Who do you want seeing to you if you have an unknown ailment? – A Doctor of course.
Who do you want assisting in the operating room? – A nurse of course.
And who do you want assisting you when you are in a motorcycle accident with midline C-spine tenderness, tingling fingers and a clearly mangled clavicle? – Why, a nurse of course!
Before you nursing types get your scrubs in a wad (scrubs are just pajamas by the way) I have no business on the floors doing your job. I am not trained to do your job, nor will I ever try to tell you how to do your job, unless of course I see you harming in a way I can help.
With that in mind, the following tale.
The gang is rung out for a motorcycle versus vehicle and a 90 year old man has been ejected from the vehicle. Knowing the rider is likely 19, not 90, we arrive to a sharp turn known for trouble in our area and find the local PD doing their thing and blocking traffic. On the ground, in full leathers and helmet laying nearby, is our middle aged patient, alert and in clear discomfort.
Under his now hyper flexed head is a large messenger type bag and his chin is at his chest. As my EMT and I approach we are intercepted by the Pajama Man (nurse) who begins to explain to us his credentials and that he saw the accident.
When I tried to approach the man who needed help we were told by Pajama Man that he had been the one to remove the helmet and place the bag under the man’s head “for comfort, you guys took forever.”
Our assessment continued and revealed injuries and discomfort that would have led me to leave the helmet on and not even consider moving the bag under his head. Lucky for Pajama Man the patient mentioned these symptoms existed prior to the movement.
Pajama Man asked if we would need any help on the way in and my Officer, sensing my response would not be favorable, thanked him for trying to help and asked for his contact information, which he refused to give of course.
For just the briefest of moments I wanted to make this situation into something bigger, to call Pajama Man on his arrogance and complete disregard for BASIC patient assessment. He had not even asked the patient’s name. My mind flashed forward to me standing in the Chief’s office being reminded to respect other health care professionals who arrive on scene and that he was an RN after all, and I’m just a glorified technician who gets off on sirens and flashing lights. Not what she would have said, but the opinion of Pajama Man, I’m sure.
So, in the interest of keeping my job and continuing quality patient care, I let Pajama Man go about his day, with no real way of informing him what a poor job he did in my field of expertise without causing a whole mess of trouble.
Pajama Man is off doing what he does and would go nuclear if I wandered onto his floor and started changing drip rates, medication doses or imaging times simply because I was trying to help, but will likely stop at another accident scene and intervene.