A Day in the Life of a Transfer EMT. (One typical shift last week)
That can't POSSIBLY be the alarm clock... Oh God Oh GOD it's the alarm clock... Make it stop.
"Mr. Epi... turn that thing off. Please." He hits the alarm clock, accidentally snoozing it instead of turning it off. He rolls over and goes back to sleep. I get up and stumble down the stairs into the bathroom to take a shower.
Showered and in the process of drying my hair. Naturally curly hair as thick as mine is a pain in the ass in the morning.
Emerge from the bathroom with unruly curly hair in every direction. Uniform is on, makeup is on. Now, where is that coffee?
Step out of the back door. It's warm out, warmer than I had thought. I'm going to be seriously overdressed today.
OH Thank HEAVEN. It's 7-11. I score another free coffee courtesy of my EMT uniform. Membership has it's privileges.
I arrive at the station. Why is the truck parked nose in?
Truck inspection is done. We have no Oxygen. None. All three portables are empty, as is the main. The truck is dirty, there's a bag of half eaten Taco Bell left in between the passenger and drivers seat. I decide to find out who worked at my station during the prior shift (the regular partners were on vacation). I vow to kick their asses. I would never leave a truck in this condition, I don't care if It was my regular truck or if I was using someone else's.
Call dispatch and let them know I'm there, and that we need O2. No, Sleepy Partner isn't here yet.
Sleepy stumbles in wearing street clothes. This is going to be a fun day.
Our first run of the day. Drop a patient off for an Endoscopy. This would be the backseat driver from hell that I posted about last week.
Call complete with dispatch. We're immediately dispatched to "Impossible To Park At" Nursing Home to bring a patient back to the same hospital we're currently leaving from. I hate parking at this place... It requires a 15-point turn to get the truck to the point where we can back in.
Call complete with dispatch. Informed that we have a pickup at another nearby nursing home. They have a 0930 appointment at the same hospital we're leaving. Yet again. We sneak off to the local carryout for more coffee and continue on to the Nursing home. This run takes longer than most as the radiologist's office doesn't have an order from us because we weren't given it from the Nursing Home. Hell, we weren't given anything from the Nursing Home. I asked, they denied. Even when I told them that our patient really needed the order.
Our patient is vomiting in the waiting room while we wait for the Nursing Home to send the Radiologist the order via fax.
We finally get Vomiting Patient back in her bed. It could have been ninety minutes earlier had the Nursing Home just given us the order instead of worrying about Hipaa laws. Once I call complete I'm dipatched BACK to the same damn hospital we've been transporting to all morning. I'm busy daydreaming about breakfast and caffeine.
Please... can I get some caffeine? Something to eat? Please? I test my blood sugar and it's 66. I retreat to the ER of the Hospital we've taken up residence at and score some peanut butter. YES! JACKPOT!!!! We head out to the truck and tentatively call complete. We're immediately dispatched to pick up vomiting patient. Apparently she's done already. Breakfast and lunch denied. Back to the Impossible to Park at Nursing Home. At this point I'm cursing the Hospital, the Dispatchers, and the God's of Private Ambulance Services.
Drop Vomiting Patient off at Impossible to Park at Nursing Home. Dispatch doesn't give us a new destination so we head towards "Home". We make it to the local carryout before they call us again.
We depart the local carryout with caffeine and granola bars in hand and head to the truck. They let us know that we're returning... back to the same hospital we've been in and out of all day. We're picking up Heavily Sedated and Completely out of it Chick from Dialysis and returning her to her home at Out of Town Suburban ECF. Cool. Female EMT's are not allowed to tech her thanks to her "anger issues" so New Partner takes her. It's an uneventful transfer.
We call complete at Extremely Out of Town Suburban ECF and we're famished. Apparently caffeine and granola bars do not do much in the way of sustaining ones appetite.
We both curse ourselves for not packing lunches.
We're immediately dispatched to a Nursing Home almost an hour away to take a patient to a dialysis appointment about three miles away from the home. We sneak off to Burger King. We're not proud, but we're getting to the point where we don't care. Sleepy Partner runs in and supplies me with more caffeine and a Whopper Jr. with cheese. I decide I love him.
Saw Future New Partner... He helped us move our patient to the dialysis bed. I've worked with him before, just once... He's a good guy, And he's not bad to look at. I think I'll like working with him. With the schedule he's on he's getting off early. I pray that we get off early, or at least on time, as I actually feel like I'm ready to die. My damn sciatic nerve is causing almost excruciating pain. Who knew sitting on one's ass could be so miserable. Pain is shooting from my ankle up to my mid thigh. I'm hating life at this point.
We call complete at the dialysis clinic and fully expect to be sent back towards quarters. No such luck. We're dispatched to a hospital nearby to take a patient back to their Suburban Nursing Home. Not that one, the one on the other side of the city. I want to cry. Seriously. I pound the radio mic against the dashboard a few times and take a deep breath. I let dispatch know I understand their instructions and call ourselves enroute with a fake smile on my face. I pray they don't know how miserable I am. I'm hungry... I'm hurting... and I feel like whatever money I earned today was no where near what I paid in pain. I refocus by giving Sleepy Partner instructions to call me next shift (when I'm working with a New Partner and he is working with an even Newer Partner and EMT) if and when he gets lost. He thanks me by handing me his Palm and asking if my husband can "fix it".
Awww, Jesus. Serously? Of course I take his Palm and tell him "We'll do our best to fix it."
We're done. We're actually done. Sleepy goes on his way while I head to the station where Dispatch is located to get the times and run numbers for all of the runs that Sleepy didn't get pages for. Of course I haven't had a pager so I can't help in this department other than actually physically filling his paperwork out for him. Believe it or not I really don't mind...
It's only eight runs in twelve hours, but it's an insane day for us... I'm glad it's over. And I'm longing for the days I don't have to run my butt off. I long for thd days where my left leg doesn't betray me by screaming at me the entire shift.
A Day in the Life of a Transfer EMT. (One typical shift last week)