101 Things the Fire Department wishes you knew



Wednesday, May 27

...for the sick eval/REALLY sick eval

Here we are rolling out the door to evaluate grandma's cough. We all go on these calls all day long. Many times we wonder why they call, how the call made it through the call center, and how in the world a cough became a 6E1 (Cardiac unconscious).

But then there are the 26A1s(minor fall) that catch your eye. Like this one we met this morning. Well, we met her, she's still unconscious in ICU.

THE EMERGENCY

Caller states her charge is sick and would like her transported.

THE ACTION

Not one private health care care giver, but two, answer the door. One was there with her little rat dog (No offense dog people, but it was a yip yip rat dog) and the other was in her sweater and all ready to go home for the rest of the day.

Then they led us to the chair in the corner where their employer's customer was propped up.
"She needs to go to Saint Farthest, she's been feeling sick."

No radial pulses.
Shallow breathing.
Eyes are open, but she's not responding.

"How long has she been like this?" I ask, instructing my crew to move her to the floor.
"Since yesterday. Her doctor was here, then left."
"Her Doctor saw her like this and left?" I ask wondering what kind of medical doctor would...wait a minute.
"What KIND of doctor saw her?"
"Psychiatrist."
Wonderful. I have 8 years of college, I think I'll start calling myself Doctor as well.

In the movie version of this call I (Matt Damon or Edward Norton) reach up, grab her by the neck and scream how completely useless she and her friend are and they should give back every penny they take for what it is they "do."
In reality I moved on to assessment and upgraded the ambulance to code 3.

This woman was indeed sick. Tachycardic, distended abdomen, skin hot to touch. Another few hours and she would be much worse off.
I still can't figure out what kind of qualifications these folks have to do what they do. I know it's thankless work and few will do it, but this woman has (had) money and had 2 people on staff. If anyone is going to get the cream of the crop, it's her.

And, I'll expand on this more soon, I think we need to leave the term "Doctor" for the actual Medical Doctors, not anyone with a PhD.

4 comments:

Shasta said...

Hey! I will soon have a PhD and will totally relish the title of doctor! In all seriousness, though, it's amazing how a lot of people - including people who really should know better - equate a doctorate (PhD) with an MD. "Like, I know you're a doctor of anthropology, but can you tell me what this rash is?" Just... wow.

Mr. 618 said...

Many years ago, one of the local ambulance services (volunteer) had an EMT who managed to get a PhD in something useless, simply so she could have a nameplate made that said "Dr So-and-so."

In one of those rare justices where justice is actually just, she got nailed the following year for practicing medicine without a license... she tried to do something (I forget what) WELL outside an EMT's scope of practice.

Anonymous said...

For the record: psychiatrists are MDs. Phycologists are PhDs.

The Happy Medic said...

Anonymous, if that is your real name, then this Psychiatrist was negligent and abandoned his patient.

I wonder if he wants me to tell him how that makes me feel and write me a script for something he's getting a kickback for?