Posts Tagged ‘first day’

My very first job as a paramedic was an eye opener, and an experience that will probably stay with me the rest of my career, just as my first cardiac arrest will. Though this will stay with me, not because I saved a life, not because it was a massive RTC, not because it was any gory trauma, but because I saw and experienced first hand the abuse that the ambulance service suffer every day.

It was my first placement shift, and I had just got on station and met my mentor. Learnt where the toilets are, where the brew facilities are (important stuff, y’know?!), and learnt all about the equipment we carry and what my mentor wanted me to do to help him when we were with patients. After about half an hour, we got a job…a mile or so away from the station. Jumped in the car, blues on, sat nav (B***H in a box!) telling us where to go. Hoofed it up the road, around a few roundabouts and down the street she told us to take. Flicked the halogen alley lights on, found the house number, and parked up. Got out, grabbed some gloves and the bags – feeling like a packhorse as I get loaded up! Walked up to the door…

On the door is a lovely hand written sign – “I’ve got CCTV, I can see you”. A shared “what the…?” with my mentor, and rang the bell. Walked in to find a rather rotund gentleman sitting quite happily in the first of many ridiculously shabby and messy houses I’ve seen. The smell of cigarette smoke clings to everything, and the reek of vomit and booze is in the air.  My mentor asks what’s wrong. “I’ve burnt meself” is the reply. He lifts his t-shirt to show a first degree burn, if that, smaller than the size of a CD, on his stomach. I go out to the car to get the dressings bag, and I tear open a burn dressing, my eyes watering at the smell of the house, and put it onto his burn. As we’re about to finish our paperwork and leave, Mr Housekeeper pipes up “I’ve got chest pain”, “My stomach hurts”, “I can’t walk”, “me doctors useless”.  For those not in the ambulance service, as soon as someone says they have chest pain, we have to take it seriously, and most of the time, take the patient to hospital.

But no, he doesn’t want to…in fact, he’s adamant he’s not going anywhere with us “PRICKS!”. He insists he can’t walk, he needs his wheelchair to go to hospital. But he won’t let us do any form of examination – no ECG, no history, nothing. He stands. He looks at us. Suddenly he reaches down, picks up our Lifepak (defib and ECG) and suddenly hurls it at our heads.

–To be continued–