Everyone was ignoring the patient.
We'd picked her up after an episode of a recurrent illness, she was going to be fine but I felt sorry for her. Hardly anyone was talking to her, they were all distracted by her partner. I worried about how safe her partner would be in the back of our ambulance, it turned out that it wouldn’t be a problem.
When we got to the hospital the staff there were more concerned with the patient’s partner although she was a big hit with the department and she did cause a few organisational problems. A few other patients looked a little worried by her presence.
It made me feel bad, I felt that the patient was being ignored a little with everyone paying full attention to her partner. So I made sure that I talked to her, I’m guessing that although she was used to such reactions she would still feel upstaged.
“I bet you get ignored a lot when you are with her”, I asked our patient.
“Yes, but you have to get used to it”, she replied.
But why was all this attention being lavished on our patient’s partner?
Because our patient was blind and her partner was a guide dog.
Sure, it’s an unusual thing to have to deal with a guide dog in an A&E department (although where I worked in A&E we had a ‘regular’), but it still surprised me that playing with the dog or talking about it seemed to be more important than putting the patient’s mind at ease. Maybe it’s because I’ve got a mate who is registered blind, but it just seems rude to put all your attention on their dog, no matter how cute they are.
Blogging is a bit slow at the moment partly because I have nearly run out of interesting ambulance stories to write about. I’m working on something (when I can motivate myself out of my current ‘funk’), that may mean more posting. I believe that the best way to get out of a bad spell is to throw yourself into work…