EMS Abuse

  1. O.K. all my E.R. brethren, I have what I believe is the absolute, hands down, no competition, circumstance of EMS Abuse, I have ever seen in 20++ years experience in E.R. Recently I was working a medium sized E.R. in rural Georgia. 7p-7a shift, atapproximately 11:30p an ambulance arrived with a male patient
    who while walking the streets at night, fell into an open "manhole" apparently unmarked. He didn't fall to the bottom due to quick thinking on his part, he held his arms out away from his body, thereby catching himself before this disaster
    was possibly compounded by a twelve foot vertical fall. He was not the abuser of EMS system, the twenty something male patient in the next ambulance was.
    This guy had witnessed, the fall and also witnessed EMS picking
    up the aforementioned patient. He was hitch-hicking/walking to his girlfriends house. Well a lightbulb must have switched "On"
    because he then proceeded to call EMS to come and take him to E.R., Complaint; he was walking and got "Short of breath"
    apparently this E.R. was closer to his girlfriends house. He didn't even bother to Register, he went immediately to the telephone,
    (Provided Free in E.R. waiting room) and called her to come for him. Now I ask you can you top this?
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  2. 29 Comments

  3. by   ERNurse752
    Honestly, I don't think I can...what a ~$*$^*%#$*@#*@!!!!!!!!
  4. by   ICU_ER_EMT-P_RN
    Jay, off the top of my head I can't top that!!! But, I do work in an Emergency Dept. in Gary, Indiana and I'm sure I can think of a similar situation. It is very frustrating to see this abuse first hand. I can recall working as a Paramedic in the South Suburbs of Chicago a couple of years ago and having an entire neighborhood of people call for an ambulance because they all "fell out" during a HOT summer.
  5. by   jimminy
    We had an ambulance pull up on the dock with 3 kids and a mother in it. Mom had called EMS for "abdominal pain". When they got out, Mom denied treatment on the dock, then proceeded to walk across the street to the zoo!! Free ride to zoo
  6. by   ERNurse752
    What a total !@#^*!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Maybe next time she'll get eaten by a lion...
  7. by   Jay Levan
    Hey, Thanx for responding "Off the Top of My Head" (which
    doesn"t have much on it) I'd say, ICU_ER_EMT-P_RN, and
    jimminy both beat my example. Congrats, and keep up the good
    work
  8. by   canoehead
    I used to work at a crisis line in a large city and we were able to send taxis to those on welfare wishing to go to a hospital ER, and get it paid for by welfare.


    The hospitals were located right by the section of town with lots of bars and nightlife, so our calls went up on weekends. We would even get calls after the bars closed, with people saying take me home, sodden drunk. apparently providing taxis for the abusers was cheaper than ambulances. But once people were drunk it only took one of them on welfare to get the whole sopping crowd home, and lots of times people not on welfare would give us a buzz and try to get a cab, and give us a hard time when we wouldn't provide free cab service for the whole bar.

    Arguing with drunks at 3am can be kind of fun when you don't have to deal with them face to face. Cab drivers hated those pickups though, can't blame them a bit.
  9. by   Sundance99
    Well working as paramedic we got a call to take a bedridden patient to the Dr's office and all the call was for was so that the patient could get her toe nails clipped and her mother to go shopping. I have many more but this stands out the most.
  10. by   ikimiwi
    just the other night, a pt I triaged for a toothache left the hosp, went outside to the corner and called an ambulance to bring her in, so she would get in faster, quite the look on her face when I made her get off the stretcher and start over again at triage, so after I triaged her twice, 1 ambulance ride, she left because the wait was too long..........Give me the strength to make it thru another night!!
  11. by   wildtime88
    I cant top the any of these.

    I did have the opportunity to work at a place that had a dedicated stretcher triage. That was so nice. The assigned triage nurse triaged and categorized them. I actually enjoyed when it was my turn especially when I could tell them to get up and go to the front and sign in and wait to be triaged. Some would get very upset because they came by ambulance and were not taken directly to the treatment area.

    Every place should do this instead of putting them directly into a spot. The other good thing about this was even if EMS had started an IV there was ample room to put them on a ER cart or have them sit in a chair and let them wait their proper turn based on acuity.

    It really does cut down on ER cart shuffle and if you have a patient that needs to go straight back, then it is not that much of a problem. It also cuts down on the nursing staff frustration in the treatment area and improves the flow in the long run.
  12. by   LerRN95
    As an EMT I had several "abuse calls". As an ER Nurse, I still get to hear about them or witness them. Most recently being a patient drove herself to the ER and demanded the registration clerk to call her an ambulance to take her to another hospital.
  13. by   mdslabod
    Tired of getting floated from ICU, I started working in the ER per diem.
    I never knew how hectic it was and how frustrating.
    People come to the ER for everything from "pelvic pain" to "my arm hurts where I got a flu shot"
    Many are drug seekers.
    It gets rather difficult keeping a straight face sometimes.

    Just feel better knowing that I am not alone.


    MDS
  14. by   traumaRUs
    I totally agree with all of the above. I work in large inner city hospital in midwest and see the abusers so often, it makes me sick. Some of them never get past triage - the wait is too long, there isn't a cart to lay down on, etc.. Oh well, you can't meet everyone's needs.

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