Sunday, May 27, 2007

- Origin of The Gimp

*Note: Although I use "Him", "He, and "His" in this post, the individual the reference could easily be a female. I used the male gender to simplify things and also because most of us guys are dummies.*

The Second of the previously promised posts. I've been assigned to work with a recently cleared paramedic. Sitting in my manager's office and listening to him set up the new schedule (that I hate), I realized that him cutting this new paramedic loose with me was his way of saying that he trusted me enough as an EMT and as a person to help keep this feller in line and cover his ass - remember the old maxim "Paramedics save lives. EMTs save Paramedics."

Alternately, I realized after a few days that I might've had it wrong; that we're short on medics and EMTs and he might not of had another choice.

And then after that, I thought he put me with this medic because he found out I stole a box of gloves to protect my hands for all the ooky jobs I have to do around my house and was doing it to punish me. This wasn't until the next week, after a few shifts with the individual I shall henceforth refer to as The Gimp.

Anyway, that all came later. My chest swelled with pride and I walked out of the office with my head held high.

Hahahahaha. The joke's on me.

Day 1: The Gimp looks like a nice enough person. We have one bad call - a fall. He tries to put the patient on the stretcher backwards. "Accident," I think to myself. "Could've happened to anyone. He's just nervous, hell, I would be too." Just an accident. We make it though the rest of the shift but as the day wears on I quickly realize this is not a normal person I am working with.

Day 2: I get to work thirty minutes early. The Gimp is already there. "Well, at least he's punctual." I think. "Maybe yesterday was a fluke."

Yesterday was not a fluke, ladies and gents. More crazy talk from The Gimp. He calls his spouse and at the end of every sentence is a "Baby" or "Sweetheart" - at the end of EVERY sentence, even "Hello" (hello baaaaby) and Goodbye (Goooodbye sexy). Watching The Gimp function in daily like is like watching a train wreck - he's like a big clumsy bear trapped in a boy body, even more so then myself. He was walking in an empty parking lot and just FELL DOWN. Like, busted his ass.

Also, he tries to sing along to every song on the radio, which wouldn't be too bad except for the fact that his singing voice sounds like someone is molesting a yak and he doesn't know any of the goddamn words. Also he always tries to put the radio on the contemporary Christian Station and sing along to as well. I can't take much of Christian radio to begin with and it really gets on me nerves.

Day 3: This is when I start to suspect something is really wrong. We get a call out for a chest pain and rock n roll inside. The patient is a 54 y/o female, AAO, having the TEXTBOOK presentation for an MI - sweaty, 10/10 crushing substernal chest pain, radiating to the jaw and shoulder, etc etc. I hook her up and begin the patient interview while The Gimp juggles the patient's medications and looks at her history. I can see ST elevation in the 4 lead (Bradycardic at 45, BP 162/78, rr 20 @ 100%) and run a 12 on the lady as I give her ASA and nitro. This lady is having an inferior MI with 3mms of elevation. Great. I shove the 12 lead to The Gimp for him to look at, which he does. Then, after studying it for a good 30 seconds, he says it.

"We should ask her family if she has a living will."


The patient goggled at the sight of an EMT and two fire fighter's jaws hitting the floor at the exact same time. She sat there, a normal, formerly perfectly healthy lady having her version of the Big One, and my idiot partner is basically asking her if she wants life saving measures carried out. Some of you may not understand why this is bugging me so much but the lady is in obvious distress and called an ambulance because she hurt so much. I'm just going to guess that she probably doesn't mind if we decide we need to do CPR or intubate! In fact, considering the look she's giving us all right now, she probably REALLY wants to live.

Composing myself, I told him to grab the bottom of her bed sheet to carry her out.

In the truck he missed his IV twice and then tripped over the lady's O2 tubing, ripping the cannula out of her nose.

So, with anyone else this might just be three bad days but it doesn't let up at all. He stood around with his thumb in his ass, as mentioned in "The Wreck" post before this one, and I basically ran his call for him.


Truth be told I feel kind of bad for Gimpy. I realize being newly cleared as a paramedic is tough, and I suppose those first few shifts by yourself can be terrifying (I'll find out soon enough, I guess), but this individual has a real bad habit of grating the nerves of everyone that they work with. No one can seem to get along with him. I really hope he gets it together because I think he would be an excellent medic if he could just chill out and concentrate. I really hope he finds someone that can stand him.



Ambulance Driver said...

"We should ask her family if she has a living will."

Heh. Real tact wizard they've saddled you with.

I possess a faulty internal censor, but even *I* wouldn't have said THAT.

pixie.dust said...

Yikes ... how soon will you get away from this guy? *shudder*

Loving Annie said...

Some people are good at what they do, and some people aren't and may never be.

We all have a learning curve.

Hopefully Gimpy's going to get it together soon. Or find another job somewhere. Shudder.
(The Christian music thing would have me in Church confessing uncharitable thoughts of premeditated murder...)

But on to other topics you mentioned -- sick puppy that I am, ghoulish wench, I personally would like it if a paramedic wanted to know if I had a DNR...

I hate more than anything seeing someone come into our emergency room that we pretty much know is not going to have much quality of life -- or any life, for that matter, and see everyone fererishly working over them, adding up huge medical bills just so they can say they followed procedure.

I want to have a choice when I can still speak. And that might even be in the ambulance. It certainly won't be after I'm intubated...