BlogHer of the Week: Trauma Queen
By Jory Des Jardins on November 02, 2009
BlogHer Original Post
In the U.S. we love our emergency room dramas, fictional life-and-death scenarios punctuated with occasional, on-the-job romance. But Kal, the Scottish paramedic who pens Trauma Queen is the BlogHim of the Week because he's proven that even the mundanities of real-life emergency medicine--the chit-chat between co-workers and the characters encountered in the most public of workplaces--can also be gripping, if described with skill and the expertise necessary to bring them to life.
In "Scott", a graphic account of a routine call with a new colleague and trusted intern, Kal puts us into the ambulance and onto the streets of Edinburgh. He describes his world with a casualness that could be mistaken for a conversation in the pub. But behind the banter lies much more consequential material. Here, he and Hoggle, his new co-worker, and Scott, the "First Aider" on the scene, attempt to resuscitate a drunk, unconscious man.
Scott is handing over to Hoggle, he concludes by turning to me.
“I’ve had a bit of an argument with EMDC. They wanted me to leave him on his back, but I wanted him in recovery…”
I look down at the patient, his mouth and nose smeared in drool and vomit and shrug.
“Until we get here, it’s your airway mate. You do what you think you need to.”
“But they said…”
“The instructions aren’t written for people who know what to do. They reckon it’s easier to notice a respiratory arrest if you keep him supine. With no kit? I’d have him on his side too.”
Hoggle is pinching the patient hard.
“Kal, I’m getting nowhere.”
I step to her side and deploy my complete range of painful stimuli.
I also get nowhere.
There aren’t many drunks you genuinely can’t wake up, but this guy’s done it. I suddenly realise that this may not be your average D&I.
We never learn what happens to the patient, who is transported to the hospital. I suspect this is too common an occurrence for Kal to address in this post. But we do learn of his respect for Scott, who seems to have instincts for more than the medical side of his job. While attempting to help the drunk man, Kal notes that he doesn't have a proper place to dispose of a used needle, which Scott handles immediately. Here we get a glimpse of the seriousness of Kal's job, and the challenges.
Kal agrees to let Scott "observe", or attend a shift with him. We end here, eager for what we will experience with the team next.
Thanks to everyone for continuing to send in your nominated posts. Remember to nominate individual posts, not entire blogs, and keep them coming! If you want to check out all the BlogHer of the Week posts, check out the BlogHer of the Week archive
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