Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Poor Paramedic

Bleee Blaaaa! Bleeee Blaaa!

That is simultaneously the sound of the ambulance van approaching and the sound that my brain makes after a heavy night of......the trauma unit.

The ambulance uses it to signal some heavy incoming trauma traffic.

Brain uses it to signal to the rest of my body that there will be NO MORE outgoing neuronal traffic, because being awake for 30 hours is incapacitating. All efforts from the quivering grey jelly in my skull are then reduced to maintaining vital organ functions, and movement towards a horizontal position.Preferably on a soft mattress. Without fleas.

A few days ago - one of the ambulance drivers arrived at the trauma unit.
My heart usually sinks when I see them as I know that they usually only bring me one of two things:

#Cold, green cases ( infected toenails, chronic constipation, flu, and even flea bites. Yes, somebody called the ambulance at midnight for flea bites.)

#Heavy red/orange cases requiring resuscitation or referral to another clinic.

This is not their fault, they are required by law to bring everything that is called in, to the trauma unit. The patients know this and abuse their rights, using the ambulances as taxi's instead of the highly equipped emergency vehicles staffed with highly trained professionals that they are. In this way the ambulance services are backed up with transporting bullshit when the real emergencies are left waiting...dying...

This time, however, the ambulance driver WAS the patient.

She was on her way through the townships to start her nightshift, dressed appropriately in her ambulance jumpsuit. Suddenly a large mob abducted her and took her to an area where a man was lying prostrate on the floor. He was dead. But the mob refused to listen to what she was saying, and threatened her with stoning and stabbing should she not do what they say, and bring him back to life.

So she performed CPR on the dead man.
For two hours.
Under threat of death.
Eventually the ambulance van showed up and fooled the crowd into thinking that they were taking the dead man to hospital.

She was distraught and hyperventilating from the episode.

I suppose in a twisted way they were offering her the highest compliment, by believing that she could bring people back from the dead with her holy paramedic skills.

That poor lady. I wonder if she'll be one of the many moving overseas to work in safer, more respected working conditions?

She is not forced to help you, she does it because she wants to help and because it is her job. Her working conditions are bad enough as it is. She has no real support from the department of health in trying to change things, but she sticks it out anyway to make sure you're ok.

So was it really necessary for you, you bastard, to threaten her with her life? Could it be that she may have willingly helped you, if you had simply just asked her?

1 comment:

Ketan said...

This was bad! I mean, really bad!

This, so very indicates the deep mutual distrust that people have come to harbor for each other. But I also wonder if this mistrust is totally unfounded. It might be difficult for you to see those particular professionals who don't do their work sincerely and bring bad name to the entire medical community--that locum doctor--for instance. But yes, people not ready to acknowledge a very evident death is also strange. I think just wanted to have some malicious sadistic kind of fun treating the driver that way.

Conditions have are similar many times for PG-course residents who're beaten up by patients' relatives--many times with support of upcoming politicians who send their goons to earn popularity among the 'aggrieved masses'.



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