Day shift: Four calls; one by car; one assisted-only; one declined; one gone before arrival.
Stats: 1 eTOH; 1 Panic attack; 1Headache.
They put me on a ‘truck’ for the morning to help a trainee who was being assessed. I was his bitch for a few hours as he impressed the Training Officer with his skills and knowledge. We used to call this rideout a ‘Millar’ (or the clinical part of it) and it qualified you as a fully-fledged Ambulance Technician. I left them to it when I had to go to my regular(ish) FRU meeting – I’m sure he will do well.
When I returned from my free lunch and discussions, I was tasked to a one-after-the-other treat of low-grade calls, starting with a 40 year-old female who was ‘almost falling over’ and ‘drunk’ outside a cafe. She had hip problems in fact, and her balance was all over the place because of it but she had a stick to compensate. Yes, she’d had a drink or three as well but she always did, she told me. She wasn’t happy that people had called an ambulance for her but I offered to drive her to her flat because I was sure she wouldn’t get too far down the street before she toppled over. Her home was a few streets away and it wasn’t a problem.
She chatted to me (or at me) all of the way in the car and to the top of her stairs, where her flat, shrouded in dust and debris from ongoing building works, greeted us with open door. The workmen were inside – she’d given them the key.
As soon as I stepped out of the flat (the woman offered me a pair of shoes from the hallway because she thought they’d suit me) I was sent literally across the street to a pub where a 21 year-old Italian tourist had collapsed. Her friends thought she was having an asthma attack but she was panicking. Her bag had been snatched while she sat with the group she was with and now she was upset. Not really a 999 call.
I reassured her and she declined medical help or a trip to hospital – the only sensible choice.
Straight away, I was off to a surveillance store, where a 50 year-old man had called us and the police. He’d stated that he had a headache (thus an ambulance was required)and that the store staff were ‘keeping him in there’. The police were on scene when I arrived but the man, who insisted I took his blood pressure and then promptly asked me to write it down for him, as well as my own details (he got my call sign), was erratic and nervy – he refused to go to hospital, then said he wanted to, then refused again. I asked him over and over if he wanted me to take him but in the end he told us he’d make his own way ‘immediately’ and that was that.
The patient with back pain who’d suffered for a week and now wanted an ambulance got one – me. Unfortunately, even after a week, he had no patience to wait and went up the road to the Walk-in Centre in a taxi. Apparently, according to his colleague who met me when I arrived on scene, he had to be carried.