Off Late

One of the advantages of working in an Urgent care centre, rather than on the road (only one, there are many other advantages), is that you should be able to get off on time. Unlike the ambulance service, you choose when to see patients (although you do try to see them as quickly as possible), so if you have only three minutes to go until the end of your shift you just don't call in a patient – instead you tidy the room, fill out a bit of paperwork, or make sure that your hands are spotlessly clean for going home.

Of course, while this is true, sometimes the real world has something to say on this and things go a bit wrong.

For example – if I have twenty minutes to go, I can call in that abdominal pain patient knowing that I should be able to finish assessing, treating and writing up the notes. Where it goes wrong is when the patient gets fifteen minutes into the consultation before springing a horrible surprise on me – such as the real reason why they are in my room is because they took an overdose of tablet 'x', they just haven't told anyone else. Anyone like the triage nurse who would have then sent them to the much more appropriate ED…

In that case you have to do a lot more assessing, a lot more writing up and then refer to the medical doctors – the medics, in my experience, are much quicker at answering their bleep than the orthopaedic doctors – of course the ortho's may well have someone's legs up behind their ears while they replace a hip, so they may be a bit busy.

Either way, you then have to fanny around printing out notes and front sheets and so on and so forth because, while the UCC is paper-free, the rest of the hospital isn't.

And that is why I'm typing this after leaving work over half an hour late.

So, y'know, ignore the spelling and grammar eh? This is a first draft typed before I collapse into bed.

I think I need to practice my time management skills.

(My patient didn't overdose, but they had something even more tricky wrong with them and they still needed referring to the medics. I've changed the actual circumstance to respect confidentiality).

8 thoughts on “Off Late”

  1. I have just finished reading your book šŸ™‚ and I think it's fab! I think the ambulance service do a great job! I have had first hand experience with them! My dad became seriously ill last feb and stopped breathing the paremedic came within 6 mins and brought him back, although wehad to wait over an hour for an ambulance, the paremedic told us to prepare ourselves for the worst. He done his god dam best for my dad, when the ambulance came they just uped and went with him, when we got there he went straight to resus they done scans and found out he had a double aortic anerusym which ruptured, they told us they didn't no how he survived for so long, The nurses told us to go and say our goodbyes as there was a high chance he wouldn't make it through surgery but he did, then he went in to ITU on life support, he sadley had a massive stroke and a heart attack aswell as other comlipcations, we then found out he had diabetes, he spent 8 months in hospital but still badly disabled, but thanks to that one paremedic my dad got to see his eldest daughter get married and was also able to meet his grandson. We still don't know wether we did the right thing keeping him here, or wether we should of let him go! but the paremedic gave my dad the best chances in life! I never got to thank this man, but i will never forget what he did for me, my family and especially my dad! you all do an amazing job!

  2. It's only a thought, but are you intending to amend the bit at the top right of the blog, which still has you as slogging your guts out as an EMT for Her Majesty's London Ambulance Service. I know it doesn't really matter but I just wondered if you'd be revelling in your new found freedom to deal with “real” patients!!

  3. Well… I *am* still on the bank…But the plan that I have percolating around in my brain is to 'freeze' this site and keep writing on a different site – that was this blog can remain 'pure' ambulance (whatever 'pure' means) and can exist as an archive.

    I'm still wandering this way and that as to whether I should do this or not.

  4. Oh dear .. as a medical person you do know about the THREE stages of The Himalayan Coughing Yak Death-plague. Of Doom don't you?The third and very final stage comes after the second “oh I'm feeling a little better now” phase… not wanting to alarm you or anythin, but err hey, was nice knowing you ….. p.s. I have heard that lem sip tablets are a magical cure .. you never know might be worth a try.

  5. i am in the middle of reading your book and i think it is very insightful. i am full of even more admiration for you guys now than i was before.I found myself in a bit of a dilemma today though…

    i have been unwell for a few days and had a docs app booked for Friday as i couldn't get one any earlier. i got to work early this morning (Heathrow) and started getting problems breathing and my chest felt restricted. i knew (well was sure i did anyway) it was only a chest infection but they wouldn't let me work till i had been seen by medic 5 (LAS).

    I found myself apologising massively for wasting their time and being a pain in the backside.

    So, at 5am I was the taken to A&E where i felt even more of a pain and kept apologising there too.

    your book has made me very aware of how much time you spend with 'time waster' and i hope i was not looked upon as one of them today. it was not through choice but none the less i felt very guilty.

  6. You books amazing i love how honest and open you are šŸ˜€ i want to be a paramedic i just need to get the grades! šŸ˜€

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