Archive for the ‘EMT’ Tag
Hello, loyal readers!
Remember me? Well, I’ve been in Middle of Nowhere, USA for over 6 months now and it’s been almost that long since I’ve written a blog post (yikes!) so I thought I’d amend that right now.
Okie dokie then, where to start?
1. I made it past the probationary period at my (counselor) job last week! Translation: Before, they could fire me without reason or notice and I didn’t have access to my vacation time. Now, they’d have to go through hell to fire me and I haz vacation!
2. Speaking of vacation, I’ll be using all of mine to spend a week in New Orleans for EMS World Expo!! That’s right. Thanks to the never-ending awesomeness and generosity of Kelly Grayson, a.k.a. Ambulance Driver, I’ve got a free pass to the conference! I was planning on going anyway—y’all know what a nerd I am. I can’t resist going to a conference where all of the greatest minds in EMS congregate annually to share their knowledge and experience with us newbies (and oldies alike)! But now I have $385 less that I need to earn in overtime. That translates to about a gazillion more hours I have to not be at work, stay home, and focus on other things.
3. Speaking of other things, graduate school is probably still happening in the near future. Like in the next couple of years. After attending a conference geared toward helping young Native people like myself with the graduate school process, I have a ton more confidence in myself and my grad school potential. I have been energized and am SO READY to go to grad school RIGHT NOW. I just still need a bit more time to prepare. My current timeline has me ready to apply and to start in the fall of 2014. That’s IF I can make the most of these 2 years until then and put together a kick-ass application to get into the schools I want to go to.
4. I became a real EMT this week as well. I know, I know. I became a real EMT when I passed National Registry. Then when I got my registry certificate/patch in the mail. Then when I got hired for an ambulance service. Then when I started working for that ambulance service. And now I’ve become a /real/ EMT again now that I’m off orientation and on my own! I work part-time as an EMT, meaning I only work a couple of shifts per week, so it took about 4 months for me to complete my 4-step orientation packet. But I’m done now and had my first (half) shift on my own on Sunday! =D The main thing I struggle with now is learning my way around this town (gimme a break! I’ve only lived here 6 months and I basically just drive to and from work every day…). Of course, I continually strive to become a better EMT—you know, someone who is capable of actually assessing and treating a patient rather than being just a medic’s bitch—and will continue to develop my clinical skills with each and every call. I love the medics at my service and they’re all pretty good at throwing tips and advice my way to help me grow into the truly kick-ass EMT I know I can be.
And that’s my current life in a nutshell. I promise I’ll make my grand return to the blogosphere very soon! My absence has not been due to lack of material—I’ve just been so busy. I work an average of 64-72 hours per week between my two jobs and I just needed a break. (Hey, blogging takes up a lot of time and energy!)
No, no, no. Don’t y’all worry. Ms. Katie B., B.A., NREMT, CNA, Badass Bitch will be back in full force very soon! Look forward to it.
So, after only 2 days on the ambulance, they’re already calling me “Black Cloud.” How the heck did that happen so fast?!
Well, from my perspective, I’ve been a white cloud for way too long and I think it’s about time something changed. (I mean seriously, I’ve done a total of 3 ambulance ride-alongs before even going to EMT school and only had ONE call per shift. My 2 clinical ride-alongs during EMT school weren’t terribly exciting either. Even at my other job in the psych hospital I have this uncanny ability to avoid codes.) But seriously, I didn’t expect my white cloud to turn black on my FIRST call on my FIRST day on the ambulance!
Here’s what happened: As I’m pulling into the station parking lot, I see the garage door going up and the ambulance pulling out. They pull up behind me and shout “Get in! We’re going on a call!” I grab my stuff as fast as I can and hop in the side door of the ambulance. Now I have no idea what kind of call we’re going to since I had just arrived for my first day and hadn’t been assigned my pager yet. We arrive on scene and the EMT-I leans in and solemnly tells me, “This probably won’t be a good thing.” And sure enough, we get inside and the family stated, “We just found him like this.” I’m thinking, Oh no…he’s dead.
Yes, indeed. My first call as an EMT was a full code! Not a very exciting one, mind you–I knew from the get-go that our efforts were futile. The guy had been down at least 20 minutes before we got there. It had probably been much longer than that, but since there was no rigor or lividity present and he was still warm, we had to run it as a code rather than a DOA. But it was asystole on the monitor from the beginning, so we delivered no shocks. Just CPR and some medications for about 20 minutes before medical control told us to stop.
I’m told I set a record. Most new EMTs have to wait weeks or months before they see their first code. I got mine before I was even technically on duty! Then we got a transfer from the local hospital to a specialized heart hospital in the city with a completely unstable patient. She was not ready to go when we got there (in fact, she was saying that she wanted to die) and it took an hour to get everything sorted out with her. I seriously thought she was going to code in the back of the ambulance in the middle of the freeway (thank god she didn’t because some doctor who was nowhere to be found had her chart with the DNR in it). Then, as 20:00 is rolling around and my shift coming to a close, a call comes in for chest pain. I decide to go even though it will add another hour or so to my shift that I won’t get paid for. (What? I couldn’t pass up a good chest pain!) It was one of those load-and-go situations—we got on scene and the gentleman was complaining his chest pain was 10 on a scale of 1-10—so it didn’t last very long, but I got to help with a 12-lead ECG and administer nitro. I really wish I knew what came of this guy. I can’t believe that I may have actually witnessed a heart attack in a 25-year old, but that’s certainly what it looked like…
So this former white cloud can certainly scratch a few items off her newbie EMT checklist after only one day. My second day wasn’t too bad either. We got a call for a woman who cut her foot after her domestic partner threw himself through the glass door in an angry rage, I spent some time in dispatch which was pretty interesting and informative, a call for an unresponsive resident in a nursing home, and when we were in the ER dropping that one off, another call came in for an elderly woman “not acting right.”
In my two days on the truck so far, I’ve gotten exposure to a good variety of calls, learned some new skills, and am learning to work well as a team with the wonderful medics and EMTs at this service. I may not be Mz. Erudite EMT Extraordinaire just yet, but I’m getting there. And if this whole black cloud thing keeps up, I may get there sooner than I would’ve thought!