Puzzles at work

Warning: This blog post contains sensitive content and graphic descriptions which may be disturbing.

Imagine the following scenario.

You’re at work. You’re a metal worker. You wear all kinds of protective gear. Goggles, gloves and not to forget your vest and long trousers.

You briefly look away from your job and then a heavy metal bar falls on your hand.

You feel some pain and take off your gloves to take a look. Pulling out your hand and fingers you notice that not all of it comes out. There are two pieces missing, still in the glove. You look at your fingers and there’s blood and a bone but no finger nail on two fingers any more.

What do you do?

Well I’ll tell you about this guy. We were called to this scene and how does he respond when I ask him how he’s doing? I’m good, just pissed that it’s happened to me.

We take care of the cut off finger tips and of his hand. There’s a chance that it can be saved from how it looks. We take him to hospital. It’s a 30 min drive because the closer hospital can’t take care of this. I’m in the back with him and he just jokes around. Laughs. Receives a lot of calls and messages from his family and friends and jokes about it. He asks me if he can take pictures of it.

We won’t take the bandage off now, but in hospital I’m sure it’s fine.

And so be it. 30 min of funny conversation later we arrive at hospital, get him signed in and then we go to the emergency ward. They take off the bandages and what does he do? Takes out his phone and asks again.

Same attitude as before, not really caring about two fingers being partially chopped off.

Funny how the body reacts to stress sometimes. He didn’t bleed much, he had almost no pain. But he was very aware of all of it.


The doctor said that they probably won’t manage to reattach the tips. 😦

The day continues though. This was the first call.

We get called to a guy with a possible serious head injury. On the way there – role allocation. I take the backpack and the IPad for documentation, and I am responsible for the monitoring of the patient.

About a minute before arriving at the scene, dispatch calls. Hey, we just received a second call from the same place, a knife wound (it’s a butcher) but we aren’t sure if that’s the same patient or not. So let us know if there are one or two patients and tell us if you need assistance.

Great. Role allocation out of the window. Luckily we’re three people. So I send the other two to care for the head injury patient and I will find out about the knife injury patient.

So, I’m all alone, only equipped with a radio for communication and the equipment left in the car. Nobody knows anything about a second patient. It’s quite a big butcher and they have a concierge who hasn’t heard anything either.

He calls a bunch of people to get some info. I call dispatch for the callers name and we then finally learn where the patient is.

Turns out someone saw that my two colleagues were taking care of head injury guy and brought the other guy to them as well.

In the end luckily both had minor injuries only, we treated them and took them to hospital for a check up.

This would have been a normal, basic call without many problems or issues, but having to deal with these two patients at the same time unexpectedly makes for a stressful scenario.

I guess I can use that as an inspiration for one of my future trainings.

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