Shut up

New guy today. He won’t shut up.

I think he’s nice, but he won’t shut his mouth, so I am hating him more with every minute that goes by.

He butts in on scenes.

This guy had diarrhea once over an hour ago. Quit asking him questions.

The homeless guy just needs a sandwich and a blanket. He doesn’t need an IV. We don’t have sandwiches. Let’s just shut up and take him to the place with free sandwiches.

Maybe I can get some crackers while we’re there.

How long have I been doing this? I start tomorrow.

Now shut the hell up.

Is this shift over yet?

Next August

We ran three legitimate calls today. In a row. All before we got a chance to get breakfast.

I get cranky if I don’t get my bagel before sunrise.

We almost didn’t know what to do with ourselves.

We never run legitimate calls.

We probably won’t get another one until next August.

No! Bad Job!

Shaq and I are, as we call it, just chillin’ at post, tossing a football. Our magnanimous dispatcher raises us and sends us on our way to a local dialysis clinic, for a report of a “female with chest pain.” We make our way in that direction post-haste when we get an update:

“Med two, your patient is possibly coding, per the facility” comes the message from radio, while the MDT updates with “POSS FULL ARREST/CPR IP”

We have a hard time believing this, mainly because we haven’t run a legit call in at least six weeks, but maybe today is the day.

In the end, it was partially legit. No, the patient wasn’t in cardiac arrest. Yes, CPR was being done, but the patient never lost consciousness. At least the AED was applied correctly. Except there was a nurse doing CPR while the machine said to check for a pulse. And for some reason, she kept wanting to give nitro.

Instead of having a stroke, I decided we would just move the lady to our stretcher. In the process, I figured out what happened: the patient complained of chest pain, and the ‘nurse’ administered nitroglycerin, (probably too much at once, but maybe not) then the patient’s blood pressure bottomed out and the patient had a syncopal episode, at which time the staff panicked and began running around like chickens with their heads cut off.

Admit it, it’s plausible.

As we’re walking out, we hear one of the firemen talking to the ‘nurse.’ “Thanks a bunch, y’all. You guys did a great job.”


“You’re gonna be here tomorrow, right?”

That’s become the mantra where I work. It doesn’t matter how bad you screw up, or whether or not you are actually competent at your job. As long as you show up on time, you’ll have a place to work.

They won’t fire you if you give the wrong dose of the right drug to a patient, and cause serious complications. No, they won’t fire you, as long as you can make it to a meeting where we can slap your wrist.

Oh, you gave the wrong drug to the wrong patient at the wrong time and the patient died? Don’t worry, that pink slip isn’t your termination notice, it’s your transfer notice. That’s right, they’ll just ship you to another division.

What? You sexually harass your employees and got arrested for beating your spouse? Geez, now they’re going to have to transfer that harassed employee! Don’t worry, though, they won’t fire you. You’ll get a new job title out of the deal, though.

You did what? You called a STEMI because the monitor doesn’t know how to recognize a right bundle branch block, and you activated the cath lab and cost the hospital thousands of dollars? They won’t fire you. Heck, they won’t even give you any remedial training. They’ll just make you transmit all your EKGs to the hospital.

Oh my goodness, you called a patient deceased in a motor vehicle crash without actually touching the patient? And that patient wasn’t actually dead? And another ambulance had to take that patient to the hospital? And you told the patient’s wife that her husband was dead? Don’t worry, they’ll somehow blame it on the fire department, even though the ambulance service is responsible for all patient care.

Yeah, you’re gonna be here tomorrow, right?

Check out this 12-lead I found

Found this 12-lead in the EMS room the other day while I was scrounging for a banana. Sorry it isn’t the best quality, and that is mainly because I stuck it in my car where I promptly forgot about it for a week. Hence the crumples.

But I tried to make it look nice.

Some EKG I foujnd

I found the paramedic that left it in the break room just to ask her about the patient. (I also wanted to ask her how she blows her nose with a piercing in her septum, but that will be another time.) The 12-lead was only done because of our policy (a 12-lead on anyone >50 with nausea). She said she laughed at the interpretation.

“Why were you laughing?”

“Because I had the Medtronic card in my hand. He had a ventricular pacemaker put in like six months ago.”

“So the computer was just kind of winging it?”

“Probably so.”


This is why I don’t pay attention to the interpretive statement until I interpret the EKG myself.