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Sunday, June 12, 2011

Cliché Slaves

As I walked up and looked over the kid who had wrecked his bike, and the two bystanders who had stopped to help him, I could see pretty clearly why 911 got involved. One of the helpers was doing a fairly good job of elevating and immobilizing his broken tib/fib. He'd had a helmet on, and had no other obvious injuries. Not really sure how he did this, but here we are.

With nary a scuff on the helmet and not even so much as an abrasion found anywhere else on the head-to-toe, we could focus on the leg. Engine 52 arrived with a couple of guys, and we got a vacuum splint on the kid. The E52 captain prepped the kid to start a line, as the medics would surely offer him something for the pain when they got here.

Bah. When did I start calling guys in their late 20's "kid"?

Based on the relatively benign mechanism of injury evidence, it looking like he just tipped over and the catching leg somehow landed badly, I think we can skip the C-spine routine. (Thank MotorCop for the link.)

However, this is not my call, as I am outranked by the E52 captain, who follows protocol in ordering us to get the board and attach our patient to it. So be it. It is, after all, protocol.

Then a voice pops up behind me, asking why we're bothering with the neck brace and the board and trimmings.

"He's moving around fine. He took his shirt off after you got here. He doesn't need the board, why are you bothering him with that?"

I was on the same page a minute ago, but now I am in line with the captain, who is a good one at that. I turn around and give the guy a raised eyebrow, who are you kind of look.

Turns out he's a nurse. Claims ER rotations.

Really, are we doing a cliché on purpose or is it just happening because clichés happen?

I want to tell him he knows full well as we do what medical control and establish standing orders tell us to do in this case. We all "know" he doesn't need the board, but that is not entirely our call, nor his.

I wonder how often he hates when people tell him how to do his job when he knows how it is supposed to be done. Assuming he does it the right way and legitimately should not be second guessed.

I run through all the witty things that I could say to shut him down. But it just isn't worth it. Just because a cliché happens doesn't mean it has to be followed to the end of its natural progression. I will not be a cliché slave. I bite my tongue and ignore the guy, and the cliché dies peacefully.

Much better that way.


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