Sunday, June 29, 2008
Musings of a Highly Trained Monkey
leave me while i go and read her archives!
Thursday, June 26, 2008
(1) Jems.com ... its also my homepage
(2) The Ambulance Driver Files ... praying and hoping AD posts something new
(3) Paramedic Web ... Nice little Canadian paramedic news/forum
(4) My Blog ... Pray that I have one comment.. somewhere.. to no avail...
(5) Dad Gone Mad ... and all the other blogs on my blogroll that have an update
(6) Conceptis Puzzles .. I'm addicted to these things
Repeat... several times an hour sometimes...
i need a life... and more things to look at.. if my 1 reader.. that isn't me has any ideas.. i'm all for it
Wednesday, June 25, 2008
I'm standing in chest deep water,freezing rain falling and stinging as it hits the exposed parts of my body. Holding her head above water to keep her from drowning until rescue could get there to cut her free---
BUT I'M JUST AN AMBULANCE DRIVER
Comforting an 89 year old woman who just watched me and my partner cover the face of her husband of 64 years as he lay dead in their bathroom floor---
BUT I'M JUST AN AMBULANCE DRIVER
On scene at an MVA with a mom trapped upside down in her car and her dead son's body laying on top of her without a second thought for my own safety I crawl into the wreckage to take C-spine control and calm the frantic lady---
BUT I'M JUST AN AMBULANCE DRIVER
Called away from my just prepared meal to respond to the middle of B.F.E to a house with no numbers,no porch light, nobody waiting to signal us in, and they bitch because we took too long only to find out the patient left P.O.V ten minutes ago...so we smile and walk away from the verbal lashing only because we are---
JUST AMBULANCE DRIVERS
Standing in the middle of the street at midnight on the wrong side of town trying to patch the holes and stop the bleeding of a 19 year old shooting victim with the occasional bullet wizzing past our heads we never break stride because this kids life is in our hands---
BUT I'M JUST AN AMBULNCE DRIVER
Doing chest compressions on a 16 year old girl who decided this life was more than she could take. Her family screaming at us to help as though we are the ones who did this to her. Her lifeless body flailing about as the tube goes in and IV's being started, my arms and back burning from the pain of 30 minutes of CPR never once giving up, hoping she would make it through and over come whatever lead her to this bad decision----
BUT I'M JUST AN AMBULANCE DRIVER
Death is all around me and still I go home to live my life
I get kicked, hit, spit on, bled on, puked on...
I look into the eyes of a lifeless child at 7am and by 8 am I'm holding my child a little tighter and they know nothing about what happened. I have hundreds of hours of classroom time and years of in the field experience. I have challenged death and won. I've helped the helpless. I've neglected my family for yours. I find comfort in complete chaos. I eat cold meals if i eat at all. I work with no sleep for days at a time. I miss birthdays,holidays and school functions. I put myself in harms way for a total stranger on a daily basis---
ALL BECAUSE I AM JUST AN AMBULANCE DRIVER
I AM AN AMBULANCE DRIVER!!! I HAVE DRIVEN 90 MPH THROUGH CONGESTED TRAFFIC FULL OF PEOPLE WHO REFUSE TO YIELD RIGHT OF WAY. I HAVE STOOD, UNRESTRAINED IN THE BACK SAVING YOUR LOVED ONES LIFE!!
I am an abulance driver, and a paramedic.
[sent by a friend via email from an unknown internet source]
Friday, June 13, 2008
Yesterday I did a 'stable' patient transfer from our large hospital to one in a smaller community only 45 min away. I have never had the elusive Partner from Hell (PFH) but today... I realized that they are not as rare as I thought.
I got the call from the manager of the small private patient transfer service (and by small, i mean one high top unit) at 1400 that there was an immediate transfer going out of the large center for a patient with idiopathic syncope back to the small hospital since his testing was finished... and by the diagnosis... i'm guessing they don't know what is going on with him...
I tell them i have a dinner date at 1700 with some friends and they say i'll be back in plenty of time... the small hospital is only 45 min away.
I live at the other end of town from the office where the PTU (patient transfer unit) is parked, but yet i make it there in 15 min... i wait for 30 more min for PFH to show up. Now in all fairness, I have never worked with him before, however, things for sure don't get off on the right foot... or the left one for that matter.
We pull out the unit and he tells me that he has to put his car into the bay since he's afraid of something happening to it for a hour and half that we are gone. He tells me that when you spend the kind of money that he does, that you want to take care of it...I expect to see him driving a porche or a Lexus... but no.. he pulls his Saturn Ion into the bay....
As we drive to pick up our patient, I ask him what his level of training is... In Alberta, we have 3, they are EMR (First Responder), EMT(BLS Provider, similar to Primary Care Paramedic, or EMT-I, but with BAID instead of intubation) and Paramedic. He tells me that he's an EMT like I am, fantastic i think! When i ask him how long, he tells me that he wrote his registration exam last weekend... so i correct him and tell him that makes him an EMR until he gets his results back... and inform him of the Emergecy medical aid act and how he can't call himself an EMT until he's registered as one.. (he can actually be fined... so i'm helping him out)
We finally arrive at our patient at 1530, enroute we talk about where we are going, how the best way to get there is, pull out the maps (destination that is, not the hospital) I map out a route for him, confirm that he knows where he's going and he says that he's fine.
I get report on my patient from the RN and told that he had a fainting episode a few weeks ago and came in for cardiac testing... and that he has had sustained runs of V-Tach while in their care. Fan-freaken-tastic! We don't carry a monitor on our transfer car, since we only do BLS transfers, but i konw i would have liked one... She tells me that its fine since the MD discontinued telemetry earlier and they aren't really all that concerned.
We load up, I get my patient comfy with a movie, do a baseline set of vitals and me and PFH are off...
Now its time for him to live up to his name...
As we start to drive out of town, PFH decides to 'drive like ya stole it'... on a transfer... we go from 130km/h to 0 in about 10 feet... 20 times... he's breaking hard enough that the cabinets are sliding open... I go up front and ask him if he has the lights on... or if there's something happening that I don't know about... He tells me that traffic is being stupid and starting and stopping... i tell him to slow down and he'll be able to see traffic. He tells me he has taken his driving course already...
He tosses me around a bit more and we finally get out of the city... me and my patient are slightly nauseated
As we make our way down the highway, I feel we are going REALLY fast.. I peer at the speedometer.. 140km/h... on a highway with a 110 limit... i put on my seatbelt.
I'm thinking we are going way to far out of the way for the exit to the small town, i'll call it small town A... when i hear PFH yell back...
PFH: Hey CC, can you come up here...
CC: Sure, whats up
PFH: Was i supposed to take the Small town B exit??
CC: Well, what else did the sign say
PFH: It said Small Town A, B, and C exit right
CC: Yes, then you should have taken that exit... follow the signs, thats all you have to do...
PFH: I'll take the next one...
CC: There is no next one.
PFH: (realizing he's a idiot), I couldn't get over anyways, the traffic wouldn't let me in
CC: (looking around at the empty highway), if you slow down.. you'll see the exit and have time to move over... goes back to my patient
We end up in Small town D... 80km from the big city. I ensure my patient is stable, no complaints, and poke my head back through the breezeway. I spend the next 20 min doing patient care and navigation... getting my partner to the highway again, and heading towards the right direction. I leave with the direction to follow the signs. This isn't rocket science.
He asks me a few more times on where to turn... I've never been to this hospital before.. but common sense.. not common. We finally arrive at our receiving at 1730...
I'm frustrated, nauseated, and now, late for dinner... all making me unimpressed.
I transfer care while PFH cleans the unit out... I take my time to cool down... so its not such a long drive home.
We start to drive back and i'm navigating every single turn... i'm not taking any chances... we go though small town B... he tells me he's hungry and we need to stop to eat. I let him know that he can grab food but then we are going home. I have dinner plans... he goes into the store and asks how long for pizza to be ready... the lady says 15 min... he says sure... he's in no rush.. i can feel my hand going up to hit him... but i don't
The rest of the trip is pretty unremarkable, because i'm driving and can follow road signs....
I did make it to dinner, late, in uniform, and a bad mood... I think my friends think i'm kinda a jerk... I know i wasn't in the best mood... Stupid PFH
Sunday, September 16, 2007
I am now working in a small rural service on 24 hr shifts, but the manager is pretty decent with giving me 3 or 4 days in a row since its quite the commute up to the service area. It great up here, BLS service, protocols that allow me to practice to the very exstent of my scope of practice, and an atmosphere that promotes learning and team work. Low call volumes so there is lots of time to spend out in town, eating, sleeping, whatever you want to do on your call time... oh, and a 5 min shoot time... just because not everyone who works at the ambulance stays at the base 24-7.
On thursday, I was given a job offer for a full time job with the large center that I live in. ALS service, i get to drive lots i suppose, triaing starts in a few weeks, but there is a high call volume and if I am with a partner that actally trusts my skills I just might have a chance to do some cool stuff. Its a union job so I know that I am protected, and that a part of my paycheque will go towards the honour.
I think I'll take both jobs... plus still work in the ski hills as a ski patroller and teach part time.. what the heck... might as well stay busy and try to beat the tax-man at his own game...
Tuesday, September 11, 2007
We only got 6 planes.. the people were housed in the army barracks at the airport. Life continued. I was lucky, I don't konw anyone who was directly impacted by a friend or a family member who was lost 6 years ago.
Now, as a member of EMS, I feel the pain that must be felt around the US and the world, remembering their loved ones as the anniversary comes and goes. hundreds of rescuers, lost. Thousands of people, still on the missing list. Hundreds of people who have been and will still be lost in the war on terrorism that followed that day.
My life has stayed on track, my career has started, but we are only one call away from being finished. Take care of yourself out there, get over the little spats you and your partner have and work together. Take care of your family, go home the same way you left.
Lessons from 9/11, it can all be over in a heartbeat.
Monday, September 10, 2007
Apathitis: n. An inflammation of the apathy organ. Symptoms include pronounced lack of caring about patients, who are often referred to by their symptom and room number, e.g. "GI bleed in room 6.” Condition can be chronic as is seen in individuals working in the ED for too many years, or in EMS staff at around the 20th hour of a 24-hour shift. Treatment for chronic cases is retirement. For recurrent acute cases, evidence-based treatment includes vacation to locations serving drinks with little umbrellas in them
Cement Poisoning: n. Poisoning introduced transdermally via deceleration syndrome. In most cases, potency is directly proportional to the number of floors the victim fell.
Abracadaver: n. Patient in a back-and-forth, up-and-down ACLS scenario. Example: "OK, he's coded." "Wait, I have a pulse." "OK, then start CPR." "Is that asystole or fine V-fib?"
Hospitalis proximitus: n. Condition in which a patient's health mysteriously deteriorates the closer you get to the hospital; usually accompanied with loud wailing, moaning and writhing as you stroll into the ED.
Glasserations: n. Term used to describe the numerous lacerations caused by fragments of a tempered-glass window after it has been broken during an MVC. Example: The patient complains of a headache, has a hematoma to the forehead and numerous glasserations to the upper extremities.
HWAJAMA: acronym. (huh-WA-jam-a) He Was All right Just A Minute Ago. Often used by an EMS crew when the ED staff notices the patient on your stretcher is not breathing well, if at all, while the crew is chatting and waiting for a bed assignment. Also used in reference to the provider who frequently has these types of train-wreck patients (aka, a black cloud provider).
PMD: acronym. Paramedic Mechanical Disassociation. Syndrome associated with desire to implement ALS procedures prior to handling key BLS functions, such as airway positioning, suctioning, stopping bleeding and other non-glamorous skills. Usually associated with “newbie syndrome.”
The Stare of Life: n. Upon arrival, you find a crowd of “First Responders” doing this effective brand of patient care.
Gravity Attack: n. An occurrence during which one's ability to normally move about is overcome by a sudden increase in the force of gravity on their body. Can affect any age patient but is most common in the residents of elderly care facilities during the early morning hours or just before the end of your shift.
Hope you enjoyed them as much as I did!!!