Placement: the final stretch

Alex Grant

Faculty: Medical Science
Course: BSc (Hons) Paramedic Science
Category: Allied and public health

11 August 2017

The final stretch of placement has arrived! Two day shifts and two night shifts were all that stood between me and the end-of-year assessments.

There was high demand for the ambulance service. E350, booking on available in quarters at 6.30pm, met with an immediate reply for a Red 1 'collapse, ?breathing'.

Within five minutes of being dispatched we were lugging the equipment up a few flights of stairs to the flat in question. As we walked into the kitchen we found a daughter doing chest compressions on her fully-conscious mother, who had fainted whilst cooking. Fortunately, our checks did not discover anything new for the patient but a trip to hospital was advised.

As the evening developed and the clouds departed, the rain stopped and people started to wander around outside again. A Red 2 popped down to our MDT, quickly followed by a transmission from Red Base (control). A double decker bus had T-boned a car at a busy junction and there were reports of people screaming; no further details available. We were the only resource assigned and were asked to report on arrival for critical care. The scene was fresh and teeming with the local community that all had their phones out recording us. It had, in fact, came to us over the radio as more serious than it was. No patients required hospital treatment and the police were keen to remove the vehicles to open up traffic.

Heading back into area, after assisting a few patients further away, we were on familiar territory and on-scene to our next patient within four minutes of the 999 call being generated. An altercation between two adult males had left both with stab wounds, and one had run away. Police instructed that our patient was, in fact, the initial attacker, and had been slashed in the face with a large blade. The patient was extremely aggressive towards all of us, and went to swing a punch in my direction, causing me to jump backwards. The police were quick to intervene and restrained him.

Unfortunately this is a common occurrence: there is a small population of patients who simply do not want our help.

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