Saturday, May 9, 2009

The people I spend my weekends with

I had this idea that I would blog about the people that I work with on the long weekend shift. The words just won't come, I have to struggle for them and when that happens its not enjoyable reading or writing. The purpose of this blog is was to be relaxing for me and maybe to poke a little fun at the Public Safety community. Lets try the weekend family that I live and work with for 72 hours at a time.

There are 4 of us at the amboolance/taxi service at any one time, 2 medics, 2 EMTs. We do literally live together for 72 hours every other weekend. We literally do live to together for 168 hours every 2 weeks, in fact.

There are 2-3 nurses at a time in the ER, 1 or 2 receptionist, a couple of lab techs, an x-ray person and a doctor.These are extended family.

The nurses are kinda wimpy because they only work 12 hour shifts. Nurses are some of the toughest, smartest,kindest,most professional people there are. There is no way I could or would even attempt their job. They have to be gentle and earn the trust of babies , yet be tough enough to wrestle with drunks and dopers. I have seen them cry over patients and cuss patients. I've watched them comfort grieving family members and patiently deal with those suffering emotional problems.

I have never figured out the hours the lab techs work. I am not sure they have a schedule, I think they communicate telepathically and have the ability to travel through time , space and walls. They just show up. They play with all sorts of neat machines that no one else knows about, then they come out with lots of numbers to confuse every one. However they do it, it works,they find hidden problems and save lives. They are kinda like the outlaws in being given their directions in "blazing Saddles";"go and do the voodoo you do so well".

The receptionist only has to have one quality and that is a never ending supply of patience. They must deal with people who they know are not telling the truth, those who are telling the truth but wish they weren't and those who are just plain rude and arrogant. Yet they some how do it. Without harming anyone. I think they work normal human hours of 8 hour shifts.

The x-ray people work some weird shift that is determined by the phase of the moon and growth rings of trees from some Transylvania. They manage to get pictures of fractures and bad things that normal people can't see. They thus save lives. How they manage to get the drunk, who has wrapped his car around a tree and wants to fight, to get in the right position for these pictures is beyond me. they do it while smiling at the patient of course they might be mentally cussing him but they to are professionals.

The doctors why would any one who could have a practice in the daytime ever want to work 24 hour ER shifts? These folks have to be extremely sharp and have a really vast medical knowledge and skill sets. Probably the most important skill is that to interpret ramblese and drunkese, These are the language so many people answer the docs' question in. An example would be something like this; Doc "where do you hurt?" patient " right now?" Dr "yes, right now" patient "well it is hard to say" Dr."why is it hard to say?" patient "well it is really not me leg but it feels like it is' "It is kinda like my cousin Earls pain that he had that time, you know what I mean /"

I am sure that it hurts doctors to lose patients even if they only meet them in the last moments of life. However they don't have time or permission from society to grieve. I don't see how they keep going.

Another part of the family is the police. I have no idea the hours these folks work. I just know they are always there. I don't know how many work at any one time. If I were to guess I'd say 4 in Nashville and 1 each in Mineral Springs and Dierks. There is maybe 3 deputies on at a time and most of the time there is trooper lurking some where. I know from real world experience I can't do their job. I don't have the self discipline to keep my mouth shut when some bottom feeder threatens my family. I don't have the smarts to think two steps ahead of the person who is making up lies as he goes.

They have helped with unruly patients,forced open doors to access patients, they have dispersed hostile crowds. In other words they have pulled us out of the fire time and time again. Thanks so much.

Another part of the family that is kinda like the prodigal son is the volunteer firefighter/first responder. We don't see them that often but when we call they come. At 3:00 AM you would expect most people to be in bed, but I think some of these people sleep in the fire truck. You call a fire department for help and you get it. If it is lift help for a large patient up 3 flights of stairs or a person trapped in a smashed vehicle they will come and do their job. and they do it well.

I have seen them cussed and griped at but I know first responders save lives. People deride them about being volunteers but they are professionals who don't get paid. They are maybe the most elite of us all they do their job for the community asking only equipment to work with and a little respect.

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