugh horribly. At all. It was that type of laughter people get when they say or do something utterly embarrassing – like asking someone how their mother is at a wedding, only to hear that they died the week before. It was that sort of laughter. Thankfully, Jules was laughing too. In fact, so was the doctor, and the nurses who’d come over to help. I think the only person who wasn’t laughing was Adjay.
Of course we apologised and eventually got him onto the bed where the hospital staff took over. I, of course, slunked away with my tail between my legs . . . and continued to laugh. Just elsewhere.
And to round things off smoothly, I heard later that our patient was fine. Which was nice.
*not their real names of course