I need to give you a bit of background before I talk about today.
There is a breed of ambulance called the ‘Intermediate Tier’. Staffed by two crew who have had less training than a regular ambulance they attend to the lowest priority jobs, the so called ‘Green calls’. Green calls are the sort of calls that, while an ambulance may be required, it is not essential to have them speeding to you with two fully trained staff on blue lights and sirens. They also deal with ‘GP Urgent’ and ‘Non-Urgent’ calls, those patients that a GP has seen who need treatment at a hospital but again don’t require a full response.
So far it has worked well, some emergency ambulance people loathe doing ‘Green calls’, as they are often not very exciting, (I like them because they are normally simple jobs).
As I am a long term single (without a regular crewmate since she broke her foot), I have been working with lots of different people. Today I was put onto an Intermediate Tier vehicle with a woman who normally works on it.
I’m always happy for a bit of a change of scenery. As I have no idea how the paperwork/assessment/handling of these patients differs from my normal emergency work it was suggested that I drove.
The first job was to someone with quite severe back pain. While not life threatening the patient needed to go to hospital for some really good painkillers and there was no way that they could get there on their own. Severe back pain is annoying as there is little that we can do to help, the patient often has to walk as the pain gets worse if they sit in our carry chair. However after some pain relief with ‘laughing gas’, the patient was able to make their way to the ambulance.
At the hospital I bought myself an overpriced hospital sandwich (more on this in a later post) and settled down for breakfast.
Another snippet of background – In my mouth there is a broken tooth, I’ve had it for ages and it seldom bothers me. I have so far ignored it.
As I bit into the sandwich I felt an incredible shooting pain running from the tooth, under my tongue and jaw and into my feet. I started to sweat and feel sick. I couldn’t talk because I had pins and needles in my tongue.
Finally the pain died down into a dull roar and I suggested that we had a drive over to a dentist so I could make an appointment.
I entered the dentists office and found it empty. The staff were about to start their lunch break. The nurse behind the counter looked me up and down, asked me a few questions about the pain and disappeared. She came back moments later and told me that the dentist would fix my tooth for me now.
Fifteen minutes and fifty pounds later I became the proud owner of medical treatment for my tooth and a temporary filling. I was ecstatic with my treatment – they were very kind seeing me in their lunchbreak, and the dental treatment was first class. The nurse behind the counter said, ‘We can’t have you saving lives with bad toothache can we?’. Sometimes the ambulance uniform is an excellent thing to be wearing. I blessed them all for working during their lunchbreak. I may have offered one of them a marriage proposal.
It has been more than twenty years since I last visited a dentist (and yes I know that this only promotes the American view of English dental care), not out of fear, but more that if it didn’t hurt me then it wasn’t worth the trouble.
I would recommend the Barking Dental Practice to anyone in the area. (They should really have their own website…)
I’m also grateful that there were no ‘Green Calls’ that needed our attention at that time.
There were two more calls for us this shift. Another woman with back pain and a man who was so heavy I worried that he was going to break our carry chair. Normally you need to tip the patient back on our carry chair. This is considerably tricky to do when he weighs more than you do and you find your feet lifting off the ground.
A lovely shift, and a nice change of pace.
(I’m not the only Blogware blogger who has had trouble with their teeth).