Saturday, December 12, 2009

You thought you needed an ambulance for that, huh?

I haven't been working in healthcare for long, so I'd legitimately like to know- when did the ambulance become an effin' taxi service? Seriously. This is one of the things that makes me the angriest about my job. We're now getting to the part of the winter where the waits are long enough that these morons actually check in to be seen, get tired of waiting, walk across the street, and call an ambulance to bring them through the back. Fool, please. Your abdominal pain for a week is no more important to us now that you've rolled in on the big white taxi with lights. Now your ass is just at the end of the line again, well played.
We've had some good ones in the last week or so. I, for one, was pretty impressed with the 19 year old girl who called the ambulance from her job a half block away for a toothache. Yeah...she went to triage. I can at least give her some credit for being courteous and finding herself a ride home- I wish I could say the same for this next moron.
Last night was pretty slow- it was about 4:30, and I had one patient when EMS rolls in with this guy in his late thirties who they got a call on- his complaint? Sore throat for 2 MONTHS. He was a truck driver, and had been on the road for a while, and I guess it was the right time for him, so instead of taking his damn truck up to the hospital he called EMS from his vehicle, where he lives, and came to the hospital. If his being a system abusing jackhole wasn't bad enough, he was also a massive whiner and a complete idiot. He was thoroughly convinced that his throat hurt because he had a tooth removed in October, and according to him, a piece chipped off and flew into the back of his throat and was lodged there. Um, no dummy. You have tonsilitis. I told him that was what it sounded like after he complained to me that it always felt like there was drainage in the back of his mouth and that it smelled bad. He rolled his eyes at me and said that wasn't it- guess what the doctor diagnosed him with? Yeah.
Of course, he was also the type of patient who thought he should be the priority and immediately receive narcotic pain meds for his 9.5/10 tonsil pain. While I'm dealing with him, a patient on the other team actually coded in a room, which was really rare for us and really upsetting for the staff. He didn't make it, and I went over to help clean up the body before the family got there. I'm helping RT get blood out of the ETT tube when Mr. throat pain calls to ask when the doctor is coming in. It's a good thing I didn't answer the call, because I probably would have grabbed him and dragged him into the room and said, "When you start turning purple like this guy! This is who the ER is for. Sit your ass down!" After all that, this joker had the nerve to ask for a cab voucher! We ended up giving him one, too, since all his friends lived out in BFE in the midwest somewhere, so he had no one to pick him up. I wish we could have just kicked him out and let him figure it out. He could have walked in the cold. It's not like he was sick.

1 comment:

  1. When our 911 get calls like your above patient with the sore throat...they transfer the call to us...they don't necessarily go out and get them...then we "triage" them over the phone...we would have told this nut case to stay home and gargle with salt, take a tyl or ibu and see his own MD the next day or week depending on his other sx.....but still, these nut cases DO still appear in ER anyway..... *sigh*