Summary: Preaching on the 8th Commandment as well as sharing common ways people break it
Do NOT Steal
CCCAG July 16th, 2017
When I graduated paramedic school, Tammie got me a professional level stethoscope as a graduation gift. You can buy a stethoscope at the local drug store for $10-15, but it’s not quality, and you can barely hear anything with it. If you are going to be a health care professional that assesses and treats patients, you need a good, quality, and durable stethoscope. The most expensive ones that have amplifiers in them cost almost $500. We didn’t go that crazy- this one cost about $170, and is similar to this one here-
I had it for about 7 years. It saw me deliver my first baby, was on countless calls where my using it helped me treat patient’s and save lives. In fact, whenever I’d pick it up off the dashboard when we got a call, and put it around my neck, it was like flipping a switch and I became at least in my own mind, super medic.
One night there was a bad car accident and a patient needed immediate transport to the trauma center about 45 miles away. However there were bad storms and the helicopters couldn’t fly so we took the patient by ground to Froedtert hospital. Froedtert is the states only level one trauma center. When you see medical TV shows and they bring in a trauma or very sick patient and there are 30 people waiting to receive the patient- that’s like what Froedtert is like. You have to yell your verbal report over the top of a people shouting out orders and medical students asking questions, and nurses calling out assessment findings.
As we moved our patient over to their bed and I was giving report, one of the resident medical students grabbed my stethoscope off my neck to check the placement of the breathing tube and said he would give it right back. He checked all 5 lung fields, and then moved down the stomach to assess for abdominal sounds. Right then the nurses pushed us and our stretcher back out of the way and away from the beside so they could get to the patient, and in the rush of people who swarmed the bed, I lost track of the student who had my stethoscope. I waited for a min, then the charge nurse said for us to clear the trauma room.
I said that student has my very expensive stethoscope and she said she’d get it and bring it out to me.
So I waited outside the trauma room for a couple of minutes and no one came out, so I re-entered the trauma room to find it empty- they had immediately moved the patient for emergency surgery. I tracked down the nurse and she said she had no idea where the medical student went, and it was the first time she’d seen him so she had no idea who he was, or which service he represented so I was out of luck.
I remember thinking-“This guy graduates from his residency this year and will be making $250k next year, and he steals a paramedics stethoscope.” It wasn’t just a tool to me, I had an emotional attachment to it as it had seen me through my rough early years figuring out the job, and become a fairly competent paramedic. This stethoscope here was it’s replacement.