Monday, April 7, 2008

EMS Ride-along

In an effort to help us gain some empathy, or at least understanding of what happens pre-hospital, our ER is putting us in the rig for a day with the local fire department. One of my co-workers went last week and came back excited that she had the chance to poke a hole in a wall during some training exercises. I was looking forward to my trip, but I had muted expectations.

I loved it.

I'm not ready to hang up the scrubs and put on the blues, but I had a great time, and I came out of the whole event with a huge respect for the Medics. It is really a family, and after just 8 hours, I could feel the love these guys had for their jobs and for each other. I understand now how firefighters across the country felt the pain so deeply after 9-11.

I came home and my wife asked me how the ride-along went. I told her that it went okay... I watched sports, had a woman throw her clothes at me and got free dinner.

No. Really. I did.

When I got to the station, the medics had just returned from a call, and we watched the local baseball game while eating lunch. After eating, we went out the Medic 1 unit and had a good conversation about ER nursing vs. EMT and I think we all came away with a greater respect for each other. A couple hours later on our first (and ultimately only substantive) call of the afternoon, the 50-something portly woman who we were transporting decided that just changing into a gown wasn't good enough. She had to do it to music. Provided by herself. While twirling her bra over her head. And letting it fly. Guess who it hit. Yeah.

Later in the evening, one of the EMT's got a check for several thousand dollars from an investment group that he had been a part of. Need I say that he was mildly excited? So we all went out for dinner at an expensive Italian restaurant on him. Then we got back to the station and everything was quiet until it was time for me to leave. Well, it was quiet unless you count the noise from the NCAA basketball championship game.

So to all you ER Nurses and Docs, please give respect to your FD Medics that come in to your ER. They are good people who live life on the edge, ready to respond to anything and to walk into any situation without a clue what they are about to come onto. They want to make our lives easier, and for that I now declare myself a fan.

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