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Showing posts from March, 2005

Hyperglycemia!

Not a patient's hyperglycemia, silly, mine! Wheeee! It is Easter Sunday and following my annual Lenten venture of giving up sweets of all kinds, I've embarked on my traditional sugary goodness binge. There's nothing like starting the day with marshmallow peeps, rounding out the afternoon with no less than 1 million Cadbury mini eggs, and finishing up the day with a large chunk of angel food cake. Ah, heaven. This year I have a practical use for the sugar, to inspire me to finish up a paper and presentation due tomorrow. (A project due on the Monday after spring break?! I can’t believe it either. It should be against the law. I’m going to fine my teacher for messing with spring break. I think $300 should do it.)
Break was pretty nice. At my home station I taught my first 2 CPR classes. It was pretty fun and those mannequins sure do come in handy. I sent one to a boring meeting dressed in my clothes, another one to the dentist, used one to get me into the HOV lane, and got to…

Flash = happy dance

There are few things more satisfying than seeing the flash when starting an IV. Every time I see it, I want to jump up and do a dance, but I manage restrain myself. I don't like to show my craziness to patients...at least not while I have a needle in their arm.
I had a city shift last weekend. It was my first day shift and I think I liked it better. I was lost slightly less than 100% of the time, which was nice. I can't stand not knowing where I am, and it was easier to keep track in the daylight.
I started a record two IVs, and gave glucagon, my first real drug. This was a pretty harrowing experience. Glucagon has to be reconstituted and, of course, we were already rolling when I started, so I got to almost stick myself about 4 times. There is definitely an art to wielding a needle in the back of a moving ambulance. I also got my first call for a violent crime, a cutting. I was bandaging this while my patient was sitting on the marble steps of a formstone house in the heart of …

Me? I can't believe it!!

Last night was less craptacular (fewer drunks) but more downtime, which always has me on edge for some reason. I got two IV attempts (1 success), an EKG, and a neb.
Maybe the funniest bit of the night was when my nalgene bottle which was sitting in the 'action area' was launched into the oxygen compartment when OGM hit the brakes. I felt like an idiot, but when I went to retrieve it, it fell out of the ambulance onto the parking lot, and came through its adventure unscathed. Now I'm a nalgene believer.
On my second IV of the night the patient noted that she was a difficult stick. My preceptor said: "Oh, don't worry, Ellie here was the 2004 phlebotomist of the year." The patient replied: "Oh, good!" and I thought: "Oh crap!" because he was totally making that up. No matter, I got the IV, and can therefore retain my title. I will be passing on the crown and the needle shaped scepter soon though. I've been formulating my retirement speech f…

I am not a white cloud!

I’m whatever color cloud that reaps crappy calls all shift. My preceptor suggested I get a talisman of some sort and pray to it for better calls, either that, or never come back because I’m bad luck. If a Baltimore City police officer had to spell my night they would say: Bob, Uncle, Lincoln, Log, Charlie, Rash, Apple, Pencil.
You can get this great romantic feeling riding in the back of a Baltimore city medic unit. The BELIEVE sticker in the window, siren wailing at traffic, the lights reflecting off of store fronts and residences as you fly by on your way to heal and help people. I’ve learned that romantic feeling dissolves quickly when you realize you could get a buzz from your patients’ vodka flavored breath.
Last night was my first real experience with drunks (I’m a medium town girl). I hope that I never find them anything but amusing.
Envision pulling up behind a police car in an alley. The officer is standing on the sidewalk looking down at a guy who is half under the car, just be…

Wave and snap, wave and snap....

I love my hospital ID badge (even though it says I'm an EMT student). It opens almost everything, and it's on one of those retractable ID holders with the string for extra fun. I can wave it at doors, staff elevators, children, refrigerators, supply closets, the elderly, and at the parking garage. It's great fun to walk down the hall unlocking all the doors with just a wave of the ID badge. And it's so easy, just wave and snap!....But I digress.

Last night was my first ER clinical. It was pretty cool. I did about four 12 lead EKGs, all unremarkable, took a ton of vitals, and showed a strong 100% IV success rate (1/1 counts, right?)
I also got to watch a spinal tap. Now, there's an unnatural procedure. I was glad I was wearing a mask, especially when I realized my mouth was hanging open. I looked from the patient to the cerebrospinal fluid and back again thinking: "That's your CSF! That's not supposed to be out here!"
Later, after a couple of failed I…