Sunday, February 24, 2013


Almost certainly, the local ED has some type of personnel who assist the licensed staff, whether they are paramedics, EMTs, CNAs, or generic emergency techs of some sort.

In the main, these come in two types, and three grades.

Type I is someone who's doing the job while planning or actually undertaking advanced schooling and work to gain licensure as a nurse, physician's assistant, doctor, etc. Bravo to them.

Type II is doing the job with no plans to upgrade at any forseable date. Bravo to them as well.

The three grades, found in both Type I  and Type II, are as follows:

Grade A exceeds all your expectations. They're everywhere, and have usually already accomplished what you asked them to do before you thought of it, because they not only anticipated the requests of you, the docs, and the PAs, but have the initiative and intelligence to carry those anticipated requests out without waiting for you. They are a joy to work with (and occasionally, to work for, regardless of their level of certification and your own, whether you admit this is the case or not), and they consistently force me to step up my game just to keep up with them. They are worth their weight in gold, and if I were King, that's also what they'd be paid.

Grade C gets the job done. As fast as the world craps on me, they keep up with the pace, and do the tasks they're capable of, until either we're caught up, or at least we've reached shift change by the skin of our teeth. Both this grade and Grade A techs make taking care of patients in a busy ED possible, and without them, too much important stuff simply wouldn't get done.

We need you, and we really appreciate you, every single day you're on the job.
You are helping save lives, which is kind of the entire point.

Grade F techs are those who consistently fail to meet any expectation, no matter how low you place the bar. You wonder how they arrived for their shift and in clothes most days, and for the egregious examples, you're less than upset when they simply don't show up at all. (Bonus points if your co-workers have chipped into the pot to pay them to stay home. I've been there and seen this.) You can't find them most of the time, and when you can they can't be asked, nudged, encouraged, begged, shamed, or threatened to help you do your job nor do their own jobs with any bait whatsoever, including actually handing them blank employment applications during their shift for McDonald's and Burger King restaurants, (with the proviso that to date, management has refused my offer to try using a whip and a loaded pistol, despite my frequent and sincere offers/requests/threats). You'd like to beat them with large pieces of lumber, if only for the sheer satisfaction, and when they're assigned to another nurse/section/zone - or, Praise Sweet Jesu! announce their imminent departure/retirement/terminal diagnosis - you do the Happy Dance. Sometimes right in front of them.

If you are, or think you are, a Grade F tech of the Type I variety, seriously consider your intended career choice. Before you kill someone at work, or someone at work kills you.

If you are a Grade F tech of the Type II variety, the Japanese method of ritual suicide, by performing a transverse abdominal incision with 2 feet of razor-sharpened sword steel, is heartily encouraged. Look it up on the internet, and try it at home. Please. Or else simply report to the state's labor website, and sign up for your 99 weeks of taxpayer-financed douchebaggery, thus saving your own life, and those of innumerable patients you won't hazard daily simply by showing up for work.

And though it's sad to say, I've worked with both Types of techs, and the real-world distribution of grades is about exactly 30/40/30, regardless of any variables including schedule, shift, pay scale, or the supposed applicant screening efforts of whatever short-bus f*cktards Human Resources allegedly employs to try to fill vacancies, when they can be bothered to do so at all.

I seriously think we'd be better off if we just went down to the docks and press-ganged random recruits and chained them to gurneys until they learned the rudiments. We couldn't do any worse than some of the incomparable flaming hemorrhoids they've hired to date, and it's only the good techs that make the horrible ones bearable at all. (Along with random REM-sleep fantasies of their ritual crucifixion while burning alive, for the really horrible ones.)

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