Monday, March 10, 2008

Lifting stones

Another weekend over and time to go back to work again. I seemed to spend quite a bit of the weekend going through G’s job applications, making some suggestions and redrafting parts of them. Then last night I finally got round to starting my homework for the job I have an interview. I just seem to keep lifting stones and finding more areas to think about. I have made a good start though and am beginning to get my head round some of the issues.

Friday was an interesting time at work. One of my colleagues had a really severe pain in her neck, so we ordered her a taxi so that she could go and see her doctor, but when the taxi turned up she stood up from her desk and dissolved into tears because the pain was so acute. We sent the taxi away and I called a first aider to come and give some advice, partly because we didn’t really know how to get her out of the building and she didn’t want an ambulance. Anyway, the first aider’s advice was to call an ambulance, as she was in such pain and couldn’t walk herself out of the building. So we did and they said they’d send one, but a while later they phoned back and said there was such a high demand for ambulances that they would have to prioritise who got one. An ambulance service assessor then phoned to try and find out how my colleague was doing and after speaking to her and another colleague the assessor said she wasn’t going to send an ambulance and we would have to find some way to move her ourselves. My colleague was just slumped in a chair unable to move because she was in such pain and we did explain that we had previously tried to get her home but that was what had prompted us to call an ambulance. We were left with no choice though because an ambulance was not going to be sent.

In the end one of my other colleagues had some really strong painkillers and we gave them to her so that it eased the pain enough for her to move and we took her to an NHS walk-in centre because she would get seen quicker there than in A&E and she waited there for about an hour and half to be seen (after the hour and a half it took them to say that they weren’t sending an ambulance).

Don’t get me wrong, I know that the ambulance service have a really difficult job to do. I also know that given the choice between attending a major car crash or something of equal severity and sending an ambulance to someone who is in severe pain, that the car crash should probably win, but we only phoned for an ambulance because we felt there was no other option. We went through every other option we could think of to avoid calling an ambulance, but my colleague was in such agony and the plan we had to send her home in a taxi proved unworkable that we didn’t know what else to do. So to be told that we would have to find some other solution regardless was somewhat of a frustrating conclusion to it all.

Incidentally, the diagnosis turned out to be that she had suffered some severe neck muscle damage (I have no idea how) and was given some super-strong painkillers by a doctor and sent home. Hopefully she’ll be feeling a lot better today.

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