08 June 2006
I found the line in the sand, the place I will not cross. I will take senile, smelly, vomiting, crazy, or dirty-joke telling patients. I will NOT take a 420 lb patient on a ordinary stretcher, especially not with a female partner 5'5" and 110 lbs. I don't care that the stretcher is rated to 500 lbs. I don't care that you are sending me another truck for a "lift assist", which is only helpful on the hospital end because when we get to the facility we're going to have to get him out of the truck on our own. I don't care who told who how big he was and who's pissed that he has to wait. I will not load a patient on my stretcher when I can not raise the side rails and I can not get the seatbelts around his waist nor over his shoulders. If the company has transported him previously on the bariatric stretcher , then I'd say the odds are pretty good that is the way we should transport him again. I don't care how busy all the ambulances are, I'm not injuring myself for $10/hr so a non-emergency patient doesn't have to wait an extra hour.