Archive for the ‘EMT School Nugget of the Day’ Tag
When you arrive to the scene of a motor vehicle collision and are able to gain access to the patient inside (the car is stable and the scene is safe, etc.) FOR GOD’S SAKE take manual stabilization of the c-spine before doing anything else!
It doesn’t matter that your patient has snoring respirations—FOR CRYING OUT FREAKING LOUD you better protect them from that POSSIBLE spinal injury even though they’re going to die without an airway. Don’t you even think about doing that jaw-thrust before grabbing the c-spine and turning it over to your professional partner! God forbid you disregard your patient assessment guidelines (which are the word of God set in stone) in order to save the patient’s life.
I guess, since according to my school* the most important thing is following the assessment guidelines, you just gotta do what you gotta do. Take control of that c-spine and wait around for your professional partner to arrive to hand it over to him (because we know that he’ll be standing right there waiting for you to turn it over to him and doesn’t have anything more important to do in this scenario). That airway is just gonna have to wait its turn. You’ll get to it when you get to it. And when the patient dies and you get sued for malpractice, just tell the grieving family that you were following your assessment guidelines! I’m sure they’ll understand.
In case you haven’t caught on yet, understand that this is me being snarky. I am poking fun at a question that I got wrong on the test I took today. When you are taking a multiple-choice test in a classroom, the right answer always goes according to your assessment guidelines. They don’t really give you enough information to decide what’s really best, so all you can do is follow your assessment guidelines. So yes, technically you are supposed to take manual immobilization of the cervical spine before opening the airway, making that the correct answer. But this is just one of those questions that pisses you off because it in no way reflects reality and you just want to scream when the instructor pretends like he doesn’t understand your reasoning for picking a different answer. But I promise, I’m over it (there are questions like this on every test—I’m used to it by now), and I’m not about to blow a gasket even though it might’ve seemed like it. I’m not angry—I’m amused.
*Just to be clear, I’m not saying that my instructor or my school would actually advise anyone to ignore an occluded airway just so you can maintain c-spine all day. Again, I’m only satirizing a question on the test because in my mind, that is what it implies and that’s why I chose a different answer. Believe me, I do understand the question and why I got it wrong. I just think it’s kind of hilarious. Don’t you?
Advice on how to treat burns from today’s lecture:
“Avoid materials that leave particles. Never apply ointments, lotions, or antiseptics. And never, ever break blisters…no matter how tempting.”
I’ll keep that in mind when I’m doing my clinicals (which start in less than 48 hours ahh!)