Friday, July 27, 2007

Read It. Read It Now. READ READ READ

Just read it without further delay:

Matt begins the story as the cop comes on scene . . .
Ambulance driver continues as EMS treats and transports . . .
And Babs RN tells us how it all turns out as patients hit Small Town ER.

Honestly, I think I identified more with Matt than with AD. I've got about the level of training Matt has--I literally just drive the ambulance. So if I do anything at all involving treatment, I just try to listen hard and do exactly what I'm told. I've often had the overwhelmed feeling Matt describes.
My first day of volunteering as an ambulance driver, I was thrown into a call for a diabetic patient seizing and semiconscious, who we passed on to an ALS (Advanced Life Support, whereas we are BLS or Basic Life Support) to rush off uptown, where multiple pedestrians had just been struck by a car at the square.
It was not a lot of fun, but it taught me a very important lesson: It's possible to feel overwhelmed, feel like you may be doing something wrong, and still do a good job. You don't have to be the all-knowing medic to help as long as you know your limitations and stay on the bounce.

This collaboration turned out to be really cool! I am extremely jealous.


Ambulance Driver said...

And it was all Matt's idea, too.

I'm gonna twist his arm into doing another one soon, only this time i've got the call to base it on, and Matt gets to write his part first.

Maybe then it'll take less than three months. ;)

Matt G said...

This one only took 2.5 months, proving that A.D. is an exagerating little poopy-head.

Sometimes "OVERWHELM" level comes much earlier than you would originally think. One of the worst cases I got of it came a few months ago, responding to a minor fender-bender accident, no injuries, only one of the two cars disabled. Within tenn minutes of getting there, I found myself directing traffic (unsuccessfully), only getting hit it was dusk, having to redirect the unnecessary fire and ambulance apparatus that parked in the most inconvenient and dangerous spots (do they train y'all to do that?), get names and seat positions of all parties in both vehicles, deal with insurance questions, have stupid drivers drive through my accident scene and bow up when I asked them to pull over...

I shoulda had another unit.

But it was just a fender bender.

Don Gwinn said...

I choose parking in two equally valid ways:

1. If rescue is on scene, I park where they point.

2. If not, I park where I think I can most reliably get the ambulance back out of the scene without destroying anything. I'm extremely paranoid about crunching stuff.

Laughingdog said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Laughingdog said...

I should have never read this during my lunch break at work. I don't know if stories like this affect everyone the way they get to me, or if it's just because I spent 5 years as a firefighter. Regardless, I was bawling by the end of Matt's description, and it didn't get any better as I went along.

The worst two accidents I ever worked both involved people doing three things simultaneously: being drunk, being stupid, and driving way too damn fast. Logically, I know they did it to themselves. But that doesn't keep me from wondering, despite it being 14 years ago, if they could have made it if we'd gotten there a little sooner, or set up a little faster.

I really admire people that can work with this kind of thing as a career. I did it as a volunteer for 5 years, and then realized that I just couldn't handle watching someone else's kid bleed to death in front of me again.