Thursday, June 01, 2006

Oh Orderly

I've mentioned before that I work for a private EMS system. We do 911 calls just the same as the city guys, however we also do a lot of medical transports.

For those of you unfamiliar with medical transport it generally involves taking someone who requires medical supervision to the hospital for x-rays or to a doctors appointment, then returning them to their place of residence; whether it be home or a nursing facility.

Today I felt less like an EMT doing a medical transport and more like a hospital orderly. We arrived with our patient who was due for a bone scan, we were told there would be a 10-15 minute wait and could we sit with our patient in the hall. The nurse told us that after our wait we would only be there 15 minutes "tops" she said. Well, we were pretty sure our dispatcher wouldn't want to send us away only to have to call us back in 3o minutes so we waited. And we waited some more.

During this waiting time either myself or my partner were summoned 2-3 times to come into the x-ray room and help move a patient. For the greater good of company PR we happily obliged.

Finally was our patients turn and just like she said "15 minutes tops" BUT, when he was done magically he needed some standard x-rays as well and could we wait in the hall. Now we are getting concerned. It's approaching a hour we have been here and we are sure our dispatcher is getting a bit on the concerned side. Not for our safety, but someone probably has to go somewhere else and we are tied up here.

We receive a page to check in. My partner relays the information to the dispatcher and we sit to wait with our patient again. During this waiting time we were asked to relocated our patient more than 6 times and summoned 2-3 more times to help with other patients. Over an hour passes and FINALLY we get in. The films are taken and we are on our way 2.75 hours after we got there for a 15 minute "tops" appointment.

I guess I'm a little frustrated with the entire health care spectrum. If they really need more help to process patients quicker, maybe they should hire more people. I'm an EMT, not an orderly.


1 comment:

Kelsey said...

Next time give dispatch a ring and let 'em know. Might not be quite AS boring. I can't believe they asked you to help move patients though.... Would it have been plausible to wait in the rig? Go out to eat? Strip club? I'm rambling... Hope you're well.