As you know, or if you don't I work on an ambulance. Today was an eventful day when I went to an urgent care for a patient with chest pain. I found a 72 yr old male sitting on the urgent cares bed with his wife sitting in a chair next to him.
His wife began to tell me that her husband was holding the left side of his chest saying that it hurt. Than she went on to tell me that he has Alzheimer's and not a very good historian. We did the normal things you do with chest pain, and her husband would play with a lead we put on his chest or struggle with the blood pressure cuff on his arm as it would blow up for a blood pressure. The doctor told us what hospital we were to go to and the wife said she would leave and meet us there. We had to wait for paper work. In about ten minutes we were on our way. I called the receiving hospital to tell them about my patient and they informed me that they were on over capacity. That they had to many people in the waiting room and could I please tell my patient that it would be better for him to go some other hospital. I informed them that he has no idea what is going on due to his Alzheimer's and that his wife is meeting us there, so we need to be at their hospital. They informed me again that they were on over capacity and that they would let the wife know where to find him when she shows up. I again reminded them that he is confused and worried about his wife, asking me over and over again, where is Nancy. I also told them that his wife was the main caregiver for this patient and she will be very worried about him. None of that seemed to matter and I was instructed to find a different hospital.
The reason I am writing this is first to let you know that just because an ambulance has you doesn't mean you will automatically be seen. When we call and patch we can be sent to a different hospital if they are full. Plus if the hospital is full and there are more critical patients, you can be put into a waiting room.
I was concerned for this family since the patient had Alzheimer's and felt lost without his wife. When ever I asked him a question he would tell me, I don't remember, or it was to long ago.
I am also concerned about the lack of compassion the nurses had at the first receiving hospital.
Alzheimer's A Caretakers Journal
Seaboard Press An Imprint of James A Rock Pub., Co.