30 January 2006

Pleasantly Confused

Work has been…work. I have learned something though, thank God for fun partners! As my partners had been getting weirder and weirder, I noted that none of their weirdness actually yielded much quality entertainment. Last week I finally had a partner who was very entertaining and we were able to spend most of the day laughing about various mundane aspects of our jobs. This is by far preferable to bitching about the politics of the workplace, getting off on time, or why we’re running BLS on our ALS truck. (Which is what 90% of the employees talk about 90% of the time)

I have been running an unusual amount of BLS calls this week, but many of them have yielded good conversation with the friendly patients or hearty amusement over the antics of the less than friendly patients.
A fair amount of these calls have been patients described as “Pleasantly confused......occasionally combative.” My favorite. Until you read the second half of that description, it’s very nice. I’d love it for people to describe me in that way. Not annoyingly or stupidly confused, but pleasantly. It has a nice ring to it. Anyway, they’ll forget who I am, what we are doing, where we are going, and why, about two seconds after learning all of this information. The pleasant ones will just accept their transport or forget where they are anyway, and others will continue to ask and try to argue about going, even if we’re already there.

A sample conversation after moving a patient to our cot:

Partner: “We’ve got you.” (as in, you’re not going to fall)
Patient: “Let me go.” (as in, I will not let you arrest me)
Partner: “No, I mean we’re taking care of you.” (as in, we’re taking care of you)
Patient: “Oh, okay.” (as in, I’m glad we’ve straightened that out)

So, my full-time stint at work is over. In some ways I have come full circle. One day in the morning, I took a patient out of a bed in a particular hospital, and in the afternoon, I brought someone else to the same bed. Today I ran into the family of a patient I dropped off in the same facility last week, weird. Throughout this month, a lesson has been reiterated to me: showing patients, even in the most subtle way, that you care about them can go a long way. I could go on and on, but it might get mushy, and I’m sure you know what I mean.

20 January 2006

A marriage has been arranged

All’s going well, as soon as they change the law, the truck and I will marry immediately.

Work is better. Nothing overly exciting to report, Although, if my partners get any weirder, I might have to throw myself out of the moving ambulance. Don’t get me wrong, they’ve all been awesome, but today’s partner was so chatty I couldn’t read my book or get my nap out, and you know how that is. And the insane, inane subjects that we got on were…well, insane and inane. For some reason he found that I was easy to talk to, and decided to divulge his most bizarre secrets to me. Whatever; it was pretty entertaining anyway. That’s preferable to the partner who doesn’t talk at all. Very unnerving. I’ve also been meeting other people at work, some interesting characters. Met one guy who’s MO is to say weird things. Okay, you’re not cool when you wish me a “Happy Easter” in January. Another crew I met and my partner yesterday had a whole conversation over the PA systems of our respective ambulances. Yes, we can be pretty starved for entertainment in the private ambo industry.

Also, I have discovered one good thing about being new; when someone says “this is the way I like to do it” or “here’s something that will make your life easier” before showing me an efficient trick of the trade, I still listen...most of the time.

Other than that I’ve met lots of cute kids, some fantastic parents, tucked in strangers, reassured a young mother, set a double knee replacement on the road to recovery, and gotten paid to watch the sunrise.

Tomorrow is all overtime, I’m so excited!

16 January 2006

Trauma?!

Yesterday at work we got to bail out a helicopter. We got called to rendezvous with the helicopter team at the helipad of an unnamed Baltimore hospital. They had a patient intended to go to Shock Trauma, but the winds were so bad that they couldn’t get downtown. It turned out that the unnamed hospital doesn’t even have a helipad, so we watched them land on the front lawn. I was certainly glad I was on the ground as the helicopter was getting tossed around something fierce as it came in to land. We loaded the patient and the team into the ambo and drove them to the trauma center. So, I got to hang out and watch them RSI the patient and do other fun stuff, that doesn’t happen too often.

Time to check on the truck again….still there. I think people get the ‘new car aura’ down here. On it’s first night parked at school, bizarrely, no one parked on either side of it. And, at work yesterday, no one parked next to it; respect, man, respect.
I’ve learned that I can lock and unlock the truck from my apartment, I can’t wait to honk at innocent pedestrians…okay, so I wouldn’t honk at anyone I didn’t know.
Just a sec…yep, still there.

Search term of the day: “breakfast catch phrases” So, like ‘breakfast…it’s what’s for breakfast’ or ‘Eggs, the other white thing you eat for breakfast.’ (there’s a reason why I didn’t go into advertising)

10 January 2006

Goals fulfilled

Today, for the first time ever, I got paid to sleep. What bliss...

09 January 2006

National New Car Day

Yes, January 11th 2006 is national new car day (well, not really.) Either way, I’m getting a new car. My dream car in fact. A ’03 Explorer Sport Trac. My mom and I happened to see it on my cousin’s used car lot. The next day mom called and asked if we could drive it. I shouldn’t have driven it. I knew I wanted it as soon as I got in. Mom and Dad have made it happen, really. I’m indebted to them. No, really, I owe them money. So every day at work has become a car part. Like today, I bought a door, yesterday the headlights, etc. Thinking of work this way is very nice. It makes it much easier to say that I don’t mind staying an hour over.

But all this excitement doesn’t mean that giving up my current truck will be easy. (although I’m keeping it in the family) Images of us together have been floating through my mind. Skipping through fields of wildflowers, walking along the beach at sunset, jumping in big piles of leaves, sliding on the ice and snow…that time when Mike and I stole a campaign sign, and instead of throwing it in the bed, he stuffed the huge thing into the cab and I pulled away quickly, questioning his sanity. Also, I remember when my father’s chair fell out of the back onto the highway, when some wonton criminal backed into the taillight and drove off, and that time when Mike was driving and pulled away just as I went to sit on the tailgate, nearly killing me…ah, those were the days.

NEWBIE!

Seriously, find me someone who doesn’t absolutely abhor being the new person, and I will…I’ll…well, I’ll be very surprised. As a newbie, you make mistakes today that you won’t make tomorrow, so a little consideration is nice. I’m blogging this for prosperity so when I’m working with a new person down the road, I can look back and remember that I should aim to break the cycle of seasoned employees being intolerant of new people.

That aside, work is progressing nicely (haven’t killed anyone yet.) I only have to work one more day before going back home for a few days. Then, I only have to work about a million more times before school starts again.

Endorsement of the day: I carry a space pen on the ambulance just in case we lose cabin pressure, run a call underwater or upside down. But, yesterday I washed it twice by accident, and it still writes, sweet! And, didn’t get ink all over my clothes, sweeter!

Search term of the week: “Is taking naps good?” Short answer, yes. Long answer, yes.

Question of the day: “Why are you working so much, Ellie?” Answer: because working is fun and good for the soul…wait. I mean, ‘new car.’

02 January 2006

Happy New Yawn...

New years is a ‘holiday’ that I have a hard time getting excited about. To me, it could be any day of the year. What is it anyway besides a reason to buy a new calendar? A day to reflect on the past year, to make resolutions I won’t keep? But, as my cousin was saying “This year is gonna be so crazy, so outrageous that they had to give it a new name.” Ha Ha.
Although, ’06 is a year I have been looking forward to for some time. a) I will graduate from college. b) Become a paramedic c) Begin my life as an independent, confident, frightened, confused, yet full-fledged adult.
The future is constantly sneaking into my thoughts. Nearly everyday I find myself miles away, lost in my contemplations of the future. I’ll become worried about things like how decisions I make now will affect the lives of my non-existent children, how owning is better than renting, but that may tie me down, whether or not to buy a car in this state or in the one I may or may not be living in. Is this normal? I feel like the only person I know who is becoming increasingly scared of real life and it’s potential. I twirl my hair between my fingers, brow furrowed, deep in thought. ‘How did I get here?’ I ask myself. ‘And where am I going?’ Too many questions getting in the way of the task at hand, clouding my...Wait. I shouldn’t blog after watching “Sin City.” My internal commentary is getting way to...detailed.

I digress. Happy 2006, happy Tuesday, happy 11 o’clock hour.