Love > ? < Hate

Posted: July 29, 2010 in Life, Friends, and Love, Uncategorized, Work, School, and Training

So for any of those that don’t know me personally, my profession is in the Emergency Medical Field.  I work for a company that shall remain nameless (It should be pretty obvious for those who pay attention, but I can’t divulge the name because if any of the supervisors should see something on here that they don’t like, agree with, or classify as slander, or defamation, I could lose my job very quickly).  Anyways….    Because I am part time, I have to bid on various shifts, and piece them together to get in as much time on the clock as possible.  So last week I started a 72 hour shift (6 back to back 12 hr. shifts) on thursday morning, and I was feeling great.  I drove up to the north end deployment center, met up with my partner, and headed for our scheduled stand by down in Temecula.  Now a stand by shift is not a normal shift.  You don’t run calls, you stay at a scheduled place, either to provide medical coverage during events for insurance reasons, or to make presentations.  Our stand by event happened to be providing an in service demonstration during safety week at an elementary school (Summer school).  So from 8am-5pm, we went classroom, to classroom speaking with the students about when, and why they should call 911.  We also did some demos, put the monitor and oxygen on some of the students, showed them IV needles and catheters, and even showed them our IO gun.  Then we took them out to the ambulance (One of them got to ride on the stretcher), and let them get inside, turn the lights on, blow the siren, and speak into the PA.  This was such a blast!!!  I loved teaching the kids, and it is so good for them to get over their fear here in a non-emergency setting.    There were many special needs kids, and we gave them a lot of attention.  Lots of autistic, cerebral palsy, and developmentally disabled kids.  We figured that they would benefit the most, because they were more likely to run into us in an emergency setting.  After we got back to north end deployment, I hopped in my car and headed for south end deployment in menifee to start my next 12.  We only had a couple calls, but sleeping in the drivers seat killed my knees!!!  After that I headed up to Perris to start my next 12.  We got killed.  They were giving us our next calls while we were still in the hospital turning the last patient over!!!  9 calls in 12 hrs.  They had us taking calls in corona!  Weird calls too….  like some guy who was starting to get alzheimers so bad that he didn’t know who his wife was, and was trying to smother her with a pillow.  Or a Psych patient that when asked what was wrong?  replied with “Those bitches at the hospital don’t like me, so those doctors implanted snake eggs in me!!!  They’re poisonous! And they’re gonna kill me!”  When asked where, she pointed to her stomach, and her calfs (Seriously!?!?!?  How could I make this up?).  We even got a BLS transfer…   (BLS transfers are non-emergency, usually inter-facility transfers.  They are supposed to give them to BLS cars (Staffed with 2 EMT’s for non-emergency calls), but they will give them to paramedics when they don’t have enough BLS cars on shift.)  Now I worked a BLS car down in San Diego for the better part of a year, and I swore I would never work BLS again….   However, Paramedics hate BLS calls, so they will make the EMT run the whole call….. which is exactly what I had to do…   Now BLS wouldn’t be so bad if the paperwork wasn’t so herendous!!!  and of course this lady didn’t have, or remember any ID information, didn’t speak much english, and smelled like the back end of a horse, standing in a tuna cannery.  So after a very long 12 hrs.  I headed out to Lake Elsinore to start my next 12 hrs.  During the night we got a couple of calls, mostly cancels…..   BTW It’s not a good idea to insult a cops mother while he is holding a taser pointed at you…    We also had a frequent flyer, but that was about it for the night.  So I headed to the southern Lake Elsinore station to finish with a 24 hr. shift.  Luckily I got a 2 hr. nap in, but then the whole south county just blew up, and for the rest of the shift it was call after call.  So 2 frequent flyers, 2 chest pains, 1 heart attack, 1 pediatric respiratory failure, 3 car accidents, 1 dog bite, 1 allergic reaction, and 2 cancels later….  I finally got off.  Tired….  beaten….   broke off….  a little depressed…  with thoughts like these swirling through my slightly delerious head…  “Why would you live way up on the ortegas, 45 min. away from the nearest hospital, if you had a child with special needs?’, and “Why do they let stupid people own pitbulls?’, or “If you knew that you were allergic to peanuts, and you had an allergic reaction 3 yrs ago, did you really think that this time would be different?  Like your body was going to heal itself of allergies?”, and the most popular with EMS workers..  “If you started having this pain at 3pm yesterday, why the $@%$ did you wait till 3am to call 911?  Did you really think we would be awake, sitting by the radio, praying that you would call us and give our lives some meaning?”  I figure that I got about 12 hrs. of broken up sleep in those 72 hrs.  So after this lengthy.. long winded…  self centered rant….  I guess the summary would be,  I definately have a love / hate relationship with my job.  On one hand, I love helping people.  I also believe that biblically as men, if we have the mental fortitude, and physical strength to help people, then it is our God given responsibility to use the gifts he has given us to serve others.  And in my eyes, next to sharing the gospel, there is no better way to serve those in true need.  On the other hand, I would say that out of all the calls we get, only 8% – 10% are legitimate emergencies, and about half of those turned into emergencies because the patients didn’t take care of a medical problem when they had the chance.  Also the company I work for wouldn’t hesitate to throw their employees under the bus.  See their are plenty of people in line for my job, and my employer knows that I need them for experience, but I am very expendable.  So not only do they under pay all of their employees, but if you make a mistake…  your pretty much done.  I gotta say though, their is nothing like saving some ones  life.  I never get a high bigger than when we get a heart beat back from some one who was in full cardiac arrest, and not breathing!  Also…  I have seen things in this job, that others will never experience.  I guess that I just have to take the bad with the good, and remember that grace abounds.  It’s hard to remember to treat people with humility and love, when you haven’t slept in 2 days.

Currently listening to:     As Tall As Lions  –  Self Titled

Whats the sound track your life?    


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