Our meeting in July was “Can I help you, I’m a Paramedic?”
Our speaker, Bob Harding-Jones, is the oldest paramedic in the East of England. This came about as he is still licenced but officially retired. He joined the service in his 40s after a career as a dairy farmer, and spent 26 years on the front line.
Bob told us many stories from his time as a paramedic, including learning on the job about how to talk to patients, dealing with warring pensioners, coping with timewasting calls and sorting out genuine emergencies.
One of problems he had to deal with was the rigid automatic triage systems which couldn’t cope with 3 month old babies (“Can the patient form sentences?”) or 84 year old women (“Is the patient pregnant?”). Needless to say, common sense prevailed.
Even “Dr Google” had his moment of glory in helping a patient diagnose a serious poisoning case themselves. Bob explained that the key is to ignore the first sensational diagnoses and probably look for the NHS entries.