Saturday, October 13, 2007

Don't Worry About the Mess

The tones went off on my radio yesterday, indicating a medical emergency at the building across the street. The callout was for a diabetic who had fainted. I grabbed my vest and bag, and headed to the building to assist.

The area where the patient was located was in one of those new-fangled "open office" showcases. Employees work at small desks that are completely open to passing traffic. There are no cubicle walls to be seen. There is a cafe area directly adjacent, as well as several small meeting rooms with glass front walls. No blinds. Privacy in this area is completely impossible, both during the workday, and during an emergency.

Our patient was located in one of these meeting rooms, dilligently cleaning up the contents of his lunch that he had regurigitated moments ago. I felt terrible for the guy. Here he was, the entire office staring at him through the glass window - with vomit on his shirt, ERT personnel tending to him, and the receptionist hitting on the firefighters in plain view. Security tried to provide a shield, but there just were not enough bodies to do so effectively. The patient was preoccupied with cleaning himself up, presumably so the staring would stop.

"Sir, don't worry about the mess. We'll clean it up. Let's focus on you right now."

I had to convince this poor man to concentrate on his health, and not on the myriad of rubberneckers interested in his predicament.

I really, really hate the open office concept. This is just another reason why.


Blogger Foxxy One said...

I was in a theater when a man got sick and stopped breathing. His friend was horrified as movie goers just came down out of their seats to get a glimpse of this poor man.

I finally got so fed up trying to keep people back (I had gone down to help w/CPR) so that two nurses who came in to help could work on him that I started yelling at people to grow the ef up and sit their asses down.

Next time - tell security to direct them back to their desks.

Poor guy - hope he was ok.

October 16, 2007 at 9:40:00 AM PDT  
Blogger Rakesh said...

Bleh. Well, we'll be back in the office in a few days and the shields will go back up.

The thing is (and I'm sure you're aware of it, Andrea) is that most people don't see emergencies, much less deal with them on any sort of regular (or even irregular) basis.

People are curious by nature, but sometimes that overrides tact.

Have you considered providing feedback to the cube furniture layout people?


October 17, 2007 at 8:31:00 PM PDT  
Blogger timbley said...

Holy mackerel... it's Slinky! I finally found you. :-) Sorry, not really commenting on your post here, but just wanted to get back in touch!

Drop me an email, puhleeze!! It's me, Timmy from the TO scene. :-)

October 18, 2007 at 7:51:00 AM PDT  

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