There comes a time as you approach the end of your shift when you start looking for an ‘off job’. This is a job that will put you at your local hospital as the clock ticks over the shift end. It’s nice to to get away from work only half an hour after you officially end. So you try and arrange things so that you are free forty-five minutes from the end of your shift so that you can do that final job.
Then you can go home, sleep and do it all again in eleven hours.
We’d just dropped our patient off at the hospital and had fifty minutes until the end of our shift – we heard a call go out for a 33 year old man who had eaten some rat poison, it was just around the corner. We called up for it and were there in a few minutes.
The man was visiting his sister’s house, he’d forgotten that there was rat poison behind the sofa and had pulled out the sofa a bit to sit on the floor and eat some rice. His son and his nephew had crawled behind the sofa and reached the rat poison that looked like crumbled biscuits. One of the children was at that age where everything goes into it’s mouth.
The children had played next to our rice eating patient and when he looked down and saw what had happened he’d thought that maybe the children had put some of the poison into his rice. When we arrived he was really rather nervous.
He asked us to take him to hospital.
I suggested that we took the two children as well. He didn’t understand why until I suggested that the children may have eaten some of the poison as well.
So we found ourselves driving to hospital with three adults, three children and myself in the back of the ambulance.
It took an extended time to book the patients into hospital because this family is of a culture that has half a dozen names for themselves, which means repeated running backwards and forwards asking if they were ever known as one of a handful of names.
Then it was time to fill in three sets of paperwork.
You wouldn’t think that you’d ever get writers cramp in this job.
Still, it did see us off in time.
The patients will be fine, apparently you have to eat a whole lot of the poison before it has an effect on you.