Here we go again


Well… Here we go again. Up there is gear, clothes, and uniforms for the next month. I deploy tomorrow morning at 0955 to NH as a relief medic. Should be rather fun and the protocols are very broad. I’ll be gone for the next month and might be there a little longer. I can’t wait to get this started.

New Toy

So I don’t do this much… but I bought a new toy and wanted to talk about it for a second. As most of you know I work rural 911 (both paid and volunteer) and urban IFT/CCT. I was looking around on Amazon for a few things for my camera and somehow this came up on my recommendations. 

 

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It’s the NAR Boa Contricting IV band. It looked interesting so I decided I’d order it and give it a try. I have used it the past three weeks on all sorts of calls. And compared it to a standard tq like comes in most start kits. So far I like it.

I had a couple tough sticks, including a diabetic that is seizing who had really crappy veins. I had known this from past experience running on this patient. I tried a standard tq and couldn’t find anything, then I remembers that I clipped the boa onto my pants and decided to give it a try. Put it on rather high up, then rolled it down and ‘bam’, a vein popped up that was enough for me to find a place to stick.

Used it on and off on a lot of patients, especially renal failure and oncology patients that I’ve run into the past few weeks and it works amazing. I really have to hand it to them, they have put out a product that is pretty damned cool. And so far it has held up to cavi wipes and just generally being carried by me (I’m pretty hard on things).

All-in-all, a good piece of kit. Especially if you don’t have the money for a veinlite :)

Really?

I can’t believe somethign that happened today… Ok first a little update on everything… then a rant.
I’ve been volunteering quite heavily at my FD the past few weeks, because I’ve been doing my HAZMAT A&O class in preparation for doing Fire 1 next month. It’s actually be rather fun, and I think I might like playing firefighter some days. Not more than my medical calling, but still. We had our final test for HAZMAT this morning and I think I did ok. I’m always up for learning new things, so let’s see if I passed lol
Although it now looks like I won’t be doing Fire 1 w/ the people I’ve gotten to know in my HAZMAT class. I was asked if I wanted to volunteer for a temporary Duty Assignment w/ the Evil Empire to the NE of the US. Of couse I said yes. It’ll be 6 12/hr shifts in a row, then a day off, then back to work. That’ll last at least a month. Should make some decent money. Waiting to find out if I’m going to NH or ME though, as I had to fill our reciprocity paperwork for both states. The general consensus is that they’re very short handed or maybe a strike is approaching. They prefer our DRT people, and you have to be a NREMT-P. Luckily I’m both. I’ll keep everyone updated on what’s going on, as this sounds fun.
Now for my rant… I was in jeans and my FD t-shirt this morning for class, and after my test I went to get coffee to study for my FP-C. I was sitting there minding my own business when an older woman, about my parent’s age, came up to me and said something that blew my mind;
“Why are you wearing that shirt, it’s not like you can ever do that job with all those nasty tattoos”
I honestly didn’t know what to say to her. I’ve never had someone be that rude or judging of me for my tattoos before. She asked me then what I did for a living.
I got a little satisfaction when her jaw dropped when I told her I’m a career Paramedic w/ over 5 years on an ambulance or in a hospital enviroment. And I am also a volunteer firefighter/paramedic w/ the county whose shirt I was wearing. She left in a huff w/ the parting comment of “Well I’d never let you work on me looking like that”
Granted, today I looked pretty scruffy, weaing a t-shirt and jeans, not shaven for the past three days… But still. I’ve never had anyone while I’m on duty be anything but complimentary of my ink, if they even notice them. Generally if I’m treating the patient they’ve got a few more important things on their mind. And honestly I have always felt that the younger generations, even my parents, was more accepting of tattoos. And for the most part I’ve been right.
But ma’am, if you ever happen to find this (which I sincerely doubt), I hope that you’ll give me a chance. Come ride along w/ me on my 911 truck. See me in uniform and how I carry myself in it and present myself to the general public. See how I treat my patients that disrespect me with the utmost of respect no matter what. See how little the people who’s lives are in my hands actually care that the provider has tattoos. Come see a paramedic in action, and don’t judge them based on appearances. You can judge me all you want, but do it on substance, not appearance. Judge me on my skills, my personality, my empathy.
In short, stop judging a book by it’s cover. You made yourself look like a naive fool, and honestly I hope that if something happens to you, you’re in my county. In my district. And you’ll see first hand how little tattoos matter. The world is changing, and for the better.

One year

I just realized that as of next month, I will have been a medic for one year. It’s been a hell of a ride. There’s been some first for me in this year too. A lot of them actually.

I got my first write-up in regards to patient care. And it was for doing the RIGHT THING BY MY PATIENT! I had a distal shaft femur fx, gave him narcotics (50mcg fent, 10mg MS) and it still wasn’t helping. Talked to a doc and got orders for 2mg of valium for muscle spasms around the fx (I was actually worried about the bone shards cutting an artery). Gave the 2mg Valium and low and behold it helped out a lot. Got written up for it.

Ran my first vent and multiple drip CCT style transfer two weeks after I became a medic. Transfer from a small rural facility to the state lvl 1 trauma. A vented patient on Levophed and Dobutamine drips. Talk about nerve wracking. I was so out of my league it wasn’t even funny. But it was fun! It’s what made me take my critical care class.

I worked my first code as a medic and got ROSC. I have gotten 3 NTI’s (a new record at my service). I have obtained a reputation as a good, aggressive medic. I do whatever I can to do right by my patient. I have continued to educate myself and expand my horizons in terms of where I want to go.

And on the non-medic side, I have become a published photographer. I have gotten photos published for a publicity brochure for my division of the Evil Empire.

I have worked under some damn good medics and worked with some amazing EMT partners at my 911 service, and I got to admit, I learned a lot from both sides of the fence.

In the past year everything seems like it has changed, and a lot of it has been good. Now that I’m approaching the end of my first year as a medic… I have a lot to learn still. But I have learned a lot and will continue to learn every day at work and off. It’s been a hell of a ride, but I am proud to be where I am and doing what I do. I am damned proud to be a Paramedic.