I have a problem with knees, partly it's because I'm slightly squeamish about them, partly because when they break or dislocate it is incredibly painful for the patient.
Our woman had slipped on a wet floor, she had landed on her knees and, after we drove across most of our patch to get to her, we found her laying on the floor.
In a narrow corridor.
She wasn't a 'small' person either.
My physical examination led me to believe that she had broken or dislocated her knee – it was a bit tricky to examine her in the enclosed space she found herself, her weight didn't help either.
The patient was lovely, she understood why she had waited so long for an ambulance. She'd also taken some painkillers before we arrived, something that is an absolute rarity. She was nice to talk to and when I explained that we would take things slowly for her benefit she understood.
First thing that I did was to give her some of our painkiller gas entonox. Then I slipped a splint around her injured knee, this combination seemed to help the pain a lot. She proved to be a good patient by immediately understanding my instructions on how to take the entonox – another rarity in our area.
The staircase that we needed to get her down was steep and narrow, there was no way we could use our carry chair. She would have to be strapped to our scoop and carried down the stairs that way. But we would need help.
I'm 6'1″, my crewmate is 5' 1 1/2″, not the best combination of sizes for getting a large woman downstairs on a scoop (although my crewmate would like you to all note that she (believes) is the strongest one out of the both of us). So we called Control for assistance, namely another crew or an FRU person. We were assured that one would be on their way.
While we were waiting we placed her on the scoop and started the long process of strapping her to it so that, when we tilted it by 80 degrees to get her out of the house, she wouldn't slid out of the scoop like someone being buried at sea.
After some time one of our Emergency Care Practitioners arrived and he gave us some much needed help in man-handling the patient down the stairs and into the ambulance. We took the patient to hospital where x-rays showed a dislocated knee.
This is what I like about my job – This job wasn't about saving someone's life, it was about causing them as little pain as possible while solving the puzzle of how to get the patient out of the house all while keeping them as calm and happy as possible. It's not a 'buzz', but it is the satisfaction of a tricky job well done.