December 29, 2010

And the White Cloud Continues

Yup, I'm what we in EMS call a "white cloud". I went all through EMT school, all through medic school, all through my Paramedic clinicals, and on up until my second to last shift as a Paramedic intern before I had my first cardiac arrest. And I was working in Dallas...

Well, this has continued on to my new 911 agency. County of over 60,000, 5 trucks covering it, and my worst call to date is an unconscious diabetic.

We've been called to multiple MVCs with rollovers... one with "entrapment". On arrival, the patients were all walking around refusing to be seen, and the one entrapment was a drivers puppy dog that refused to come out of the wreck.

But you look over at the two other trucks that share my station, and they've gone on ACTUAL MVCs with entrapment, motorcycle vs autos, and stuff of that nature, every day. I'm lucky if I get a couple legit 911 calls in a shift and not any of the "I've had a stomach ache for 3 weeks, nothings changed but I want to go to the ER at 3am." calls.

I worked with an EMT the other week who stated each of the last 12 shifts they've had patients that they've had to intubate.... 12 patients in one month. She was SURE we would get one that day. We didn't. We slept all night.

Granted I'm not wanting anyone to get hurt. Just the opposite actually. But as a new medic, and one still in FTO, I technically NEED the 'good' calls so I can get the experience, and get cleared from field training to go on my own.

As one of my preceptors in EMT school said: People are going to get sick and hurt no matter what. We might as well be there to help them.

The other trucks are getting the bad calls, so the calls are obviously happening, just not on my truck.

Oh well, be careful what you wish for, right? I'll probably get a 30 car pile-up this weekend during my 48hr shift...

December 15, 2010

Moving Beyond EMS?

The short time I've been involved in it, I have loved EMS. I love the freedom that it entails. The ability, that as a Paramedic, I make my own decisions on patient care in the field. The fact that I am actually OUTSIDE dealing with the public.

But, ever since I started medic school, I have had countless people tell me the same thing: That I am "too smart" to just stop in EMS.

My two instructors in medic school told me that I should continue on to medical school. I thought nothing of it really at the time. However the past couple of weeks at my new agencies academy, it was brought up several more times by people.

Not only did the academy instructor, a CVICU RN / Trauma RN and a flight medic for longer then I've been alive, told me that he didn't see me staying "just a Paramedic" but continuing on for my CRNA, PA or MD, but most of the people in my academy, Paramedics with over 150years combined experience, said it as well. The instructor even said "I've known many medics, and just from meeting you I can tell with a year or so of experience, you're going to be one helluva medic". I didn't know how to respond, so I smirked like an idiot.

My reputation proceeded me as well, to my FTO. I get to my new station on my first day (more on my first day later) and one of the first things he says to me is "So I've been told you're some kind of genius", and proceeds to quiz me. After the quizing, he states "Yeah, you've definitely got the knowledge, now you just need the experience to be a great medic".

Ever since I neared the end of medic school, I had toyed with the idea of getting my PA. It interested me somewhat to be a mid-level provider, and actually make a pretty decent living, and I could specialize in emergency medicine. I had also thought of doing a bridge to get my RN (no reason a medic needs to spend 2 years to get their RN...). I never even considered MD or DO, because quite honestly, I suck at, and hate, math, and going that route would be just too much math. Funny thing is, science and biology just click with me, but math is a no go.

I know I eessentially HAVE to branch off in to something else, as physically I can't be a Paramedic for 40 years, and if something happens where I can't work in the field, I'd be SOL. I'm 22, so I've got time on my side still, but before I can even think about PA school, I need to finish my degrees. I stopped halfway through my CJ degree to do Paramedicine. I still need to go back and finish my EMS associates. After that, I was toying with a BA in Emergency Management, as many PA schools I know require a BA minimum. Then, and possibly only then, would I be able to go to apply to PA school.

But like I said, need to finish my degree first, so I've been looking at colleges that offer life credit for my Paramedic (since I didn't go to a college for my Paramedic program). Hopefully I should have my EMS degree within a year of finding said school.

But beyond getting my associates in EMS, I'm lost as to what's next. RT? RN? PA? Or heck, even medic school? I guess only time will tell.

December 11, 2010

Finally, My First Shift

Well, it's been a long couple of weeks. Worked 90 hours (which in the grand scheme of EMS isn't much at all) but I also drove 6 hours a day, meaning 70 hours the past 2 weeks. That is essentially 160 hours just for work related stuff the past two weeks.

Oh well, tomorrow I start my first shift on an ambulance for my FTO. Finally, after having my Paramedic since March, I'm getting to do what I've spent 2 years learning how to do.

December 4, 2010

I Feel Like I'm Back In School...

Yup... I haven't posted for a while, I know. This past week I started the academy at my new agency. You read that right, I said academy, and not orientation. No one week thing of "Fill out this paperwork, and don't kill anyone", but an actual academy.

3 weeks of guidelines (they don't call them protocols), pharmacology, airway management including RSI and needle AND surigcal crics, CEVO training, HEMS training for the chopper, pathophysiology, EKGs and all the other fun stuff done in Paramedic school, but crunched in to something slightly longer than EMT school just so everyone is on the same page with the company. Ok... crunched isnt the best word to describe it, as it's still quite adequate especially considering everyone in the academy is already a Paramedic.

I'm actually (so far in my narrow naiive view) loving how this agency treats its job. They want the best people they can, and provide the best care they can to the public, just as an EMS agency should. They call them guidelines instead of protocols to influence more free thinking instead of 'cookbook medicine'. They call Paramedics clinicians instead of technicians. They have no qualms with spending money to buy good equipment. And they have a big amount of autonomy that they allow the Paramedics to practice (though I'm sure there are a few out there who don't like "Paramedic" and "autonomous" in the same sentence)

Only downside of the academy? I have to be up at 5am for a 3 hour drive out there, for a day in class, followed by a 3 hour drive back... every day, 5 days a week. Though it will be fine once the academy is over as my duty station is less than half the distance I'm currently making, and it will be for 24hr shifts.

Can't wait to start my FTO and put my years of education to actual practice.