I looked down at my patient who was sat against a wall. Poor man was clearly in pain – and understandably so, after all, he’d just had his elbow clipped by a moving vehicle at approximately 40mph.
I currently have a student with me so I set about getting them to do a thorough history and examination as well as sort the poor man out with some pain relief. And of course “package” the man ready for when our Ambulance arrives. For this last part – and with a cocky wry smile – I handed my student the infamously feared – triangular bandage!
“Away you go!”
Ah . . . !
Without showing my inner panic I snatched the package back from my student and told her to get on with the pain relief. She did so and started unpacking the Entonox ready to give to our patient.
As I stood staring at the triangular bandage, desperately trying to think what I’d do next, I suddenly became aware that the security staff and police were all watching me intently. Oh christ! I thought, think of something Binder you fool.
And just like that, the proverbial 40w light bulb sprung into life inside my head. Bingo! Got it! I theatrically opened the package, flapped open the bandage and laid it out onto the patient’s legs as if it were a napkin. I stood back up, stuck my hands in my pockets and smiled broadly at those around me.
We were going to wait.
It was JRU night (Joint Response Unit). The night where we only respond to police related calls. This also meant we had two St John Ambulances specifically assigned to our unit (to help reduce the chance of using a front line truck). And seeing as one of these was already on it’s way to our patient I simply decided that I would leave it to them complete. BOOM!
“Aren’t you going to show me how to do this?” My student motioned toward the bandage.
“Patience young padawan.” I said patronisingly, “All shall be revealed”.
Whilst we waited our patient took to the Entonox like a duck to water and with every two or three inhales he would break into fits of giggles. Not bad for a man with a suspected shattered elbow.
Before long the St John crew arrived and I allowed my student to hand over. I finished for her though, motioning toward the bandage laid neatly on the patient’s legs.
“. . . and to finish,” I smiled, “I thought it best if I allowed you guys to demonstrate to my student how best to place the bandage – seeing as you guys always do it. Gives her a chance to see . . .” I scratched my chin thoughtfully, “a different angle of teaching, par say”
The St John crew instantly saw right through my ruse and even afforded themselves a subtle sidewards grin before taking up the task. And before showing the intricate and overly complicated details of how the device worked to my eager student, the St John woman muttered amusingly under her breath at my direction.
“Yet another LAS struggling with the basics eh . . . ”
Well, clearly I was busted by the St John Ambulance and all those around me . . . but I think I can safely say I saved some face with my student who clearly thinks I’m brilliant . . . I think.