Emergency Service

I'm on station at the moment, as it seems that the people of Newham are taking a break from being seriously ill. Of the three jobs we have done so far, none have really warranted an ambulance. The first job of the shift was a 50 year old male with a painful elbow – we took him into hospital, and he was a nice enough bloke, so we were quite happy at this.
Our next job was to a 70 year old who had tripped over in the street, the police were on scene (for a pub fight – stopping one that is, not arranging it) and so called us. There were no serious injuries, and the woman wanted to go home, so we dropped her off into the care of her son.

The award for the most 'misunderstood' use of an ambulance went to our last call, a 32 year old female who had painful eyes. Essentially she had swollen eyes due to an infection, and had called us to take her to hospital. She had been to the hospital three times in the past two days, and wanted to go to a different hospital. Unfortunately for her, she lives 300yards from the local hospital.

She then let slip the real reason why she dialled 999 for an emergency ambulance, “I want to go to Whipps Cross hospital, but I don't have any money”. As she said this I took a long hard look at the cigarette she was smoking, and the way she held that cigarette between her painted nails. I felt like giving her the “An ambulance costs over £800 per call out” talk, but to be honest I couldn't really be bothered. So we walked her the 50 yards to her GP surgery and left her waiting to see her family doctor.

While some people might be annoyed by this sort of job, I'm not too upset – if the patient walks on and then off the ambulance, and doesn't try to hit me, or spit on me, then I'm happy with the patient.

I'm yet to start working with my new crewmate, as she is on a training course that will last about 8 weeks. And I might not be working with her then, if things go according to plan…

For those that are interested, I'll be at the 'Bell, Book and Candle' for the first London Blogger Meetup of the year on Wednesday. Feel free to turn up.

15 thoughts on “Emergency Service”

  1. I took that call about the woman with the painful eyes! She was a right nuisance and wouldn't let me get off the phone until she had given me a half hour speech about how painful her eyes were and “I CANNOT SEEEEE!” and seemed totally dissatisfied with my usual “help will be with you as soon as possible” placitudes. I think she expected me to dash round with a can of Optrex as soon as I got off the phone. I was hoping she would get a call back from TAS!

  2. Assuming (as I think is probably safe) that one day this will all be made into a film (or TV series), which actor would you pick to play you and what would feature in your ideal soundtrack?

  3. Take her to moorfields, a trip up town for you and the absolute guarentee that nothing has been missed by her GP/local hospital. I'd recommend the restaurant as well.

  4. Well, what are the chances of that! She was as bad in the flesh as she was on the phone…And as for TAS, do they actually do anything? It seems to road crews that they do very little – I was thinking about a secondment on it, but then I suspect this blog would become very…very…dull.

  5. I go though all the trouble to write up something to get your attention, and you expect me to give it all away so soon?You'll find out soon enough…

  6. Thanks for the pointer to the London Blogger Meet up. Just signed up and like Ian, never met another blogger in personRachel

  7. Greetings from downunder! This site makes great reading for a prospective paramedic/health professional (i'm currently juggling a choice between the ambos and nursing). Keep up the good work!

  8. They generally have loud and amusing conversations with people who are too fevered to understand what they are going on about to the amusement of nearby call takers. I think they do manage to fob off a good percentage of our Green 2s, so you should be grateful for that.As far as I can tell, no-one actually chooses to do TAS, though, they generally end up there because they are too injured/pregnant/on the verge of mental collapse to work in an ambulance any more. I imagine it would get very frustrating dealing with *just* people who thinking they are going to die from stomach ache, so I don't envy them.

  9. Hi, I came here via Teqkiller's LJ. In Melbourne, where I'm originally from, they make anybody who's not on benefits pay for the Ambulance, and offer a yearly subscription of about AU$40 to cover all emergency trips, which is rebated by health insurance. I think they should introduce that here.Liz


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