Seven hour shifts are really easy to do, especially when you have spent the last year doing only twelve hour shifts.
The jobs tonight were pretty easy – even easier for me as I was driving the ambulance rather than treating the patients. We had a sixteen year old girl with a sore throat, a pair of drunks, one of which had a twisted ankle, a little old lady who’d fell over indoors and had a nasty scrape to her arm, and a young woman, twelve weeks pregnant, who had been assaulted at work and struck in the stomach.
The real stand out job for me shows just how daft some people are.
The patient was a twelve year old boy. We got the job as ‘child banging head on walls and floor’ and when we turned up the child was indeed clutching his head and hitting it against a wall. The parents and child spoke poor English, but we easily managed to learn that the child was suffering from an earache, and that this was the cause of the head-hitting.
“How long has he had the pain?” asked my crewmate for the night.
“Five years then, three hours now,” replied the father.
We understood what he meant – the child had an earache five years ago, but this current episode, and the reason why we were called out, had lasted three hours.
“Have you given him any painkillers?”
“No,” the father looked confused.
“Do you have any painkillers?” my crewmate asked.
“Yes, but we haven’t given him any,” said the father.
So the family could see their child rolling around the floor, screaming in pain and banging his head against the walls, and didn’t consider that a painkiller might have…oh I don’t know…helped with the pain.
I can imagine the scene in the hospital when the nurses give the child some pain relief – the parents looking at each other, slapping their foreheads and saying “Doh! We could have done that!”.
There are a lot of daft people out there – and I get to meet most of them.