Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Sometimes there are no words

Hi, I'm Katie and I'm a medical junkie. I'm an EMT, ER tech, phlebotomist and occasionally, just for kicks, I teach first aid. Its not a mental illness I'm just in to all things medical... and it helps me pay for important things, you know, like shoes.

I've been teaching for a while but nothing could have prepared me for one overexcited student the other night. I spent the first half of the evening teaching leaving the second half free to set up some practice scenarios.

I had half the group leave the room while I told the remaining students they were going to play unconscious casualties. I explained that I wanted them to lie on the floor, close their eyes and let the medic roll them. I made it clear they were not to prompt their partner unless they were going to roll them in a way that would injure them.

I let the medics back in and play dumb. I don't know what happened, I just found them like this. No, I don't know who they are or how long they've been here. Are they okay? The room echoes with "Hello, can you hear me? Open your eyes!" and the occasional giggle.

I turned to one student and asked him what he'd found while he was checking his patients breathing. He took a second before telling me that he had "an unconscious casualty who isn't breathing." Hold on a second, did he just say he isn't breathing? I can see him breathing. I mean, he must be breathing, he's sniffing!

Before I could question him, the student turned back to his "patient" and jumped on his chest. He gave him a chest compression. A real chest compression.

There really are no words...

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

A Good Question

I have a question that needs to be answered.. and seeing as it's EMS related, I figured this would be the place to go. My question is, do you think that some people are meant to be great EMT's? Like it just runs in their blood? Something I have lacked my whole life is self confidence. And whether everyone agrees with me or not, confidence is something you need when you're on the rig. I guess that's why I am my own worst enemy.

No matter how many times I try and convince myself that I can get on the rig, and get the job done, it never works. I love being on the rig. Love having the ability to help someone and feel like I have made a difference, no matter how small it is. But lately I find myself avoiding getting on the rig, and avoiding sitting in the dreaded passenger seat.

Recently, I opened up the good old EMT book I got while I was going through class. I flipped to many sections, reading many paragraphs until I realized something. What do you do when you are weak in virtually every aspect of being an EMT. How can you study and try and improve on that? Believe me, I ask questions on the rig when I have them. But sometimes the answers are ones I hate hearing... "it depends". Every single call is different, which means you handle things different. Sometimes I just wish there was always one clear cut answer. One clear cut solution to every call.