Doctor Who?….or Doctor Where?….

December 3, 2006


Well the three day shifts I did lived upto (or down to) expectations, we were late off each day which, added to being late off on all my previous night shifts, has left me completely and utterly knacked!! And guess what? I,m back on nights tomorrow for 4 x 12 hour shifts!! Really looking forward to those…not!!

One of the things that amazes me within the medical profession is why dont Doctors stay on scene with their poorly patients and wait for us to arrive? We were sent to an 83 year old male who was unconscious and breathing, suffering recently from a UTI (urinary tract infection).

We arrived at the address (within 8 minutes so the great God ORCON will be pleased) and found the patient in bed and in a very serious state. His breathing was laboured and his blood pressure was in his boots (very low). Oxygen was given, he was monitored, cannulated and a call put into the A/E for resus to be put on standby.

All the while we were doing this and getting the patient ready for rapid transportation to the hospital, the staff at the Nursing Home told us that the G.P. had left 5 minutes prior to our arrival. Why? He could have assisted us in getting a more detailed history of his patient, the least he could have done seeing as he left without giving us any initial observations to go on. This patient was “proper poorly”.

The times that we are told “…doctor is on scene.” and we arrive to find that they have gone beggars belief. When a doctor has stayed on scene I have found them (in the majority of cases), to be very helpful and they are usually surprised as to how much we can do. I still believe that most of them think we are just ambulance drivers and thats all!

With this gentleman there was some confusion in the history and we kept being told that he had a UTI. It was written in his care plan and the antibiotics had been noted down. On listening to the patients chest with the old stethoscope it was obvious that he had a severe chest infection and URTI (upper respiratory tract infection.) A simple mistake in putting down his condition in his care plan when using abbreviations had occured.

We went on Blues & Twos to the A/E where the team were waiting. Turns out he had right sided pneumonia.