Thursday, 5 August 2010

The Best

We all do it. We try desperately to avoid it, but in our line of work, it's an occupational hazard. And over the last couple of days, two of my fellow bloggers have, in one way or another, written about it.

JustMe in her blog reflects on what seemed a routine call that gives her no peace.

FishMedic in his blog reflects on all the What Ifs, where he'll never know.

Go read their blogs, and see how sometimes the knowledge that we'll never discover the outcome, is the toughest part of this job.

Ninety-nine times out of every hundred, we'll not know what happens to our patients once they've left our care.

Once in every hundred, or maybe thousand, or even more, that fact will bother us.

I don't think any of us can answer the questions that they're left with.

But we can all offer them a shoulder to lean on and our support, and leave our colleagues in no doubt that we all experience the same, we all have our own questions, we all sometimes have sleepless nights. Whether we are brand new to this job, or seasoned old-hands, sometimes we'll also need that shoulder.

Last night, I think I missed a trick too, on something we don't see very often. As soon as we'd delivered our patient to the A&E department, I kicked myself for not thinking about it, and hoped that the staff at the hospital would be a little quicker on the uptake than I was. I'll never know.

Questioning is good. Reflecting is good. We need it to ensure that our patients always get the best treatment, and that we are always striving to be the best we can.

Even if we don't always have the best answers.


Anonymous said...

nobody's perfect and doing the best is all that can be asked of you.

Ambulance Amateur said...

I'm only a Community First Responder, so I find out even less about what happens to patients than you do!

At least you see them into A&E; all I do is see them into the back doors of your truck.

OK, in a few regretable cases, we know only too well what the outcome was as the patient was "called" at the scene. However, we don't even know if some patients made it to hospital still breathing.

It would be good if we could know about our successes, not only when we (collectively) couldn't do anything.