Posted by: medicblog999 | December 31, 2008



Its funny how some things stick in your mind. Over the last 9 years I have cared for thousands of patients and families, I have been involved in some truly wonderful moments and have had the privilege to be present in some circumstances which both I and the family involved will never forget.

As I drive around the area that I cover, I constantly pass places which bring back certain jobs. I am still relatively new to this career but I hear myself talking to new staff, telling them that I delivered a baby in that house, had a fatal RTC (road traffic accident) on this corner, got a woman back from cardiac arrest in that street. My area is no longer just street names but constant reminders of the jobs I have done and the reasons why I keep coming back day after day.


One of the greatest privileges a health professional has is that of being present at the most intimate of times, where joy and despair can be seen in separate families within minutes of each other. The trust that is placed on a paramedics shoulders can sometimes be immense, but the response from 99% of patients and families when arriving on scene for an emergency is universally one of relief. For a period of time they have had to cope with their emergency, whatever it may be, with little or no training. They listen to what our call handlers tell them to do and they try their very best to help their loved one in whatever way possible, whilst sometimes feeling more scared and vulnerable than they have ever felt before.


Then we arrive.


Sometimes I feel scared, sometimes I need to take a moment before I can fully comprehend what is happening in front of my eyes, but I will always take away the responsibility from the family.


Everything they have done to help has given their loved one the very best chances of survival or recovery, but now it is our turn to help. It is easy to forget that for virtually every emergency there is more than one patient. The family have to be included, the family need to be with their loved one whenever possible and be involved in their assessment and treatment.


It is easy to start reflecting at the end of a year, but it is harder to remember the families that I have cared for that will not be looking back on 2008 with good memories. Some of us choose to not think too hard about our patients that have died or have had their lives changed forever, but I choose to remember and with these memories I am reminded of the good that the ambulance service can do in even the most hopeless circumstances


All the best for 2009! Lets hope it’s a good and healthy one.


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