I believe in compassion. I also believe in gratitude, and placing blame only where it correctly belongs.
There I was, working at the hospital as an Emergency Room Paramedic, part of a phenomenal team. After a very demanding day, it was nearing the end of my shift. Out of nowhere, a van screeches to a halt at the entrance of the emergency department. The driver gets out of the van, petrified and ghostly white, and runs over to the passenger side door, yanking it open. Out falls a limp body, a young male, barely in his twenties.
We rush our newest patient into the trauma room, as fast as we physically can; we each have our roles, job duties, to fulfill as a patient comes in to the facility. We were informed by his friend that he has been aggressively drinking, and then swallowed a large amount of unknown pills. We diligently work our magic on him; IV fluids running wide open, nasogastric tubes placed down his nose, cardiac monitors placed upon him, and dark black charcoal pumped into his stomach.
His weeping mother states this is his third attempt trying to kill himself; we shake it off and do our job the best we can. As emergency caregivers, we don’t judge the type of person that comes in our doors; we have doors open to whatever color, gender and religious aspect you believe.
With infinite care to give, here is what we ask; do not blame us for what may happen. Don’t come to us, because of wanting to end your own life, and get mad that we caused your nose to bleed as we had to shove a tube down your nose, into your stomach, so we could suction out all the toxic poison that you purposely placed there. Don’t blame us because we bruised your hand trying to start an IV; we missed the constricted vein because you were so strung out on drugs. Don’t scream about the bruises on your wrists, because of the leather restraints, required to keep you from flopping all around and pulling out your own IV and tubes.
Don’t blame us for anything that may happen to you; you put yourself into this circumstance. We don’t know who you are, or what you do, but, what we do know is that we are putting our lives in risk, in order to save yours. We don’t know what diseases you may have; all we know is that you come in to our place to be saved.
Please bear in mind, what you did to yourself, brought you to us, so don’t blame us for your mistakes. Appreciate that our team saved your life; you have another round to live, another sunrise to watch. We believe in compassion, we believe in healing, and that is what we do for a living.
This was your third time at trying to take your own life, but we keep saving your life……. That you can blame us for!