Tick tock

Ultimately, a lot of what we’re doing in EMS is ferrying people towards their deaths. 

In the literally-true-but-irrelevant sense, we’re all dying. But that’s not what I mean. Pre-hospital and Emergency workers spend a lot of time around people in their final hours and days, even though we don’t always think about it. 

It’s easy to get fixated on the “glory job”, the case where our care may be able to prevent the death of a young and healthy person. But those cases are relatively uncommon.

Most of our time is spent with the very old and terminally ill. It takes a lot less to kill these people and a lot more to “save them”. And they’re not glamorous.

It’s not the car crash, it’s the third pneumonia in a year. It’s not the knife wound, it’s the complications from surgery for a broken hip. Some people have the smell of death on them.

Most of the time we can’t prevent death, we can only ease the suffering.

We can treat the patient with dignity. 

We can leave a coin for the ferryman.

This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to Tick tock

  1. Pingback: Tick tock | Prehospital and Retrieval Medicine - THE PHARM dedicated to the memory of Dr John Hinds

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s