One of the things that is inevitable when you work for an emergency service (certainly in EMS) is the frequency of the late job!
If I am on shift from 0600 to 1800, you can almost guarantee that at least 50% of the time, a job will come in a 1745 or later which will result in me getting the aforementioned late finish.
This is all part of the job though, we all know it, we all accept it, and we all at times have a good moan about it.
The question I posed yesterday quickly got a number of responses, all stating that the standard of care doesn’t change when they get a late job. That was to be expected though.
Some may say that its only because no one would actually own up to dropping their level of care so that they can get a patient to a hospital quicker and get home as soon as possible. My theory on those that commented is that if you are either writing EMS blogs or reading them, you have a certain dedication or commitment to your profession which would suggest that you would be treating all patients the same way regardless of what time of shift it is.
Maybe though that isn’t the same for everyone.
I try to keep the attitude that I will finish when I am done. I tend not to think that I finish at a certain time, that way I wont be disappointed when it doesn’t happen. That doesn’t mean I don’t mutter the occasional swear word when we get caught 10 minutes before the end of shift on the way back to station, after all Im only human right? But by the time I am standing in front of the patient, its all smiles and courtesy again.
Its easy to keep up the professionalism when you are presented with a late job and the patient is acutely unwell and it is a ‘proper job’. The difficulty comes when the caller that makes you miss seeing your kids before they go to bed, is one of your inappropriate users of the emergency services. That is when you try and put the smile back on your face and keep your professionalism.
Its expected that we always treat our patients the same way, regardless of time of day or closeness to shift finishing time, and at the end of the day, is it really worth risking your job to get home 30 mins earlier.
I would find it interesting though if there were ever a study done on patient experience from ambulance services dependant on time of day that the call was made!
What do you think?