16 April 2007

Last transfer shift (hopefully) ever!

I finished my last set of weekend transfer shifts yesterday. On Saturday we had back to back long distance calls (transport over 70 miles) that was fun. The first call was for a guy who broke his neck and the second was a baby with meningitis. I was happy to have staff come with us for the baby, although she was no trouble. I doomed us to another trip when I said: “Ah, goodbye ___ hospital!”
On Sunday we had a nice relaxing day doing a couple of local calls and then one long one that was really annoying.
Also on Sunday, in the middle of April, it was snowing/slushing/raining and being generally gross outside. There were many accidents in the city due to this springy? mix. Right now it has been raining more or less for two days straight. Many roads were closed today due to flooding. I only know this because I went out with the camera trying to get shots of local rivers, but I was denied. Oh well. Even I had to turn around without being forced to by closed road signs. I love big puddles (and so does the truck) but I draw the line when the puddle has flow.

As for my quick trip home. I was testing to work in a chase car county system. The first stage was a written test. Mostly multiple guess, then some EKG strips, and some drug calculations (which even I managed to sort out.) Next week is supposed to continue with a megacode practical, and a physical agility test. This is all well and good, I suppose. But, there were about 20 people there to test. There is one open position. Needless to say I am a little discouraged. Okay, a lot discouraged. So, we’ll see what happens with that.
Oddly, on the same day as the test, I got an email inviting me to interview with another place. There is much rejoicing. I have that interview next week.

So, now, a 24 hour shift stands between me and um, being between jobs. I must admit I am a little nervous, but also very excited.

I certainly have not forgotten that I teased you all about a particular call that “deserves its own post” It still does. It is a work in progress. It’s turned out to be an open and shut case, which means I can blog without fear of legal issues or divulging secrets I shouldn’t have. I’m not writing about it now, because, well, it’s almost bedtime.

09 April 2007

So, a lot happened

We arrived to a diabetic call and the fire department had taken a blood sugar and read 80 (not horribly low). The patient though had an altered mental status, could barely speak, and certainly couldn't walk. I would have guessed that her sugar was more like 30 or 40 and I was growing a little concerned about her. She was with it enough to eat a candy bar and her well meaning boyfriend was giving her juice. He refilled it and I looked at the bottle. It was sugar free juice. We all had a good laugh about it, and the patient was feeling and looking much better. We took her sugar again and it was 71. Hmm. I was then certain that the glucometer was not working right the first time. Now that she was more coherent, the patient definitely refused transport and promised that she'd eat breakfast.

We had an interesting back pain that was causing a seemingly tough guy to be literally doubled over in pan. I can only guess that he threw his back out or something like that. It was one of the few times that I've bothered to give narcs (morphine) before we moved him at all. After 10 of morphine, he was feeling much better and able to almost sit up. I actually said on the med radio that his pain was now an 8 out of 10 instead of earlier when it was about a million out of 10.

Also, an asthma attack, hip pain for two days, anxiety, a cold, and at least one drunk person...maybe two. I worked another 24 today so that I could go home for a couple days. The most interesting call deserves its own post, but it may take me a few days. A few thoughts to tie you over "this is why I don't watch horror movies" and "crime scene preservation." More to follow.

The last 72 hours

Last week I had a 72 hour work week. I haven't decided yet if this is good or bad. I'm sure that when my paycheck comes it will be a good thing. As for now, after working seven days straight I'm not so sure it's a good thing. In just under 12 hours I'll be finishing up my last pottery class and then flying home to test for a job.

In the last week after 48 hours of 911 and 24 hours of interfacility and I've had what seems to be a ton of calls.
We had a lady who had chest pain for four days before she decided to call 911. When we got there it was radiating to her left arm, and she had prolonged Q waves and inverted T waves in some leads. So she could have had a heart attack or was almost having one. Oddly, she was someone who should have called who didn't.
I've had several people fall down and not hurt themselves. A lot of our nursing facilities here aren't allowed to pick their residents up when they fall, so we have to go do it. Also, about two or three car accidents, none of which were terribly exciting.

One night we were called for cardiac arrest at 3am. Historically, that will turn out to be nothing, or someone who is too far gone to be helped. This was a young man who had gone to the methadone clinic earlier in the day. I suppose he took too much methadone, which caused him go unconscious because he was breathing about 6 times a minute. It was the first time in a long time that I got to give narcan to fix the overdose, one of my favorite things to do. You can take a person who is unresponsive and barely breathing and wake them right up, right as rain. He, as with almost everyone who gets narcan, woke up really mad and nearly throwing up. A good time was had by all.

We also had a chest pain call where the lady was classically clutching her chest, sweating, pain down her left arm. She has ST elevation in several leads, and depression in almost all the others. She too had had pain all day, and called us in the evening. Sometime we will find the balance between people who should call and people who shouldn't. Well, maybe we will. Until then we can have some excitement and save some heart muscle.

08 April 2007

Interfacility fun

Last, last weekend we got called to take a multi system trauma to a level 1 trauma center. Our patient had been jogging on the road, going against traffic has she should have, and a person came around a corner too widely, crossed the center line, hitting her in the back. Among scrapes and bruises, the patient had a ruptured bladder, a broken leg in two places, and widening of pubic symphysis (the ligaments that hold your pelvis together). She was pretty stable and wasn’t any trouble on the ride to the other hospital, but I was happy to give her as much morphine as she wanted.

A few weeks ago we went for a psych problem. When we arrived we found a little lady who had apparently called the police and threatened suicide. We take that pretty seriously, and were happy to take her to the hospital for help. She was ranting and raging about something or other and then yelled even more when we came in about how Medicare wouldn’t pay for the ride to the hospital. We assured her that we could write it up so that they would pay. She didn’t believe us. We waited while she found her coat, got a glass of water, made a phone call, and when we were finally about to leave when she said ‘Ooh, just a minute’. We all watched as she leaned over her answering machine and left a new message. “Hello you’ve reached (blank) I have been taken to the hospital by the police in an ambulance, I’ll be home later.” I couldn’t believe she did this, and neither could anyone else. I had a little chuckle to myself and we were on our way. How bizarre.

05 April 2007

Oh, winter!

Just as I closed the lid on my box of gloves, hats, and boots and folded my winter coats into a duffle bag, the temperature dipped and the skies opened to illustrate that spring is not exactly here. I’m now looking out on a snowy winter scene right outside my window. I’m trying to convince myself that it’s April and Easter is in just a few days although it feels more like Christmas. It’s supposed to stay coldish for the rest of the week. On Thursday morning it took me half an hour to clean the 5 inches of snow off my car as I shook my fist at the sky.

Earlier this week, I was called in for a 24 which I happily accepted as OT is always welcome. We started the evening for a call for a medication reaction. Real potential to be cool. We arrived to find a 30ish year old looking fine, and in no distress.
me: “Hello, what’s going on?”
patient: “I think I’m having a reaction to medicine I took.”
me: “Okay, what did you take?”
patient: “Benadryl.”
me: “Benadryl?”
patient: “Yeah, I took some an hour ago and now my stomach hurts.”
me: “Um…okay.”

Needless to say we took an uneventful ride to the hospital.

Later we had a call for an infant with trouble breathing. We arrived to find a 7 month old baby in her mothers arms. All of my concerns melted away when I said ‘hello’ to the baby and she gave me a big, happy smile. The mother said that she had had 3 episodes of gasping for breath, so I suggested that she go to the hospital. It turned out that all of the baby’s siblings had also had respiratory problems and mom told me that their rental property had mold in it. Apparently the landlord had done nothing, and neither had the health department. I made sure I told everyone at the hospital and mentioned it in my run report so that maybe she’ll have a leg to stand on when she tries again to fix it.

03 April 2007

Goings On

Last weekish I went back home for a visit. It was nice, although I didn’t spend enough time with everyone who is important to me.
Ewing and I did get to hang out a lot. We went to a Hudson Trails annual winter clearance sale and bought a second Pisgah! We were certainly not in the market for a new kayak, but we couldn’t resist saving about $600 off the retail price. So now we have twin kayaks, but we won’t get them mixed up as mine is blue and his is parking cone orange.
We also visited Great Falls for the first time with his sister. I had never been there and underestimated the awesomeness of it! Here are some photos, although they aren't mine. The potomac was flooded from the recent snow and rain in the area, and the falls looked scary and were fascinating. I could look at a creek all day, let alone this huge expanse of whitewater. It was great, haha, great (falls)!
I also picked up my dress which needs altering, of course. To start, I’m short and secondly, I think I could put a whole loaf of bread in front of me to fill out the “chestal section.” Okay, okay, okay, the bodice.

We had a great tasting with the caterer, so we are all very excited about that. We booked the photographer, deposited with the florist, and had our second (out of three) pre-marital counseling session.
The flight back home took off half an hour late and when we arrived in Manchester a new voice came over the loudspeaker. It was the customer service rep informing us that 40 bags had been inadvertently left in Baltimore. I looked around the plane, and realized that there were only about 50-60 people on the flight total. So, through some miracle, my bag appeared on the baggage claim belt a few minutes later. There was much rejoicing.

I’ve also booked the moving truck, put my notice in at work, and re-entered the hire process. I have applied several places, and heard back from one so far. The only problem is that their test date is next Wednesday and can’t be moved. So I’m flying down there on Tuesday and back on Thursday, just to stay a week and drive back officially.
I have no idea why this place claims to be in a hurry to hire someone, yet is requiring all of the applicants to take an exam a la national registry. Before even interviewing us.
I’m excited though, it would be a good job to have. I’ve already learned that working for a government will be different. I’ve spent a lot of time filling in a background check booklet that is 50 pages long. In addition to wanting to know my average balance in my bank accounts, and if I’m a member of a street gang, they also want to know if I’ve ever thought of overthrowing the US government. Only every day! Very bizarre goings on in government jobs. Even tiny county governments. But my dad supposes it’s homeland security trickling down its attempts to stamp out terrorism.
But, I have decided to jump through their flaming hoops in the hopes of getting a reasonably good paying job that I will enjoy.

02 April 2007

Blogging 101: updates

So, I’ve been meaning to update for about three weeks, and somehow I am only getting around to it now. A lot of things are going on at once but that is no excuse to neglect the old blog for so long.

I’ll start with a 24 I did a few weeks ago before I went home for a week. The day half I worked with my friend and roommate, it was good fun. Thanks to that day, whenever I’m feeling down, I just think of Andy helping a drunk, naked, middle aged fat guy to put on some pants and I feel much better. Ah, gets me every time! Wow was he drunk. Like, 30 pack of bud drunk.

Before that we took two patients at once after a guy decided to turn left from the right lane. Before that we had a lady who said she was "kickboxed" by someone. I’m not exactly sure what that means. We started with a guy who slipped on the ice and dislocated his shoulder. We tried to make him comfortable, but he refused pain meds. We ended the night with a call for foot pain. This call was probably the crap call that made me the most angry ever. The patient had twisted her ankle on Saturday and decided to call us at 2 am two days later!! I almost wanted to sternly inform her of her horrid misuse of the emergency system, but cooler heads prevailed and I just drove to the hospital. Very rarely do I want to actually refuse to take people. I feel if those people sue me, I should be able to sue them for, um, stupidity. Yes, a stupidity fine. I would say that this woman owes me about 500 dollars. That would be nice. So, in nearly 24 hours we took one person to the hospital that actually needed it. What a day.

More to follow soon I swear! Further wedding/moving details, the kayak twin, an unexpected trip home, and a cool interfacility call!