Like I don't have enough crap going on, I have been filling some of my (nonexistant) free time volunteering back on the ambulance. This is where my initial hook into healthcare started, so its nice to take it full circle. I have an interesting perspective having done this for years both inside and outside of the hospital. At dinner the other night there was an interesting debate about healthcare and some of the city's more interesting residents.
A new EMT wanted to talk about how the residents of the housing projects really aren't given a fair shot. They don't have anyone to teach them how to grow up to be responsible adults that find value in things beyond simply material. Her thoughts were that we, as a society, don't do enough to educate people and allow them to find value in their own lives. The medic (who also works in the city) obviously had a different point of view. He sees the citizens at their worst. The crumble down homes where people treat each other more like animals than people. These same homes (or apartments) that have plasma TV's, aquariums, guns hidden within reach of children and drugs being sold from the front porch. I feel myself a little conflicted when it comes to that debate. I would love to take the optimist side and hope that with education, support and direction, that people from the projects would embrace a more traditional "better" life. Realistically, I think thats bullshit. There are people my age and younger that don't work, because they don't want to. They get a check for being disabled (ADHD, depression, PTSD) you name it. They have no care in the world how they are going to pay for Christmas gifts, mortgages, car payments or children's doctor visits. The ER is just as good as primary care and we can get them a cab ride home. Its an infuriating state of affairs. I suggested that the new EMT ride in the city. She might change her tune a little.
That night we ran 5 calls. 4 were patient refusals. 3 involved stupid drunk people that called 911 for a variety of reasons (assaulted, hives and...someone put bleach in my drink). 1 was a dumbass chick who fakes seizures to get valium. I've seen her twice in my ER in the last week. The last time she got pissed, told us to fuck off and left. The medic has transported her a couple of times also. I was a little irritated that he was being nice to her. Not that I am a bitch to my patients, but she certainly wasn't gonna get the "sweetheart" treatment from me!
The last call was a girl who was punched by her uncle while she was driving on the highway. She was a tiny thing and he popper her in the mouth, pulled her hair and ripped her shirt. Why? She says he wanted to drive the car (he was suspended). The state police hauled his ass to jail.