So my long vacation comes to an end. I was going to write about music on Monday night; however, that was before I was hit by a car while biking home. Don't worry, I'm totally fine, which makes me really lucky! In addition, now I get to write about how awesome my hospital experience was!
A few minutes after the accident, once I got over the initial shock of being hit by a car, I pretty much realized I was okay. I didn't lose consciousness and didn't have any major injuries (just some general pain all over the place). In fact, at that point I was actually telling the driver to calm down, as she was far more hysterical than I was about the whole situation. The police had already showed up; they were asking me questions to make sure my head was on straight, and had called an ambulance. The paramadedics showed up shortly after, asked me a few basic questions (any neck, back, or head pain?), took my blood pressure and skin conductance, etc., and then suggested that I go to the ER just to make sure I was okay. I asked them if that was really necessary given that I answered all their questions normally and had no major trauma. They said that though I was probably fine, they recommended a trip to the ER anyway. I asked how much the ambulance ride would cost, but couldn't get an answer out of them. At this point, I assumed my insurance, and at some point down the line, the other driver's insurance, would cover most of the cost anyway, and didn't feel like ignoring the paramedics' advice. They know what they're doing, right? Better safe than sorry?
I also assumed that once we got to the ER the doctor I saw would actually do something the paramedics hadn't done. Instead he just took did the same tests as the paramedics and asked the same questions, followed by, "so why did you come to the ER?" Umm, I don't really know. Thanks, doc! So in the end, my trip to the hospital left me with some bandages, a much higher chance of contracting a staph infection, and a much bigger bill (at least for someone).
I don't know whether I'd be more annoyed if the doctor had done something even more unnecessary to justify my trip to the ER, or whether I'm more annoyed that the paramedics told me to go in the first place. Either way, it all seemed pretty silly. By the time the ambulance left the scene of the accident with me inside, twenty or so minutes had passed, my blood pressure was nearly back to normal, and nothing about my behavior indicated that I needed any further medical attention.
Maybe it was just a simple case of caution after an accident, but it seems more to me like a significant failure of communication between the ER and the paramedics.