Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Helped and Pissed

Brushing my teeth inside one of those small lavatories in the plane when I heard someone paging for a doctor or a nurse over the PA. Being the one who'd always make the announcements, I know it isn't that serious because they skipped the "we have a patient onboard who needs immediate medical attention" part. Yes, it matters to them. So okay I still brushed my teeth at my own pace; how many times on the flight could I actually do things my pace, right?

When I got out, I asked some crew if there was anyone sick. They just shrugged and said that someone just wanted his blood pressure checked. I said, "I can do it if he has the sphyg and stethoscope." Her face went blank and she looked up from her meal tray, "Really?" Then she interphoned one of the seniors and told them I could.

I was told to get to the middle of the plane as the passenger was on the 21st row. When I got there, the passenger doesn't actually have the equipment; we do have it inside our medical kit but the thing is, because of some medicines inside it, only doctors and nurses are allowed to use the kit (we, on the other hand, are allowed to use only the first aid kit). I can't do anything about that, I'm not a nurse nor a doctor and the Koreans are really bookish about these things. (They can't imagine me using the stuff and I'm not a nurse--like I'm gonna be able to kill the patient with a stethoscope?) I shrugged and started to walk away.

But the patient--an American, by the way--really wanted to have his blood pressure checked. I could imagine, my mom always felt that way. I tell you, if this passenger was Korean, they would have given me the equipment without hesitation. Yes, they are way more racially discriminating than you could ever imagine. It's not who's black, who's white, who's Asian, who's Latino, no. It's Korean or non-Korean.

The manager, who seemed like a newbie and didn't want complaints on her records, looked helpless and asked me if I had medical training. No. She looked at me as if I was wasting her time. "But I can do it if you have the equipment." I do it for my parents, grandparents and to anybody possible. Hesitant, she called for one junior to get the stuff. She handed em over and said, "Could you check if you can use this?" And upon opening up the velcro and saw the stethoscope with it, I said yes. She looked at me with an are-you-sure look. WTF.

What, like it's hard? Like it's complicated?

After checking for the first time, I usually recheck and do the process all over again. So I said to the passenger, "One more time, okay?" to let him know what I was doing. SHE, on the other hand, is ready to tear me off the medical equipments and told me, "If you can't do it, then don't." Say that in front of the passenger? What the fuck? The passenger obviously knows that I KNOW what I'm doing. Even the wife knows how to do it because she helps me keep the velcro in place coz the man's arm was huge. Heck, the manager doesn't even know if it's okay to put the meter just about anywhere. I glanced up at her and proceeded for my recheck.

Confirming his blood pressure I told him, "It's a hundred and forty over eighty, what's your normal?" And this inconfident manager pipes in, "She's not sure, but maybe it is." I wanted to smash her face right then and there. Really. I gathered up the materials and handed it back to her while the passenger was telling me his normal was 120/80, and she was still saying, "she's not sure" to the passenger. That's it, I started to walk away before I say anything to her. As I was walking away, the wife assured the manager that I'm right coz she was watching the gauge too while I was checking his blood pressure.

I was fucking pissed. I was there trying to help a passenger and get her out of the dangers of getting complaints and possibly someone having a stroke on board and she was saying those things IN FRONT of the passenger? Fucking bitch.

I so wanted to tell her, "Not because you don't know how to do it means I don't too." Get a life.

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