Unfiltered Story #106367

, | Unfiltered | February 28, 2018

I am a brand new EMT (I’ve had my license less than six months). I am working for a non-emergency transport service that specializes in psych patients. I go to a hospital to pick up a patient going to a mental health facility for a court mandated 72 hour hold. The nurse advises me that the patient tried to overdose on some pills after a family crisis, but has been calm and cooperative since being in the ER. My partner and I introduce ourselves to the patient, get her on the stretcher, and load her into the ambulance and I begin to assess her…
Me: Do you have any pain any where?
Patient: Yeah my stomach is hurting from my [menstral] cycle. Can you give me anything for that?
Me: No mam, I’m sorry but I cannot give medications (Pain medication is not within my scope of practice.)
I finish my assessment and start on my patient care report. All the while the patient continues to complain about her pain. I advise her that I will tell the receiving facility about it as soon as we get there so the doctor can give her something, but in the mean time I get a heat pack out of the cabinet and give it to her with a towel. At about the half way point of a 2 hour trip the patient announces that she has to use the restroom.
Patient: I have real bad diarrhea and I need to go now.
Me: Well I don’t have a bed pan and we cannot stop, so I need you to hold it.
Patient: I can’t hold it.
Me to partner: Hey we are in [town] right? I need you to divert to [hospital] so I can take her into the ER. She needs to use the bathroom.
Partner: Can’t she hold it?
Me: She said no and I would rather not have to deal with the smell.
Partner: OK.
We get another 5 minutes down the road and patient manages to slip out of all restraints and stands up
Me: Mam I need you to sit on the stretcher and put your seatbelts back on. If we were to get in a wreck or if my partner makes a sharp turn you could be hurt.
Patient: I can’t hold it anymore. I’m going to shit my pants. (Patient has begun to undo her pants.)
Me to partner: Hey pull over. She is off of the stretcher and she is about to shit on the floor.
Partner: What!? Put a sheet down first.
As I put a sheet down I plead with the patient to reconsider to no avail. The patient proceeds to force herself to defecate, urinate, and mentruate on the sheet. (She did not have diarrhea and definitely could have held it.) after the patient finishes she uses her clothes to wipe herself and sits back down half-naked on my stretcher. I cover her with a sheet, Resecure her belts, turn on the exhaust fan, and try not to breath any more than absolutely necessary.
Me to partner: Hey I need you to get there fast I can’t take this.
For the next thirty minutes the patient sits silently on the stretcher. When she realizes her previous attempt for pain meds was unsuccessful, she decided to up the ante.
Patient: My stomach is still hurting so bad. Can you please give something now?
Me: No. Like I said before, I can’t give pain medications.
The patient goes on a rant for several minutes before becoming silent again. Just when I think we might get to the destination without further excitement the patient puts her fingers in her mouth and causes herself to vomit all over the floor.
Me: Seriously? What makes you think this is helping your cause?
Patient: Why don’t you just give me something for pain.
Me: I am an EMT basic. I can assess you, take vitals, and do CPR. Only a paramedic can give pain medications and they still would not give you any because menstral cramps don’t qualify for narcotics use.
The patient continued to complain, but we had no further trouble until we got to the mental health facility. The patient tried to beat-up the orderly after they told her she would have to be seen by the doctor before she would get anything for pain.
As we are decontaminating the truck my partner looks at me.
Partner: I have been in EMS for 12 years and I have to say, that was a first.