07 March 2006

Saving the world: one psych at a time

First call was for a psych going to a facility in Chicago. It was an uneventful trip. We dropped her off and headed home. We stopped at a restaurant called Portillos that has really good food. I wasn't in a hurry, so we took the long way home through the ghetto. Good times.

I think I did a return to a nursing home after that-I'm not really sure.

We were really slow in the evening. Of course, that is when my pager for the fire department went off for a full arrest. I was supposed to be there this evening, but I switched shifts at the ambulance company for the day in preparation for vacation, and had to pawn off my shift at the fire department. Damn. I heard from a couple people that were there and I am kind of thankful that I wasn't. The guy was pretty dead, but the crew couldn't decide if he was warm or cool, so they worked him. He was a big guy too. My back is thanking me for taking the other shift.

We did an adolescent psych transfer. Of course me and my partner can't help but mess with people. The kid was 14 and was being admitted with ADHD. We got him on the cot and started strapping him in. He gave me a look like I was crazy for strapping him in-he thought they were restraints. Of course I have to get smart with him,

Me: "These aren't restraints, it's a five point harness like race car drivers wear...you're lucky I'm driving..."

Patient: "Why?"

Me: "Because if my partner was driving, you would have to wear a helmet too."

Patient: "That's not funny."

Me: "The good news is that if we roll the ambulance, you will be suspended from the ceiling like spiderman."

Patient: "You mean crash! You're that bad...um...maybe you should give me the helmet."

Me: "Not to worry. We only get in accidents of Monday nights."

Patient: "But today is Monday."

Me: "Oh..."

Patient: "Are you going to drop me?"

Me: "Nope. I only drop people on days that end in 'y'."

This conversation continued with my partner in the back until we arrived at the hospital. He must have said some other things to the kid, because when we got to the facility he practically jumped off the cot. Yep. Life is good.

Another psych after that to the same facility. This one wasn't too bad-he was relatively cooperative. We had seen him in the ER on our previous visit. We got our paperwork and went into the room. He was sleeping, so I said his name to wake him up-no response. I yelled his name-no response. My partner shook his shoulder-no response. Sternal rub-still no response. I told my partner to check a pulse. The guy finally woke up. That was enough of a scare for me. I thought for sure there was something wrong. I got his belongings together and the psych coordinator handed me a small baggie and said, "this is his prized possession." I said, okay and was on my way. Want to take a guess of what was in the bag? A box cutter. Yeah. Nice. My parter put it on the back of the cot, but we ended up hiding it in the front of the ambulance just in case he went psycho on the ride. It was uneventful.

Another call shortly after for a laceration to the forehead. It was at a nursing home about 10 miles away. We brought everything inside with us-including our backboard, etc. The guy had fallen, unwitnessed and bumped his head. According to staff he fell flat on his face just outside his bathroom. He denied passing out and he was A+Ox3. When we went into his room there wasn't blood anywhere. They had already cleaned it up. The story seemed a bit fishy. The guy's forehead was completely split open-you could see is skull. The actual laceration/avulsion was about 1 1/2 inches long and about 1/2 inch wide. When I dabbed the wound with gauze his scalp moved about a quarter inch or so. The nurse said there was blood everywhere, but it was just oozing when I saw him. Everything else checked out, and according to his mental status, our findings, and our protocol, we didn't have to c-spine him. Another save :).

I did another psych from a government facility to a psych facility. Depression. A quick transport and I was back in bed-for 25 minutes or so.

Last set of calls was for an ALS MRI. We got called at 0445. Pickup was at 0530, but we have to be there 10 minutes early. We got on the floor and the patient isn't ready. We wait. We finally leave around 0555. We get to the MRI at 0610. Nobody is there. We wait. The secretary shows up at 0625 and lets us in. They don't open until 0630-they don't scan until 0700. We wait for the tech, who showed up around 0640 and started up the machines. Our patient finally got into the MRI at 0710. He finished around 0800. Then we had to take him back to the hospital across town. I got done at 0845. Late as usual.

I'm off for the rest of the week. I leave for New York on Thursday morning. I have an appointment to see a house today and then I plan on being a bum for a while. I will try to post before I leave, but if I don't, I will be posting all about the trip once I get back next week.


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