I yelled at a fireman yesterday. I went all bitch mode on his ass. But it was for a good reason. I was fighing for my patient. I had a bad call. An MVA on a back road. Car wrapped around a tree the only access I had to my patient... the only part I could even see was a wrist. A wrist with no radial pulse. Now the way the car was crushed, mangled around the tree I knew in the pit of my stomach that the person was no longer of this earth. But there was no way I was going to call someone based on just a pulseless wrist. So I wanted the car off the tree. I wanted access to my patient. And I wanted it ten minutes ago. So when the fireman came up to me and goes "She's dead...you got no pulse in the arm. you calling it now? I need to know now before we start pulling on that car and tree" I went off..."I most certianly am not calling based on a pulseless wrist...GET THAT GODDAMN CAR OFF THAT GODDAMN TREE...I need access to my patient, then we can talk about calling...not sooner" I paced a three foot radius around that car for 25 mins while they cut and pulled and yanked the vehicle off the tree. I do not do well with being inactive, with not helping. I'm a paramedic. I am trained to help. I don't watch very well. So I paced, waiting my turn, every so often going "Capt! You got Any activity from the patient?"
"No Baby, Nothing. But I'm still cutting"
"Thats good Capt, keep cutting!"
Then they got it off the tree. A mangled peice of metal. I got access. I was able to pronounce properly. To put my hands on the patient. To see that there was nothing I could do for her.
I broke down later. I couldn't get to her for almost 30 mins. Then I didn't want to leave her.
My supervisor came by after the call to chat. I needed it. I felt bad for getting all bitchy with the fireman. My supervisor told me that being a female paramedic in charge sometime you have to. You have to "Put your Penis in your pocket and fight like hell for the best of your patient, which you did...now you can go away knowing that you did everything you could for her...even if there is nothing you could do for her"
Lessons learned today
You can't save them all.
sometimes you have to put you penis in you pocket...and be a bitch...if it's best for your patient.