Sunday, 7 November 2010

Off Duty

At a family wedding not long ago, I caught sight early of one of the relatives, and went over to say hello. Other than being the friendly thing to do, there was also an ulterior motive.
He's a doctor. When we're at joint family functions, the first one to remember always calls "Off duty", leaving the other one supposedly in charge if anything goes wrong. It never has done before. I called it on this one, since the next scheduled one is for his engagement, and I thought it fair to let him have that one day off.
As the evening went on, one of the older guests collapsed in the middle of the dance floor. I didn't see it happen, or even sense anything was wrong, until I saw the doc get dragged away.
Being the nosey type, and realising that for him to be pulled away like he was must mean something's happened, I followed closely behind, arriving at the patient less than thirty seconds later.
I listened in to the initial assessment whilst stood behind him, and only after that offered my assistance.
"Glad you're here. This patient's a bit out of my league!"
Yes, he's a doctor. And by all accounts a good one.
But he's a paediatrician.
And this patient was just, as he put it, "a little too big" for him.
A joint operation of looking after our patient was completed, thankfully with no paperwork for a change.
We both walked back to our seats and mulled on our joint occupational hazard.
"Off duty, huh?" I laughed. "Apparently there's no such thing!"


Mini Medic said...

Even when I am off-duty, I still can't turn off "paramedic" thinking. I've actually begun assessments on Facebook pages...yeah, I'm THAT bad.

oneunder said...

Ambulance blinkers required.

Anonymous said...

You're never off duty! And, wherever there's anything going on, there's always at least two 'proper' medical people! Dr Abuse :)

Nicki said...

We are always on duty whether we like it or not. I played medic at a wedding when the bride broke her leg. I was late for dinner reservations because a car accident happened in front of me. The list goes on. But even when no one is sick or hurt, I am still planning my course of action at my son's band concerts, in my college classes, etc...if something should happen to someone!

Michael Morse said...

Even when I try to look the other way, guarantee somebody knows what I do and drags me in!

InsomniacMedic said...

Paramedic blinkers are a brilliant idea - except that it seems they're see-through - in one direction or another...