This is my (very late) contribution to Normal Sinus, an EMS collaborative writing project. Go check it out! I promise the other posts are much better than mine :) I had a really hard time with this post for some reason, I meant to make it humorous, but apparently most of my humor is written unintentionally.
You can can fill out the billing information, PPH, and medications to most of your regular patients, by memory.
You've ever uttered the words “I love the smell of dialysate in the morning.”
You've accumulated over 100,000 Speedway points on the Reward card thanks to diesel purchases. (Or as an alternative, you tell your friends that you need to go “fuel your car” as opposed to “you need to go get gas.”)
You can map a path past a good coffee shop to any Hospital/Nursing Home/Wound Care/Pain Management Clinic/Dialysis Clinic in the city, and do it efficiently.
You're on the local Wound Care clinic's Christmas card list or you get an invitation to the Dialysis Annual Memorial Day Picnic.
You realize that you know the entry and exit codes to over 45 Nursing Homes and Hospitals.
You sleep better in the truck than you do in your own bed.
You can't remember the last time you “Lit up” the truck, or used the 911 radio.
You have standing prescriptions for Flexoril or Soma, and own or have access to at two of the following: ice packs, heat packs, Bengay, Absorbine jr., a back brace, a massage therapist, a chiropractor, or a really cute friend with great hands who loves to give back rubs.
You realize that in the last six months, 15 out of 17 of your original “Frequent Flyer” patients have died, and you can name them all.
This was meant to be humorous, I had every intention of going that route, but the truth is that those of us on Transfer units have a tough job.
It's not glamorous, it's long hours for low pay.
It's constant runs, and no station to call home.
It's being looked down upon by the "Professionals" on the dedicated 911 trucks.
It's more and more bariatric patients and the inevitable back injuries.
It's the constant risk of exposure to any number of diseases and infections that are resistant to antibiotics.
It's growing attached to your regular patients and watching them die.
It's a hard job.
Unfortunately for some it's the only way we can be a part of the EMS system in our area. I have some "time to serve" before I can work on a 911 truck regularly, I understand that. I just hope that I can survive that time on the Transfer unit without becoming completely burned out and apathetic.
The day that I discover I don't care anymore is the day I take off the uniform.