Screenplay

WE ENTER A CLEAN AND TIDY HOUSE, MOTHER AND FATHER ARE LOOKING CONCERNED, TWO SMALL CHILDREN ARE PLAYING ON THE CARPET. LYING ON THE SOFA IS A CRYING 13 YEAR OLD GIRL. SHE IS CLUTCHING HER CHEST IN APPARENT PAIN.

ENTER STAGE LEFT AN ATTRACTIVE RRU DRIVER CARRYING LARGE AMOUNTS OF HEAVY MEDICAL EQUIPMENT.

RRU: Good morning! What seems to be the problem here?

THE FAMILY REMAIN SILENT.

RRU: Does anyone speak English?

MOTHER (In perfect English): Yes.

RRU: Well if you tell me what's going on I might be able to help.

MOTHER: She has had chest pain for the last 15 minutes.

RRU DRIVER DOES VERY CLEVER MEDICAL THINGS TO THE GIRL, HE SEEMS HAPPY THAT SHE IS NOT ABOUT TO SUDDENLY DIE. RRU DRIVER IS STARTING TO THINK THAT THE PAIN MAY BE DUE TO A MINOR CHEST INFECTION.

RRU: Has she had a cough recently?

MOTHER: No.

FATHER: No.

PATIENT: No.

RRU: Are you sure?

MOTHER: Yes – no cough at all.

FATHER: Yes – no cough at all.

PATIENT: Yes – no cough at all.

RRU DOESN'T LOOK TOO SURE – THERE IS A DRAMATIC PAUSE.

PATIENT: *COUGH*

PATIENT: *COUGH* *COUGH* *COUGH*

RRU DRIVER LOOKS ENTIRELY UNSURPRISED BY THE SUDDEN COUGHING FIT THAT HAS OVERTAKEN THE PATIENT. HE ROLLS HIS EYES.

RRU: *Groan*

(Today's post has been brought to you by 4 hours sleep and the healing power of Red Bull and plenty of cups of tea)

14 thoughts on “Screenplay”

  1. was it wrong of me to add Baywatch-esque Ambient/Dramatic Music to that little scene in my head? Particularly for the entrance?

  2. If you can get Angelina Jolie to play the attractive RRU driver then I'd pay to watch it..Do people call you (or any ambulance service) with these calls through genuine parent/child concern, naivety or a mix of both?

  3. Yes.As in sometimes it's because they are genuinely concerned, sometimes they are naive but most often it is both.

    I don't mind so much when it comes to parents and children, as I can understand how it can be scary to have a sick kiddy.

    Besides – it's an easy job…

  4. Once I was babysitting and when I picked up the kid he was very, very quiet (=unusual) in the car. By the time we got home (besides it was really, really hot that day) he didn't really answer anymore and I was more than concerned (when you are the babysitter it is not any easier). I asked him if he was feeling sick and/or dizzy and he said yes. He had a bad headache as well (he is 6 by the way) and although he was quite hot he was not sweating at all.I just called his mom as I didn't know what to do..

    But other than those parents mentioned above she wasn't concerned at all. I told her that he is fainting and I couldn't even hold the phone.. I mean.. he is 6.

    The mother just said she will come home (which meant more than 1 hour waiting as she works at the other end of London) and I shouldn't worry “he'll be fine”

    So I just took him into the house, put off his cloths and tried to keep him cool while giving him water and juice. He had a temperature of 39 and you couldn't really talk to him it even got worse.

    At the end of the day he had to go to hospital the following night because the mother phoned NHS direct and they might have told her so.

    He had a really bad heat stroke and I myself would have called him an ambulance in the first place but well, I wasn't allowed to!

  5. When you are looking after somebody else's child “in loco parentis”, you have a duty of care. You cannot say “I was not allowed to” and should something have happened it would not have been much of a defense. You have to base your decision on “what a reasonable parent” whould do. If that means taking them to a medical professional then you have a duty to do it. πŸ™‚

  6. I know and that's what I thought afterwards.She never said anything but I'm quite sure she knows that it would have been the right thing to do that very moment.

    I even told her that I think it's better to have a doctor checked on him but all she said is “he'll be alright, don't call anyone”.

    I just thought “she is not here, she can't see him and he is not alright at all”. But it is her child and so I followed her advice although I knew it was wrong and I am so glad that he is fine now.

    Just goes to show there are parents out there who could be more concerned/caring (yet less naive)

  7. out of curiosity Anon, did you ask the mother what she would have done if she were to come home and find her child dead?? She needs to realise the potential consequences of her actions. At the end of the day, a baby sitter is deemed to be a responsible person to take care of a child, and that is what you were doing.I really cannot understand the slack attitude of some parents towards their children

    (*merys' soapbox is collapsing through over use at the moment*)

    M

  8. Please don't take this the wrong way – I know you said that you didn't know what to do, but why would you have called an ambulance for him rather than simply driving him to the nearest A&E?Not criticising – simply curious.

  9. I wouldn't have called an ambulance, I would have cooled down and hydrated the child. If I had failed in doing so and for some unknown reason the temperature had carried on rising and the parent had refused to give me permission to use an antipyretic I would have driven the child myself to A+E especially if there was a history of febrile convulsion.My point was more that sometimes you have to rely on your own jugement when the parent of a child is lacking in a way or another rather and you can't hide behind “they wouldn't let me” than “oh you should have called and ambulance”.

    Thus ends today's lecture πŸ™‚

  10. @LAS Technician: Well, first of all I was quite jazzed and you shouldn't actually drive a car in a state where you can't even hold a handset should you? (After crashing into the next tree you'll REALLY need an ambulance:-)Second I didn't even know where the next A&E/hospital was as it is NOT my country, NOT my city and NOT even my language

    Third I really wanted to be absolved from responsibility asap but I know what you were driving at and I know you dislike those “I've got 4 cars and live half a mile from the hospital but I call for an ambulance”-people, I do:-))))

  11. I wouldn't have called an ambulance, I would have cooled down and hydrated the child. If I had failed in doing so and for some unknown reason the temperature had carried on rising and the parent had refused to give me permission to use an antipyretic I would have driven the child myself to A+E especially if there was a history of febrile convulsion. Fair enough..

    Although it is always different when you actually are in that kind of situation yourself.. you are just 20, abroad, new to a job, new to the family/the child/the country/ the language/EVERYTHING and dealing with kids is never easy with so much at stake, I was just awfully worried and simply helpless – but afterwards and in theorie everything seems to be so easy and so obvious – silly me:-)

  12. Sorry you took it personally anon – hard to convey tone on comments. Not juging. Happy to elaborate further/carry on discussion via email if you want – don't want to clutter Tom's comment box. πŸ™‚

  13. I have had the opposite experience to this. I have a disabled son with a history of heart & chest problems. When ill he has a tendency to drop to very low sats (80ish) at night. At this point we call an ambo as we have no car and live several miles from the hospital (but 50 yards from the ambulance station although they always have to phone for directions). Invariably by the time the ambo gets here the boy has woken up and his sats recover. This is usually the cue for a grumpy ambulanceman. This last happened on Tuesday night. The RRU bloke was most iunimpressed but I did have chat about this site with the paramedic from the van. Boy has just been released from hospital after an emergency addenotonsilectomy and a stay in ICU. We might be paranoid parents but we're not always wrong :-)Cheers

    Mark

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