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Reply #189: Leaving the legal issues out of this one [View All]

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Home » Discuss » Archives » General Discussion (1/22-2007 thru 12/14/2010) Donate to DU
nadinbrzezinski Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-27-10 12:00 AM
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189. Leaving the legal issues out of this one
There are some patients who really are asses. When they are hurt\sick the racism gets worst.

Now we all have our biases, but...

We had a patient who did not want my partner to touch him. My partner was darker than most people think, after all there was some slave blood in his family line. He did not want any of my crew to touch him, as they were just damn Indians from Mexico. He was relieved I was white like him. So I realized what we were dealing with and pointed out I was Jewish, he was hurt... (not life threatening, a broken arm that did need surgery) and had a choice. Either we treated and transported, or he signed an AMA. But I was not going to tolerate the insults, period.

Well he chose the former, after some prodding from the wife. We took him to the border... where he even told me "at least I will get whites."

Wrong, FD responded with an engine, not one white in the crew, and the EMS crew was also NOT white. He was pissed... oh well. And no, nobody planned that. It was one of those you go... Karma.

We were professional, explained all we did, and chiefly why. We were courteous and professional, but I still remember his face when he saw my counterparts. When I went to pick the back board to the US side of the hospital I went to the waiting room and asked the wife how her husband was doing. I took her over to the cafeteria and bought her some coffee and breakfast, they had no money on them. This is oh next morning by the way after my shift was over. She confided that the whole experience shook him to his core, and perhaps was a good thing. You see perhaps he'd now see others through another prism. And yes, she was very thankful that we remained professional in spite of the name calling.

We did not have a card... but I still gave her my phone number in town. She was alone in town. I kept in touch for the week it took to get him treated, released and on a bus home. Years later I got a letter from her. He passed, but she was still very thankful and thought I'd like to know that he actually was changed by the whole experience... and stopped hanging up with some of his buddies and no longer treated well, she still used that word, in town as if they were trash, but more like humans.

I share the story since I know some of these folks, any of us, can be reached.

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