Having worked in workplace environments within the Royal Air Force and the Police Authorities of Cambridge and Lincolnshire, which are very disciplined and have strict protocols on work ethics and the strive for excellence. I have found that my own personal vision for the service I am employed by is that;
I have received quality and intensive training to perform our role, not only in medical patient care and treatment, but been given an insight to our ever changing community service users. Our users are not all the same, they have different needs and capabilities and understanding of our service. Therefore, I pride myself in having the ability to deliver our service to my best potential. Sometimes it is not about treatment and medical issues. I have found over my career that there is a percentage of our role that deals with social issues and other factors that we need to be aware of and deal with accordingly, to each individual patient. For example, we should make a judgement if a patient is of a certain ethnic group or beliefs in a different religion. As far as I a concerned I am treating and looking after a person who needs our medical attention.
I recall one particular individual, who was a 28 year old male, who had self-harmed by scratching his face. The injuries were superficial, but still needed transporting to an Urgent Care Centre for treatment, to prevent infection. The police were in attendance as the male appeared to be intoxicated. The male was assisted onto the ambulance vehicle, and whilst talking to him, taking past medical history, that lead up to the events that night, if became evident that this male was extreme right wing and supported Nazism. He explained that he had been in the Army and had served in Afghanistan. He had very outspoken views on ethic groups now living in the United Kingdom. I did not agree with his views at all, and felt that it would not be appropriate for me to express my opinion at the time, bearing in mind he appeared to be volatile. If this patient had been in a position to negotiate, I might have engaged in conversation with him to determine why he felt this way, and maybe give him a little understanding why ethnics groups find themselves living in other countries because it has become untenable to live in their country of birth.
Because of our continuing demand for our services, I have had conversations with patients and especially family members who are very upset about waiting so long for the ambulance to arrive. I have had critism about turning up at 4 o’clock in the morning, in the middle of winter with horrendous working weather conditions. I have explained to the families that although they are inside a warm house, the weather conditions outside do not allow us to proceed to a scene or premises at speed. Unfortunately, we are an emergency service but cannot meet our 8 minute response due to conditions that are out of our control. Most people have never considered these elements, but on explaining they now have an understanding of our demanding role.
Attending a 78 year old male with chief complaint of chest infection. On arrival his wife, who was a very little lady and clearly distressed. My colleague attended the patient whilst I spoke with the wife in an attempt to calm her down. She explained to me that they had been together for 60 and she could not face losing him now. I explained to her that what I’d seen of his condition and symptoms said to her that I thought he had a chest infection. Because this lady was distracted, she was busy sorting his overnight bag out, still in tears and distressed. When my colleague had assessed the elderly male, we decided to contact the GP for an appointment with a view for antibiotics. When the wife realised that this was not life threatening, she started laughing and disclosed to me that she had already sorted out her “little black number” to wear at his funeral. Whilst chatting away with her she said that they did not have children and preferred just spending their money. She explained to me that her husband was very fruggle with his money, and all she wanted was a window cleaner, because she was too short to get to the top of the windows. I jokingly suggested that if she put the kettle on and made us a cup of tea, I would clean the top halves of her windows. After cleaning her kitchen, patio and conversatory windows, we were about to leave the premises. She could not have been happier, she was full of gratutute to both of us, and could not understand why the emergency ambulance staff would clean her windows. A few weeks later, my colleague and myself received a thank you letter from her, which was humbling to receive. Her parting comments to the CEO was that we “should be given a pay rise”. On reflection to this detail, the patient was treated and given an alternative pathway for his treatment, the wife was delighted with having her windows cleaned.