If you’re in EMS – you know what I mean by load n go or stay n pray.
If you’re not in EMS – a brief explanation; some medics prefer to get out of the house as fast as possible and “work the patient up” while they patient is in the ambulance. Load and Go medics bring as little equipment into the house as possible. Load the patient onto the litter (stretcher) and then Go out the door. Asking questions, taking vitals, doing medic type stuff on the way to the hospital
Stay n pray medics would rather pitch a tent (thus we called them Campers), haul all the equipment into the house and make a mess.
I really hate messes.
Back in my early days, when I was an EMT at Medic 108, we had a part time medic who was notoriously a Camper.
He was a nice guy – but man, he turned the simplest call into a Lifetime Original Movie. Campers like to spread all their equipment on the floor. They like to ask the patient 5 million questions. They like to ask the family 5 million questions. They like to gather up all the medications littered throughout the house and put them in a brown bag to transport with the patient (as taught to do in medic class). They do every thing by the book, line for line, word for word.
County dispatch would always check in with the EMS crew if, after 20 minutes, they heard nothing from the crew. And thus, when we worked with the Camper, county was always checking in on us.
“Medic 108, for the third time today, Status Check?”
One time, and I’m not proud of this (I’m lying, I totally am proud of it) – the Camping Medic, myself, and another EMT (back in those days, we ran 2 EMTs and 1 medic – good times!) were on a call at the local nursing home that was just a few blocks from the hospital.
I don’t remember exactly what the call was, but I do remember it was a class three patient – nothing serious.
Of course, the Camper was dragging his feet, and actually left the room to go to the records room to make copies of some paperwork.
I don’t even think there was a conversation about what my EMT partner and I were going to do – eye contact was all that was needed as he and I wheeled out the patient to the rig, drove two minutes to the hospital, dropped the patient off, gave a report to the ER nurse, replaced the dirty sheets on the stretcher with clean ones, and we were loading the stretcher back into the rig when country radio called us: “108 – could you return back to the nursing home? Apparently you forgot your tent.”
More EMS stories available in the book - Girl Medic: Confession of Chaos and Calamity Behind the Sirens. Available in ebook format on Amazon or Barnes and Noble.