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Showing posts from November, 2005

EMS: Making Messes and Taking naps

I started out Monday morning so early that sleeping in until 7 the next day sounded awesome. As I was driving along to this far away clinical, the sun was coming up, the road signs became keystone shaped, and all I could think was “why are there so many people driving at this unholy hour?”
It was like a mini road trip except too short to stop and eat, too early or too late to do something impulsive and fun, and I was by myself.
The clinical itself was pretty good. The ‘white cloud’ gods didn’t realize I was there until about 10 am, so I got to run a few calls before they stopped coming in completely. I was on an ALS chase car, hospital based system. Upgrading to ALS is nice as the patient is usually already packaged, and histories, allergies, and med lists are already obtained, sweet!
We had an asthma attack and a guy who ate a whole bottle of vicodin.
The preceptors there are pretty cool as they really do sit back and let you go at it, intervening only if you’re about to kill the patient…

In other news

I received my first application for a real job, yikes! This whole real life thing is beginning to freak me out. So far, this is the only company that interests me. To get the job I have to (finish school, get my registry paramedic) apply, take tests etc. Then, if I get it, I have to find a place to live, get reciprocity, probably get a new car, ride 20 shifts before I get cut loose, and oh yeah, this is over 400 miles from home. Don’t tell anyone, but I’m scared.

I got cleared at work, yay! (not a fake job per se, but...)

Last week, I spent 12 hours of clinical time doing BLS calls, (not that they can’t be useful in some way…wait. what am I saying?)
One was a call for a stroke. “Awesome!” says I, anticipating a good ALS call to salvage the day. 5 seconds after we arrived, it became clear that it was not a stroke, heart attack, dismemberment, asthma attack, or fainting; but actually absolutely nothing.

Medic: What’s going on that makes you think you’re having a strok…

"Whoa!"

That (with an open mouthed stare) about sums up my emotions concerning the few patients that I saw during my observation rotation at the premier trauma center in the country. I was told that they often inadvertently have ‘theme nights.’ The night I was there, the theme definitely would have been: Faces. I will spare you from the gory details by using medical terms and other big words.
Patient #1: His cerebrum came in contact with a small lead projectile, forcing it to leave the skull permanently.
Patient #2: Patient’s frontal lobe was herniating into the orbits. I’ll leave that one to the imagination.
Patient #3: Prisoner was stabbed with a bucket handle resulting in a tension pneumothorax.
Patient #4: Patient’s face came in contact with a human fist at a high velocity.
Patient #5: Defenestrated herself from the second story of a burning building, resulting in the avulsion of the lower 2/3 of her face.

If all of these patients had actually only been one pers…

“I love magic.”

Ah, the Harry Potter franchise. I love it. The latest installment in cinema form came out yesterday. I really liked this ‘cliff notes’ version of the book. Granted, I could go on for days about what was missing or changed. And, I believe that people who have not read the books will be pretty lost by the end, it’s book readers movie.
I do think that the producers underestimate the attention span of Potter fans. We can follow a scene with more than six lines in it. We can be entertained by scenes without extra dragon time. I love the story for the story; the action is just a bonus.
In general: the world cup is short, the challenges have the best effects yet, Rita is hilarious, the acting is better than ever, the Yule Ball is a consummate representation of teen angst, and “He-who-must-not-be-named” is deliciously creepy.

That’s your heart! Awesome!

Wednesday was a work day. I got paid mostly to read Harry Potter and JEMS, sweet! We only ran three calls, and one of those was BLS anyway, requiring more muscles than brain cells. The other two calls were pretty good. I felt slightly less retarded running them today as opposed to my last shift.

Yesterday I ran with a critical care transport team. My first call was a guy who had a lung transplant last month, and it wasn’t going well. We took him from his bed in ICU to get a lung biopsy. That was pretty cool. First and foremost, I got to wear a lead apron; that was pretty hardcore (and heavy!)
Then they used a bronchoscope to go down his ET tube and into his lungs, where we could see the sutures from his lung transplant. After taking some pictures and performing lavage (which consisted of them injecting saline into his lungs and sucking it back out) they stuck a smaller tube in that went deeper than the scope. This tube had a little claw-type thing on it that open up and grabbed some lun…

Return to the City

After an uneventful weekend, aside from getting to hang out with my niece and nephews, today I returned to the illustrious city.

If it hadn’t been for said relatives, the weekend may have been a complete loss. Yes, I did have a helicopter shift. We did get to fly to another hangar for maintenance. Other than that, I did some homework, got pretty far into my ‘remind me what happened’ reading of Harry Potter 4, and even watched an entire football game. That should show you how bored I was. A visiting boy scout troop broke up the monotony of the day, a bit.

But, back to today. Because I have been one of the lucky few to not be assigned a city preceptor yet, I’ll be borrowing everyone else’s. I rode today with a supervisor truck which was pretty cool. Basically we rode around and squirreled calls that sounded interesting. I was reminded of how much I enjoyed my city shifts last year.
We had a heroin overdose who ‘got distracted’ on the way to rehab, a fender bender, twins ready to be born, …

Just Point

Wednesday I had my first shift in a neighboring Maryland county. It was really nice. We had two chest pains in a row and later in the day we had a cardiac arrest in a nursing home. It wasn’t dispatched as such so we brought in the traditional ‘baggage.’ As we went down the hall, all of the employees simply looked at us and then pointed in the general direction of the room. Every single employee, not excitedly, but quietly pointed. We were almost to the room when I thought to myself, we should have brought the monitor.
We found the patient conveniently placed right behind the room door with CPR in progress. He should have been suctioned probably 10 minutes before we got there, but alas. We took over, I put him on the monitor and my preceptor went for the tube. I was initially jealous of his position (it was merely more convenient in that ridiculous space in which we had to work for him to attempt the tube) but my jealousy quickly dissipated when what looked to be an easy tu…

I’m flying, I’m flying!

I had my first helicopter ride-along yesterday. Leading up to yesterday, it looked likely that I would have to be tied to the helicopter in order for me to go, à la “What about Bob?” Luckily for me, I was just settling in when we got our first call around 7:10. This way, I had little time for second thoughts, as before I knew it, I had grabbed my camera, clamored into my seat, adjusted my headset, and became airborne. “Wow!” and “Ahh!” were the words overriding conscious thought. The view was amazing! I figured I might as well enjoy the ride, as I was kind of committed at that point. No one is more surprised than I am that I enjoyed it immensely. Especially as I classify a simple elevator ride as the moment I was most scared in my life.

Before 9:30 we had run two calls. The first was an ejection from a vehicle. The patient was basically okay and extremely lucky.
The second one was a motorcyclist v. deer. This patient had an obvious facial fracture (I may even go as far as calling it a…