You’ve broken your arm, and you have my sympathy. You were in quite a bit of pain, but the paramedic gave you a lot of nice drugs and you’re not feeling too shabby now. You now need a trip to the local children’s hospital, not a short journey.
Because the paramedic has given you some drugs, the paramedic needs to come along. Fair enough, one of the side effects of morphine is respiratory arrest, and so we need to have something like naloxone available just in case. This isn’t a drug I can give, so the paramedic is needed. Not a problem, we can take two in the back along with a patient.
Except, because you’re under 16, your mother also really needs to come along. Again, this wouldn’t be a particular issue, if it was just you, and about a year ago it wouldn’t have been an issue even with the paramedic along (at least, not officially).
Unfortunately, someone cocked up the weighing of the vehicle, and we’re not really sure if the weight limit can take three people plus a patient in the back. Counting a crew of two (driver and attendant), a patient, a parent and a paramedic, we’re over our limit, and only one person on the crew is expendable: the attendant. Me.
Off my truck goes, and I’m left stood in the primary treatment centre, and I’m in a bit of a fix. I can’t commit myself to a patient in the treatment centre, because I don’t know when my truck will be back and I’ll need to be available for that straight away. I can’t transfer to another vehicle, this will leave someone else without a ride. This leaves me unable to treat, unable to transport, and unable to really do anything.
My crew-mate eventually gets back, but it’s someone else’s turn to get a patient, and nothing else needs transporting. We get a 999 call, which I could respond to, but it gets given to another crew (who’ve already dealt with and transported a patient) and they ignore us when my crew-mate and I ask them to swap.
Now I know this was just bad luck. There wasn’t anything done that was unreasonable (though that last crew did annoy me), but that didn’t leave me any less frustrated. I hadn’t seen a patient all weekend, and still haven’t seen any patient on an ambulance that has needed me to use my advanced skills, and given my continuing track record it’s going to be a long time before I do. Combined with not being able to do NHS shifts any more, this leaves me wondering whether qualifying was actually worth the stress.
Of cause, this was then compounded by everyone else asking if I enjoyed my transport, and then overly lamenting when I tell them that I didn’t actually get to go on it. Oh, and a Control officer going ‘had we known (which they did), we could have sorted something for you’, which irritated me, a lot. Not to mention my friend going on and on and on about the people he’d treated that day, and not getting the hint that I had had a shit day and didn’t want to talk about it.
Still, I’ll probably be crewing during major duty season next year, so I might get something.
Or I might just get sat somewhere, bored out of my skull with an irritating crew mate. Listening to everyone else being kept busy, and wishing I was out on a bike, getting to do something…