10.28.2007

Unappreciated

As I'm climbing off the medic after a call, we get toned out again and I see Drew and Eric headed to another unit.
"Come on Sam, let's go," Drew says grabbing my hand as I step off the medic, "dislocated hip."
I sit in the back of the medic envisioning a frail old man that slipped down the stairs, dislocating his hip. I envision his pie-baking wife dialing 911 and greeting us with, "thank you so much for coming; I know it's late." When we arrive, what I find is very different.
In the pouring rain, there lies a very inebriated man on his lawn with his equally inebriated wife standing over him. There are about six firefighters on scene already, and the first thing I hear is, "have fun with this one, Sam." I sigh and put some gloves on.
The firefighters use a scoop stretcher to put him on our bed, and off we go. Eric looks at me and nods, "I'll precept you." I lean over to take a blood pressure and immediately recoil, gagging. He smells of liquor and a mix of dirt, body odor, and unbrushed teeth.
"Oh my God," I mouth to Drew through the rear-view mirror. He nods his head in the direction of the wife sitting next to him in the passenger's seat. I crane my head to listen, and I can make out "good for nothing uneducated medics." I'm unappreciated. Priceless.
I run through the vitals, and take a blood glucose. I start my SAMPLE history and try to decipher what our wasted patient is trying to say. I look over at Eric who is sitting on the bench, head reclined, hands folded in his lap.
Trying to engage him, I say "what do you think about oxygen?" He looks up at me sleepily.
"What about it?"
"His sats are great, but due to a traumatic event, he might go into shock." He shrugs and puts his head back against the seat. Great.
"We ain't going any faster with them si-reens because we's black, ain't that right," I can hear from the front.
"Yes ma'am, the emergency medical system reserves the use of lights and sirens for white patients only. It is with that ridiculous bias that we are able to stay in business." I shake my head as I hear Drew explain that it is a non-emergency, blah, blah, blah. "Damn, he's good at dealing with stupidity," I think to myself as I take a second pulse.
"I haff to frow uhp."
"What's that?"
"I haff to frow uhp."
"One more time."
"I HAFF TO FROW UHP!"
"Eric, get me an emesis basin!" He lazily reaches over his head and hands me a basin as I make my way to our patient's head.
"Eric, I need you to help me turn him since he's still on the scoop stretcher."
"He's fine, he can turn his head."
"Eric, he's throwing up on himself, help me out here!"
"Fine," he sighs as he tilts the stretcher with one hand. Too little too late; I wipe the vomit off of his face and shoot Eric a look that could kill.
As we arrive at the hospital, Drew and I unload our patient as Eric watches. Drew, the hospital staff and I help move him to the bed as Eric watches. I tell our patient and his wife goodnight and that I hope he gets to feeling better soon. I hear something about a "cracka," and I head for the door. I'm unappreciated. Priceless.
I write my PPCR report as Eric stands in the hallway talking to other providers.
I'm getting really angry, really fast. I get no input, no help, and no feedback from him; this call did not go the way I thought it would at all.
As I hand my report to Eric to sign, he reads my narrative.
"What the hell, Sam, you didn't mention that he had no head or neck pain!"
"Oh man, I knew I forgot something. It's just that the other preceptors usually help me write the report."
"Yeah, well now you've messed it up." I'm unappreciated. Priceless.
I look at Drew with frustration and he winks at me, "come here Sam, help me with this stretcher."
As we put a new sheet over it, I hear Eric grumbling about how he would have just had our patient walk rather than use a scoop stretcher. "What the hell," I mutter to Drew, "I don't understand." He nods and says, "Eric's...well, he's a different kind of provider. I just let him talk a big game, and then disregard everything he says You did a great job. You're an awesome EMT; don't let him make you think any different." He gives me a hug, and I smile. I'm appreciated. Priceless.

3 comments:

Kyle J. said...

Sounds like "Eric" is the type of provider i wouldn't let touch my god damn dog. Irresponsible and a self proclaimed "bad ass" of EMS, let me tell you this though. There is nothing bad ass about being sued for racial discrimination and losing your job. You did the right thing, Sam.

P.S. Put a non rebreather on a potential puker, that way you don't get a lap of surprise puke. Just make sure you don't let him aspirate it.

Anonymous said...

I hate providers like that. We are all volunteer, but there are some people that work in the city and come to fill in gaps during the night shifts. Some of those people are dicks. Hopefully you wont have to work with Eric again.

Kate
BVFD

Medicmarch. said...

aw, jesus. What a tool.