Saturday On Call on the Island

Another Lazy Saturday...not.
At 8.30 Im still half asleep and in my nightie, and the on call phone rings. A painter has fallen off his ladder and the ambos are bringing him in in a hard collar....
I wander over to the clinic grabbing a banana on the way thinking this is going to be nothing as usual, going by the things they have brought me in on previous occasions...but when I actually open the collar and have a decent feel myself, sure enough, the poor lad has serious c spine tenderness on C3!
So i ring the on call doc and tell him he's gonna miss his early round of golf, and he comes in grumbling...and after checking himself grins, and says "Well I know what You're gonna be doing today!" and he tottles off home for a decent breakfast while I stay behind to watch the patient.
15 mins 2 phone calls and some paperwork later, it's just me and the poor bloke on a hard board strapped into a plastic collar sitting here awaiting the final call back from Care Flight..."probably not till early this afternoon, we're back to back as usual love!"
The next hours go by with an embarrassed worker who threw up last night needing a medical certificate, and a gorgous greek lad with flashing eyes who has somehow managed to cut his leg open down to the bone with a shovel.
That one earns our reluctant doc another call out "What, you don't do suturing? Oh Man!...."
OK, I get it, it's on the list...problem is it will cost me over $1000 to do the course, since Central Coast Area Health didn't believe us lowly nurses needed to be trained in these delicate disciplines while I was in ED...
Mind you I've got to say I am more and more grateful for the experience i got there. I'm beginning to see just how much I learnt in the way of basic and advqanced assessment skills and sheer exposure to everything under the sun working there...I have no idea how a nurse with no prior ED experieince could do this job!
I am alos finding that my experience of being a mother of 3 is invaluable. I can recognize so many childhood illnesses, give sensible advice on pregnancy and breastfeeding, discuss developmental stuff sensible...AND keep bad tempered todlers amused while I treat their mums!
And since there are a LOT of kids that come into the clinic...
I've never looked into so many ears and throats! And I'm getting better at picking old scarring from current infections, recognizing bulging ear drums and reddened ear inners on black skins...
There is a huge difference between white and black when it comes to ears...the indigenous kids do seem to get far more ear infections, and they become more serious quicker too...Im beginning to wonder if its my own indigenous blood that left me with weaping ears every winter in England....cos it's not so much enviromental...the indigenous kids up here are pretty healthy in general. They are on the whole clean, well fed and happy, which is a bit different from what I saw in Central Australia some years ago. But the ear infections are rampant.
Apart from that I have been treating the white miners for the flu and tonsilitis, in the middle of summer! Plus a few external ear infections...must be an island thing....and skin infections, boils, fungal thingies galore and....more STD's than I ever saw in my 5 years in Wyong ED.
In such a small population that's downright scary!  I'm now DEFINITELY not sleeping with ANYONE while I'm up here!
These have all been amongst the white miners...dunno if they just all bed hop, or if it's just a transient single population thing, but I've been handing out tests, lectures and condoms in large amounts over the past weeks...
My poor lad is still resting on his harboard with teeth gritting patience....till eventually a small plane will come and I'll take him out to the landing strip in the ambulance to be flown out to Gove for an x ray...where they will almost certainly decide her needs a CT, which can only be done in Darwin, and more flights and...
the joys of the modern medical system. It has all these wonderful things it can do...but is SO cumbersome about actually doing them. and for him, this is going to be one very uncomfortable day. Hopefully with a good ending.
As for me, just keep your fingers crossed that I'll have an uneventful night...I'd like some more sleep than last time please! It's drizzling gently, so I'm hoping the rain will keep people at home....


Popular posts from this blog

Watercolour Painting Demonstration: Negative Painting Sweet Potato vine

Energy Healing- The Basics