“Time for bed”, said Zebedee*
“Who is it?”
“What’s that then?”
“The code for the door. It’s 783”
“OK. Just a minute”
It’s late. It’s dark. No street lights. No lights in the porch I’m standing in. I fumble around for my pen torch. No good, its given up the ghost – typical!. I stumble out the porch and stub my foot on a concrete something or other – Ouch!; then crash into the garden gate – sh*t!; fumble for the car keys and finally get hold of a real torch. Back to the house with a bit of light. Ah, here’s the key safe; 7 8 3.
Back to yelling through the letter box. I seem to spend an awful lot of time yelling through letter boxes
“It doesn’t work!”
“Yes, I tried that. It doesn’t work”
“Then you have to add… mutter, mutter, mutter”
“Have to add what?”
Right. Nice of you to give me the whole number first time. 7 8 3 4 5 9. Bingo! We have house keys.
In I go.
I follow the sound of his voice and find Fred happily perched on the side of the bed.
“Hello”, as I put down my bag,” what can I do for you?”
“I want to go to bed”
“No problem, are you ill or have you hurt yourself in any way?”
“No. I just need help getting to bed”.
Fine! So I’ve just screeched half way across the county on blue lights to put someone to bed! The tough life of an ECP!
“So who normally helps you get into bed then?”
“Oh the carers, but tonight I needed to go to the toilet so they left me to it. I pressed my buzzer” he indicated his alarm pendant which was hanging around his neck, “and asked them to send someone out to help me to bed but they said no! I didn’t know what to do so I rang the police and they must have called you. Anyway, all I need is a hand getting into bed”
Good old (we don’t)CareLine. In fairness, I know a lot of people who work for CareLine down in my old patch and they were really helpful. Must be a different breed in this part of the world. Perhaps its the air.
Never mind, this should be easy enough. I rearranged a few bits; the commode, Fred’s walking frame. Helped him stand so he could shuffle along the bed a bit then eased his legs into bed while he flopped onto the pillows. A few final adjustments; rearrange pillows, sort out duvet and place all his nighttime bits where he could find them (radio, bedside light, walking stick, etc) then put the commode and frame back. Job done!
I bade him goodnight and headed out the door. Didn’t seem any point in filling in a patient report form as I hadn’t done anything for him. Sadly we do have other forms, to do with A&E admission avoidance, to complete so I sat in the car and duly entered the required details:
Type of call: patient unwell
Actual diagnosis: patient tired, needs to go to bed.
Patient outcome: gone to sleep.
Any ECP skills used: great fortitude in the face of a life threatening event. Excellent bedside manner.
Be interesting to see if anyone actually reads these things and sends me a response!
*Picture from collectorsfigurines.com