Funny How Some People Show Appreciation

Now on the whole I consider myself a pretty humble man. I think I am a great medic that learns everyday. I firmly believe you have to get to the point of thinking you are a great medic in order for you to have the confidence to instill and inspire it in others. I also believe we must remain humble, to a degree, with our patients. 

So me and my partner respond to a rollover that quickly turns into a mass casualty incident. Not the biggest in the history of MCIs but still quickly we needed additional resources and units. Most of the patients involved were not wearing seat belts, something the parents of the children are quickly going to have to answer for to the police. There were no ejections, some miracles are apparent, especially when the entire roof of the vehicle is caved in and all the windows are blown out along with the belongings of an entire family. 

I get my patients and even though they are not severely injured I continue to do everything in my trauma protocol for them. Full trauma assessment, V/S, trauma alert to local trauma center due to mechanism and in this case calming and reassuring the patients. One of my patients is a teen. He looks nervous. So I take a few moments to explain what is happening to him as well as to his family. I pat his shoulder and explain that while we might not be out of danger we are in far better shape than the accident scene would have lead us to believe driving up to it. 

At the ER I go in with each patient and personally give each patients report to their respective nurses and then go around doing a follow up after. Each patient ended up in a different wing of the ER. The teen I go see after I am done and given him a rundown of his family, I again reassure him and tell him I hope everything and everyone turns out ok. I sincerely mean it. 

As me and my partner are cleaning out the unit in the ER bay I notice something of mine is missing. An electronic device I use on our down time is missing. It might be that it was moved during our code 3 response but as I search something flashes in my memory. I see the teen patient holding his backpack in the unit and as he makes eye contact with me he squeezes the bag as if protecting it from me. 

Now why would he be protecting it from me, my mind asks, and isn’t it amazing how our mind works?

I don’t want to be making wild accusations, I also don’t want to walk into his room and go all Vincent Vega from Pulp Fiction on this kid. I’m also not a rich guy, I am a paramedic, so I have to bite the bullet and go talk to the ER staff. They are already taking the patient’s belongings into custody because they are going to take him for some x-rays. Sure enough, even from a small distance, I see them pulling out my items from the kids backpack. The items easily are valued at over 450 dollars.

I know this because I had purchased the items just two days prior. 

I of course can’t just take the items back. Staff advises me local PD will have to be involved. Charges must be pressed. They can’t just give me items from a patient’s bag because I say it’s mine. I understand. I wouldn’t want them doing that to me if I was a patient. Some of my family have been patients at that hospital. 

Suffice it to say that I am still conflicted as I hear the officer begin to read the ex-patient of mine their Miranda rights. I am conflicted when I hear how as soon as he was discharged from the ER he was placed in handcuffs and lead outside to a patrol car waiting for him, straight out through the ER lobby, straight out in front of his family. Many of which are still dealing with the accident. I am further conflicted at the fact that the whole time I was caring for him and his family, the whole time I was trying to reassure and calm him he was stealing from me. Looking me straight in the eye. I know there are many more patients and this is one douche bag out of thousands that I have had in an emergency, but it still affects you. 

It’s one of those moments you ask yourself, “This is the thanks I get?”

And here I thought the main item they stole from us were stethoscopes?!

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