Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Do the Shuffle!

Though I may bitch and moan about doing the interfacility shuffle, I'm still thinking it's better than the lab job. I do like the patients. However, my tolerance for stupidity is getting less and less, especially in regards to dispatch.

See, our 'area of operations' is DC and Baltimore (more DC than Baltimore, truthfully, but we do venture up there about once a week). Evidently, years ago, we had our own dispatch, in DC, which makes sense, since movement in a vehicle around DC is only understood once you've experienced it. However, because it made sense, management decided that it must go, and dispatch was moved to Philly. None of the dispatchers in Philly have been to DC, let alone driven around here.

Are you seeing where this is going?

Now, I have to say, I totally understand the difficulty dispatch has. They have to send a truck, and while they try to be nice if we are coming to the end of our shift, sometimes they just don't have a crew to send to cover a call, and the board is full up for the next shift. And most of the time, I don't mind...Overtime is overtime, after all.

However, calling us at 1700, when we are well off the beaten path (meaning the Beltway) in VA, and telling us that we have a pick-up at 1800 up in MD, halfway to Baltimore, is not an efficient use of crew resources. In normal traffic, that trip would take about 45 minutes. However, in beltway rush hour traffic, that is a 2-3 hour trip. When dispatch then calls the crew at 1810 asking for an ETA, and the crew says 'We're sitting in pretty heavy traffic, and we haven't made it to MD yet, so probably another hour and a half to 2 hours,' it is not conducive to have a crappy attitude over the radio. The crew was not being snotty, and the sound of the dispatcher (who is 2-3 hours away, sitting in A/C, NOT in a hot truck in miles of traffic) sighing heavily into the radio and saying 'Well, just do your best,' is not in the best interest of crew morale. In fact, perhaps checking the internet for traffic in the DC area (which is easily found via several websites) would be a better use of time.

Or perhaps, when the crew says it will take another hour and a half or more to get to the destination, and it is close to the end of their shift, finding another crew who could get the job done in that same amount of time would be a better use of crew resources.

Or, as I've said before, perhaps having dispatchers spend some time in the field with crews, driving around in the traffic here, would give them an understanding of why it sometimes takes 2 hours to go 15 miles.

Or perhaps not...

1 comment:

epijunky said...

Oh.. wow. I do not envy you.

I've only been in that area once, and the traffic... was like nothing I had ever encountered. I can't imagine doing it in a hot ambulance with dispatch breathing down your neck.

Hang in there... Hopefully someone educates your dispatchers soon...