Home > Uncategorized > Thoughts on foxholes…

Thoughts on foxholes…

The Emergency Department I work in has a huge staffing shortage.

We’ve had this problem for awhile, we knew it was coming and no one did anything about it, or at least didn’t do anything fast enough to avert the massive holes on the nursing and EMT schedules. Because of said scheduling holes, I have been working a lot. When I say a lot, I mean I’ve been averaging five, sometimes six or seven, twelve hour shifts in a week. That’s a whole lot of time I spend with my coworkers. The night crew is a good bunch, but because of the staff shortage, we’ve been the most screwed since a majority of people prefer to work during the day (Who the hell would work during sleeping hours?). So time and time again I find myself working with the same EMTs, short-handed and busy as hell because summertime is when the entire world is out doing things that will get them hurt.

A few weeks back, one of the EMTs that works even more than I do said to me,”Whenever the shit hits the fan, it seems like you’re the one here with me. You don’t piss off the guy sharing your foxhole. He’s the one you give your last cigarette to, because he’s the one watching your back.”

This is the same EMT that I had help me pull a dead lady out of a car in front of her family, which was a normal task until we damn near dropped the woman. There was a moment when we were both hanging on to her, her body is about halfway between the car seat and the stretcher and we both felt her slipping. Her three family members are wandering around us while we do this, intermittently crying (understandably). We look at each other as we felt her slip, and there was a definite “Are we fucked?” look that passed between us. Fortunately for both of us we managed to get the woman onto the stretcher, get her and her family into a room to wait for the medical examiner.

This consistent night bunch has started using possessive pronouns when referring to each other, “My people”, “My nurses”, and referring to nights where we are without even one of these people as “Working alone”. This high-stress work seems to bond people together quickly, and deeply. I like it.

Categories: Uncategorized Tags:
  1. No comments yet.
  1. No trackbacks yet.