New adventures, Familiar Place

So I have alluded to a new job several times in the past few months on here. And I figured it’s past time to talk about it. As you can tell from the new banner, I have TX and NM represented in that star of life. That’s because I’m now, once again, workin in the state of Texas.

Some of you might remember that three years ago I worked in a small rural TX community as an EMT-I. Well, now I’m back in the same community working as a Paramedic :). I work 7 days on/7 days off. It actually works out well for me. I’ll go into some detail as to what it’s like down here too. But suffice to say, it’s one of my dream jobs. And I’m having a lot of fun overall.

When I worked here before, it was a city run, third service, with pretty typical protocols for this area of Texas. Now, I’m working under flight protocols on a frontier 911 truck. We have some of the broadest sets of guidelines outside of my good friends to the south in Presidio. As a Paramedic I have free reign to use clinical judgement and best practice to deviate from our guidlines, and out critical care medics (more on that in a bit) can perform CVC placements, pericardiocentesis, chest tube insertion, and several other things. The running train of thought is that we can do more in the short term than our little community hospital can, and that they only do scans and give blood (the two things we can’t do at this point).

We regularly transport straight to the airport from scene to meet up with one of our company’s fixed wings for transport of hte patient to a tertiary facility or trauma center (nearest major hospital is a level 2. Closest Level 1 is over 200 miles in any direction). The flight team runs under our same protocols, so in this instance, the flight team doesn’t bring any additional tools (except they carry an ultrasound, ours are coming for ground) or skills to the patient. We use them strictly because we are so far from definitive care.

We also fly out quite a few by rotor. Part of this is that we cover 3000 sq mi of territory, a lot of it is pretty rugged desert. We also have one major interstate running through our county. One of our most common reasons for flying people out by rotor is that we just can’t get safely back down the road the patient is on with any sort of speed, like an oil rig lease road. We have one of the highest numbers of oil rigs in the state of texas here in my county. And with all this, I haven’t seen much abuse of air medical, it’s pretty typical for frontier Texas.

One of hte nice things about our company is that they want all medics to be certified as critical care. And we are 90% paramedic agency (we only have a handful of EMT-I and EMT-B providers. Once myself and four others go through the critical care class, we will be at 100% of paramedics certified as critical care. And I’m in that weird spot because I’m currently an FP-C, which is generally considered critical care level. And the best part is the company will pay for the critical care training. And with the schedules we work, an extra class (like UMBCs 2 weeks course) are easy enough to do trades togo to.

All-in-all I’m excited to be back here. It’s a great place to learn, and I get to play sometimes as a flight medic on our fixed wings. It’s already making me a better provider and it is my favorite type of EMS, rural with great protocols. Plus we have a great crew here. I can’t wait to see what my future holds down here.

This is weird…

So… it’s my first night as an ER Paramedic at the state’s trauma center… So far all I can say is;
This is weird… Very weird. It’s kinda fun though, since there are only two of us (counting my trainer) here on the floor, and we are responsible for not only primary patient care on up to 6 patients at once, but also we are the go-to people to help in the rest of the unit and the trauma bays.
I honestly never thought I wanted to go back to working in a hospital again, but this could be fun. Plus there’s the amazing benefits and the option of free education on a pretty consistent basis. I’m still going to be working the truck at least a few shifts a month (or one a week I hope) but this will become my primary job. It’s also easy to transition to a flight team job after I’ve been here a while, since the hospital runs a fixed wing program.
But this is also my first night shift in a long time that going to bed when I’m not doing anything isn’t an option. THAT I don’t like. But here we go. Another chapter opened, another door taken. Let’s see what kind of trouble I can get myself in.
-TJ

Also, please be sure to check out my facebook photography page, or look on my Tumblr page for more of my photos. Links are attached to my about me page.

 

And as an aside, I’m not sure why comments are being disabled on certain posts. If you have a comment or concern, post it to either my facebook page for the blog (Life of a Transport Jockey) or email to me at transportjockey@gmail.com

Intense

Whoa… I really meant to update this thing earlier than this. The last few weeks have been intense. Right now I’m sitting in Santa Fe NM covering a 22 hour shift on an IFT ambulance. I’m about to take a break from everything and try to take a nap. I’m so short on sleep right now it’s probably almost dangerous.

So, how’s everything going? Not too bad overall. I finally saw the inside of my apartment on the way back from class early this morning. Was nice to sleep in my own bed, if only for about 3 hours. The past few weeks have shown me it’s gonna be a long few months, but it will be so worth it to get pinned as a medic.

Speaking of class. I’m almost all the way caught up finally. I started 3 weeks late and have been doing both the work assigned as we go and all the stuff I missed. Luckily it’s a lot of review for me. Right now my average is hovering at about 92% and I am regularly getting told to shut up in class so someone else can answer. I’ve finally decided that I’ll just keep my mouth shut unless I have a question or am called upon.

We are working on airway right now, and we actually had a former flight nurse teach our class last night. She was probably the best instructor we’ve had so far in this program. But then again, she went into much more depth than most instructors think we ‘need’, and since airway and cardiac are my two favorite subjects I’m not going to complain.

We also go to play around with IVs for the first time for some people in our class. I was 3/3 live sticks, and 0/3 for anyone actually getting a stick on me. I told them I was a harder stick, but no one believed me. I did get asked to help with showing people proper techniques for IV insertion. IT actually is showing me that I like instructing. I’m seriously wondering about when I finish my BSN, going for a secondary BS in education.

But pretty much the class is going well. We were given some bad news that we can’t start any form of clinicals or internship rides until almost the first of the year. IT’s gonna be rather annoying because of the long commute, but I’m thinking about volunteering for a VFD district in Las Cruces area just so I can have a place to crash for free and get some more run volume. Yep, my life is revolving around EMS until I get my medic, there’s just no other way to work it and still have money. Hell, my schedule this last week has had me sleeping in my 911 coverage area at one of the spare bases instead of having to drive back to the city and sleep, then turn around 6 hours later and drive down to Ops to pick up my classmate and make the drive to TX.

So… yea, that’s just a quick update. There’s more I wanted to write about but for now I think I’m gonna go take a nap. I’ve got more homework to do still.

Memories, and new beginnings?

I’ve never like Albuquerque, not since before I moved here for school. When I left last March for Colorado, I thought that was it. I swore I’d never willingly move back to Albuquerque. But somehow in the course of talking to you the NEXT March… we agreed to find a place together in Albuquerque, and I would have been so very content to stay here for the next 18 years with you if you’d have had me. That’s when it hit me. You were what was missing the first few years here. Even staying at your parents (which I’m still so very grateful they put up with me :p), being with you felt like home. You were my home, the place I felt the safest. The place I felt most comfortable. The person I loved being with so much.

Now Albuquerque is a bunch of memories, of things we did. Of places we visited. Unfinished plans that we made together. Albuquerque feels empty to me now. Worse than before you, it’s now a black hole that seems content to suck out any happiness or wanting to do anything. This is not my home any longer.

I guess that’s why when this hospital district offered me the opportunity to come out and test, I took it without a second thought. I knew you would have been ok with it. That’s why I bristle a little when people accuse me of trying to run away from my problems here and run there. And to be honest, that thought gave me a panic attack on the drive back today.

For a little bit, I didn’t know why I was doing it. Was I really running away? Or was I doing it because it’s something I wanted? Because it’s something I thought would be the best idea for me? I really didn’t know. That made me feel horrible. Then I thought about it. Both of us loved travelling, granted you hated TX, but we both had plans to move as much as we could. And this would really be a good opportunity for me. Maybe I’m doing it for a little bit of all of those reasons? But you know what, if it’s better for me in the long run, who cares right this second why I’m doing it?

But that means I need to try and put some things behind me. Sweetheart, losing you is something I’m still having a hard time dealing with. I listened to a song on the way home and these were part of hte lyrics

“I don’t wanna not remember
I will always see your face
In the shadows of this haunted place
I will laugh
I will cry
Shake my fist at the sky
But I will not say goodbye”

That’s rather how I feel towards you. The last month I’ve gone through so many emotions… Gods know that there have been times I’ve been so very pissed off at you. Pissed that you left me alone here, pissed that you wouldn’t talk to any of us, pissed that you were gone. Pissed in general. But it reminded me too that I wouldn’t have been anywhere near that mad if I wasn’t in love with you.

What I can do, though, is remember the memories. Remembering you so many years ago, walking into the interview for that trip with me. I saw you back then, braces, frizzy hair, and all, and it was like something inside me clicked. Like my heart went “Oh! Hi! I’ve been waiting for you!”

And that trip was amazing. I know you had some rough spots during it, and so did I. And I’m sorry I ever took it out on you then. But we enjoyed each others company so very much. And I loved squirelling a smile out of you when you were in a bad mood. It helped my mood so much too. And then  when we got home… This blushing little girl, so cute and innocent looking, walking up to me and kissing me on the cheek, then walking away. You left me standing there breathless and staring. I still smile when I think of that memory.

Then we had some bad times. I was dating the one-who-will-never-be-named (yes she is that much of an evil bitch that she would give Voldemort a run for his money) and she took great exception to the fact that I might have been falling for someone that wasn’t her, or that I was even talking to someone that wasn’t her. So she took it upon herself to make sure we’d never talk again… and for several years we didn’t. I remember spending hours trying to find you online, looking for any sign of you. And come to find out you were doing the same thing to find me.

I remember the first day I saw you again. It was after you and my mother realized who each other was. I came down from ABQ for just a chance. We called each other when I got on campus and left my mom’s office. And in a typical Zita moment, and Nate moment for that matter, I look ahead of me and see someone talking on the phone… making arm motions that looked very familiar. I asked you what you were doing and you told me walking. I was smirking to myself the entire time, and I asked you to turn around. God, seeing your face for the first time in years was amazing. You had just gotten even more gorgeous and grown up from that little girl I remember. The smile on your face when we both realized we’d been on the phone with each other from about 20ft away is still one of my favorite memories.

Remembering how you smiled at me this past Valentine’s day when I surprised you with flowers at your parents. You were always so hard to surprise because you hated them and tried to get all the info you could before it happened. That’s why I’m amazed that me and your mother managed to pull off me sneaking by without you knowing. The happiness you had on your face when you saw me walk through the door was amazing, and then the surprise and smile when I handed you flowers. I was hoping that flowers to you on V-day would become a normal tradition with us, the first time I’d ever enjoyed that day at all.

Or how a month or two later when I walked into your parents house again on a mini-vacation from TX. I had been working up the courage to ask if I could kiss you on that trip, so can you imagine how surprised I was when the first thing you do as I walk in is kiss me on the lips, kiss me very soundly? Heh, I think it was almost a repeat of the airport and me just standing there. You smiled so sweetly and just giggled at me. That was the turning point of us becoming an ‘us’ even if we didn’t want to admit it to anyone.

Those are just a few of my favorite memories of you and me. And kind of why I think I might be running away from ABQ… there are memories of you, of us, of all three of us, everywhere in this state. And I really am having a hard time dealign with it. I still wake up and expect to be looking into your gorgeous hazel eyes, or hear you giggle at me whenever I do something stupid. I miss your gentle touch when I’m upset, and boy, lately, I could have used that wonderful touch so often. I miss just being able to cuddle you to me when you were upset. All in-all… I miss you honey. Miss you so much that the pain makes me want to curl up into a ball and stay there.

I think what really gets me… is that we didn’t really have a chance. We were good together for the short time we had, and it kills me that I’ll never know how we would have turned out. I think it would have worked, but now I’ll never know… and that, to me, is one of the things that makes this so hard.

So, yea, maybe I am running away. But I’m also trying to move on. You would want me to move on. You’d want me to become a better man. You knew of my love for EMS, and you told me shortly before I lost you that you could never tell me you wanted me to give it up. So here I go. I’m trying to get on with one of my dream services (the only one I can get on with as an EMT-I as opposed to a medic). I’m trying to become that man you would be proud of. I’m just hoping you keep watching over me. Keep visiting me in my dreams, for that’s the only way I can see you now, and gods know that I miss you. I still think of you every second of every day, and I can’t see how that will change any time soon. But for now I just need to keep pressing on. Keep trying  to push forward. It’s what you would have wanted for me. and it’s what I would have wanted you to do if the situations would be reversed.

I know I still can’t tell you goodbye. Like I said earlier, I don’t know if I’ll ever be able to tell you goodbye. But I will not, cannot, ever forget you. You’ll stay in my heart forever. And I think you took the best part of me with you when you left, so at least you have some company. Until I see you again lover, watch over me and help keep my dumb ass safe when I do something stupid.

“The blackest night must end in dawn, the light dispel the dreamer’s fear.”

——————————————————————————

So… I just got back to NM last night. I left NM on sunday to go to SE Texas to test for a large hospital based agency. From everything I have heard, they are in the top three services in the state of TX and they’ve always been one I wanted to work at. But man it was a long drive. 15 hours or so from here.

The hiring process consists of a written test, three practical tests (airway incluiding pedi and adult ETI, vital signs, and LSB), an interview, and a PAT. I passed the written with an 88%, passed all three practicals with only one retest (vital signs?! I think I just got nervous and started counting my own pulse), and had a great time on the PAT. It was actually a very fun PAT, and one of the few for private, non-fire EMS that I’ve seen that has you do a full course, not just a stair test. The interview I think I did ok on too. Now I just have to wait till Friday to hear if I got the job or not. If I did, orientation will start on July 18th.

And it’s not just orientation. They run a 3 week academy followed by 4-6 weeks riding third before you’re released as a probationary crew member under a mentoring medic.  I love the idea of the way they do new hires. So… fingers crossed that I’ll get the call once I get off duty on Friday. I go in for a 36 down here in ValCo tonight. I’m hoping I’ll have a resonably busy shift.

Yay… new year… new challenges

Well, another year is over. I’ve noticed a lot of bloggers looking back on the last year, and figured I might join in. But, take note, that I hated 2010 for hte most part, so there will be very few good things I can say about it.

Last year:

My ex-fiance got married to my ex-partner,

I quit my job and moved to CO on the promise of a job (which never materialized),

found a job at a private IFT ambulance, then promptly got fired for doing something stupid.

Fell BACK in love with a girl who had been out of my life for years, had my heart stomped on in front of me, set on fire, and then the ashes scattered by said girl.

Moved back in with my parents,

Spent a lot of the rest of my money that I had saved applying for state certs in bordering states and going to places for interviews.

Got a job in BFE TX on a 911 truck (probably the highlight of my year)

Applied for, and get accepted to, paramedic school in the City.

Strengthened a lot of ties with #CoEMS friends and other great friends I’ve made on Twitter. I’ve found out who really will be around when I need a friendly avatar to talk to.

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Yea, that’s my list of 2010. This next year will hopefully be easier to make better. I’ll have new challenges. Like working FT, PRN, and being a full-time paramedic student. But I know I can make it through everything that gets thrown at me. I’m used to being on my own, and I’ll prove that I can make it all on my own.

Although the year is off to a rough start with us here in BFE. I pulled what was supposed to be a 36 hour shift over NYE and NYD. It wound up being a 24 since we had a busy day and 1 really bad call. We worked 3 major MVCs and one of those turned into a trauma arrest while we were transporting to the airport to meet a fixed wing to get him to a Lvl1 Trauma in Big City 250 miles up the road.

Curiously I didn’t really feel anything with any of those patients. Sure it was sad they got into accidents over a holiday weekend, but I just did my job and walked away with no questions in my mind or doubts about why stuff like that happened.

For the most part, calls that day had been routine calls. Headache, dizziness, drunk, the usual for a holiday weekend. No suicide attempts or people doing grossly stupid things… Until we got the call that got me sent home early.

We got dispatched out secondary to PD for a 911 hangup call. They got on scene and sounded pretty damned flustered when they were calling us, so we got there relatively quickly.

Now, keep in mind, I hate kids. With one very large exception I don’t want them. And the person that I would have helped them raise their daughter… well, long story. Longer than I wanna go into. That and kids on calls scare me, since I don’t deal with them well.

Anyways, we get on scene and find a kiddo that has been beat to within an inch of her life. Why? Because her low life dad was a fuckign drunk and apparently she had dropped something that broke. His solution? To wail on the kid until she was quiet. The mom called, then apparently ‘thought better’ about it and hung up.

I don’t wanna talk too much abotu that call, since I know it’s already going to give me nightmares. But yea, this year is not off to a good start.

So anyways… new year, new challenges. Let’s hope things go well. School, work, work, school. That will be my life this next year, and I can’t say I mind. Keeping busy is good. Keeps me from thinking too much. As I’ve found out this past year, thinking hurts in more ways than one.

Oh and I decided to not give up caffeine like I was planning this year. That would be suicidal I think. So I decided to just give up carbonated beverages (like my Monster  O_O), with maybe the exception of a beer a week if I ever am off duty long enough to have one. So, the drinks and losing weight are my only new years resolutions other than rocking the paramedic course and earning my disco patch by the end of the year.

Burnout

A lot of us in this field have dealt with the issue of burnout. For a stressful job it’s pretty common to deal with. I’ve gone through it once, even though I’ve not been in this field too long yet. When I was dealing with it I was actually even newer. It was in my first year as an EMT.

I was working for an IFT company, had just gotten engaged, and going to school full time to get my pre-reqs out of the way for Paramedic school. I thought I was superman and I could handle everything that got thrown at me, but I was very wrong.

I was working all the shifts I could get on, sometimes working 16 hours or more at a stretch, 6 days a week plus going to class when I wasn’t working. I also had to try to make time to see my fiance, who worked for the same company and my normal schedule was actually opposite her schedule, which made it even harder to see her. I was working all those hours since I had a wedding to help pay for plus school to pay for.

It all came to a head one day when  I woke up and really just didn’t care about anything. I was more cynical than I ever had been (which is actually saying something), I was tired and irritable all the time, and I seemed to be not doing as well at work or in classes as I knew I could.

My head instructor actually called me into his office and sat me down. We must have talked for hours, and he told me that I needed to find something to do that wasn’t EMS related at all so I could help keep my sanity (or, as he put it, what little sanity someone who wanted to be a paramedic had to begin with). He told me he had been in a similar boat when he was going for his degree and he wouldn’t even see home for days at a time.

It made me think about things. I had gone from one extreme to the other. When I was at my first college as an engineering major, I did nothing but mess around and have fun. It hurt my GPA, but I was happy. Now I was in a field that I loved, but I hated my job and life and wasn’t happy. I thought about all the things I’ve put on hold since I started work and school. I didn’t offroad, or shoot, or take photos, or play paintball. I was lucky if I played a video game once a month or so.

It made me realize that I needed some balance in my life if I wanted to make it in this field. No matter how much you enjoy doing this work, if you don’t have some kind of a stress relief you aren’t going to make it. Since then I’ve made sure I take time to do something that is not related to EMS at all. I’ll go flying down a dirt road in my old truck (which reminds me I need to get another one and get rid of my little car), spend the day out in the wilderness just wandering around and taking photos, or going out with some friends and firing off a few hundred rounds of ammo.

So to any new providers out there, take the advice of people who’ve been in your shoes before and make sure you don’t focus so heavily on one thing that you start hating the thing that you loved. Remember why you got into EMS in the first place, not the drunks or the system abusers, but actually helping people. Take time for yourself too.

In my example, the burn out led to horrible relations with my fiance, which led us to break up a while later, a delay on my entry into medic school due to bad grades, and just general pissing off of the people I was around day in and day out. Don’t follow my mistakes :)

It's gonna be an interesting few years

After doing a lot of talking with my new boss and others members of the service, I’ve come to the conclusion that my first year or two working for this service might be interesting.

First, what I really don’t like. This agency was an all-volunteer agency until about a year ago, and it shows. Now, I’m not trying to put down volunteers, as sometimes they are very professional and great to work with. But we all know some volunteer agencies who are only there because it looks cool and don’t want to do anything more than bare minimum. Or they’re there because it’s a family thing.

This service seems to be a little bit of both. Only 3 medics on the staffing list, mostly EMT-Is and EMT-Bs. A lot of them related in one way or another, and think that it will only help that they are. I’m ok with that, though, since they are willing to hire from out of the area and, hey, they’re giving me a job :D.

What I can’t stand though, is how little they care about education. They are excited to get the newest toys and gadgets, but don’t really like to look at the newest research to see why or why not they should be doing something. Tradition plays a very big role in how they think. The old “We’ve always done it this way”. Luckily they have a medical director who doesn’t like that and wants to keep pushing the protocols to be more progressive.

But things still fall through the cracks and are done just like always. One of them is working a code on scene. I’ve always been taught that you only transport a working code once you get ROSC. They are a big fan of stopping CPR to get the patient into the bus, then running hell-bent towards the nearest hospital with only one provider in the back working the code, in a moving rig, running L/S, and getting thrown around. I’m not a fan of that. Hopefully it’s one thing I can help change their mind on. But we’ll see.

I’ve talked to the chief about going back to school, since I want to finish up and get my medic soon. He’s all for it, but the minute I said I wanted to go for the AAS as a minimum, his eyes kinda glazed over. HE doesn’t understand why anyone would think that a medic isn’t quite educated enough. I love the fact that TX recognizes the extra education and issues a license, not a cert in this case, of Paramedic.

I’ve talked to a couple of the people at teh station about the EMS 2.0 movement and things like #CoEMS (I wore my EMS 2.0 pin on my dress shirt for my ‘interview’, so it was kinda obvious), and one of the on duty crew said she was all in favor of it (she was a part timer who also works as a flight medic). The other just kinda shrugged and said she had her basic, which was more than enough education for her. Not quite what I was hoping to hear. But the chief said he’s ok with me continuing to blog, as well as being active in the EMS social media aspect, which is what I wanted.

Now the service isn’t all bad. Like I said earlier, they have a very progressive medical director. I was told by the chief that if I came up with any research, that the medical director’s door was always open to improvements in the system. Also if there were any new toys that he was more than ok with me learning how to write grants to try and get money for them, pending MD approval. One of those devices is the Zoll Autopulse or the Physio equivalent. I figure if they want to risk everyone by running codes in a moving bus, I’ll see if I can get a device to make it safer and easier for all involved.

Their medical director wants them to get serious about hiring good ALS providers, and according to the chief, the MD would eventually like to see the system move to an all ALS approach. I’m more than ok with that, since it sounds like they want to try to model if after ATcEMS, which seems to be a great system. I have an official interview with the medical director already requested so I can talk to him and get a feel for how he like his ALS providers to function and talk to him about a few questions I have over just how long a leash he gives to EMT-Intermediates in his system, so hopefully I can get a good rapport with him started.

The other good news about the area… I went to the nearest big city on Wednesday morning to talk to their community college’s medic coordinator. He seemed to be a great guy, and seemed interested in me entering their program. They do offer the EMT-P AAS, which I want to take advantage of. He did tell me, though, that I can start their certificate program as early as January if I get paperwork in in time, and then finish the gen-ed courses for the AAS after I get my #discopatch. Not a bad idea. The downside is a 75 mile commute one way for classes. And clinicals. I do, however, get to do half my ride time in my small-town agency. So it is not as bad as it could be. And my new boss said he would be willing to put me on 1 24 and 1 12 a week of first out, and 1 12 every other week as second out (on call), or 2 24s a week and 1 12 of second out every other week, whichever I wanted. He is not a fan of 24s, but he said in my case it might make things easier.

I think I’ll get my medic and try to stay here for another 4 years or so at least once I get it. Then I’m seriously debating trying to transfer to ATcEMS and trying to get on with their system to finish out a career if I decide to stay a medic. but I’m not sure.

Either way, it’s going to be one hell of a ride. Maybe I can make my own little #thunder out there.

Huh

The last two days have been interesting. Right after I make my decision that I’d be more than happy to stay here in NM and finish up my BS-EMS, I get an email. From the EMS Chief at a small, west TX municipal EMS agency. I had emailed them a few weeks back to inquire if they had any openings for EMT-Is. I didn’t get any response and had kinda just put it out of my mind.

Fast forward to yesterday. I get an email asking if I am still interested in coming to work for their service, and then he give me an idea of the area and their coverage area, etc. They cover roughly 3000 square miles of their county, plus provide mutual aid and ALS intercepts for neighboring counties. They run primarily 911, but do occasional IFTs to the trauma centers about 70-100 miles away. Their calls can be anywhere from 5-40 minute response times, long transports to definitive care, extensive air-medical use, an aggressive medical director w/ progressive protocols.

It sounds like heaven to me, so I told him I was still interested. I get an email back asking me to please fill out an application (I had previously only attached my resume and copies of all my certs) and fax it to him as soon as possible, so  I did. He then emailed me saying that he figures I would want to come out and see the area, and he offered to give me a tour himself, as well as talk with me about coming to work in the area. From what everyone has told me, this seems like a very good thing.

Today I sent an email to the Chief and told him I was trying to plan on leaving my parents on Tuesday morning and getting into his area early afternoon. The next thing I know I get an email from the town’s HR office asking me to fill out the official forms for a background check and fax it to her ASAP, and to also bring the original with me for my visit.. I wasn’t aware I was going to be talking to HR when I went east to visit.

To be honest I’ve never had to do this much paperwork for anything short of an interview. So we’ll see how it goes. Since I’m not sure what it’s going to be like, I figure I’ll dress in business casual, just in case. Fingers crossed, because working for this muni third-service sounds perfect. And it’s within 75 miles of a good AAS Paramedic program.

And since this service is desperate for ALS providers (which in TX I fall under ALS instead of ILS like in NM) they might be willing to help me out to get my TX LP (Licensed Paramedic) ticket.

Just thought I’d share the last few days :)

So we’re now moved pretty well onto wordpress, and I must say I like it more than blogspot :) Lots more options to do what I want, and it seems a little more stable.

So, what have I been doing lately? Well it’s been a long week. I’ll take it day by day to start with

Monday I had an interview and testing session with Pridemark Paramedics. Got there about 15 minutes early and there were already 4 other candidates there. They had us give them copies of our MVRs and then put us in a big conference room to take their written test. By the time everyone was there we had 9 candidates total (3 medics, 6 EMTs) there to test and interview.

The written test itself wasn’t too bad. A lot of simple stuff on it, even if the wording on it wasn’t the best. But I’m finding out that that’s pretty standard on employment pretests. A couple of the questions didn’t really have a good answer, so I did just as my instructors have always told me. “When in doubt choose C!” No, really though I just picked the answer that was the least wrong out of the ones presented.

The ‘practical’ portion wound up being nothing more than a verbal scenario. They wanted it a little more detailed than a lot of places, but nowhere near as detailed as I had to learn for the NR oral boards. It was a simple down and out scenario in an office building. I’m sure most of you can come up with some ideas for that but it wound up being one that I’ve actually ran in real life several times. Yay for D50.

Lastly was the actual interview. I didn’t think that I did too badly, but some of the questions weren’t what I was expecting. It wasn’t quite like the ACA interview by any means, but still different.

So got home from that feeling pretty confident on everything. They told us we’d hear back from them within 48 hours.

Tuesday dawn a nice pretty day up here, but any happy feeling evaporated pretty quick with a phone call from my mother. All it basically said was ‘your grandmother’s not doing good, the hospital called us and told us she most likely won’t make it past tonight.’

Great way to kill a day huh? I was told not to make it the 8 hour drive south since they weren’t sure I’d get there in time anyway. She didn’t want me coming down and possibly killing myself in the attempt to beat the reaper. I felt, and still feel, horrible that I didn’t head down and ignore my mother.

That day the only thing that kept me sane really was my friend who I’ve mentioned a few times before. She kept texting and talking, trying to keep me distracted and from dwelling on what was happening. Keep me from dwelling on what I couldn’t have any impact on.

I’d said it on Twitter and I’ll say it again here… As ridiculous as it sounds, I felt like if I had been there, there was something that I could have done. Something that the MDs and RNs there missed. I hate being on the sidelines and not able to influence the course things are taking, especially when it involves medical and my family.

Wednesday, my grandmother was still hanging in, but had spiked a fever of 108. They ran a CT and found that she had had a stroke in her ‘temperature regulation area’ according to the MD through my mother. He didn’t want to go into any more details with me since I wasn’t there and he assumed being 22 I couldn’t understand what he meant (have I mentioned that I hate some MDs?). Nothing was breaking the fever and none of her meds were working for anything at that point.

Thursday morning the fever broke finally but she was in a vegetative state. No reaction to anything. No change for Friday either.

Oh, Wednesday I found out from Pridemark via email that I was not selected for the job, but that they would keep my app on file for later if they found a job that matched my qualifications. Nothing still head from the middle-east company, and no good news from any other job fronts that day.

Thursday I found out on Acadian’s website that it shows ‘Schedule interview’ for SE TX. So hopefully that’s a good sign.

So it’s not been the best week I could have had. I’m planning how to get to FL for what we’re assuming is going to be my grandmothers funeral (she has DNR/DNI signed and wishes no extraordinary measures, and my family and the staff is honoring those wishes), along with probably needing to get to OC TX and maybe Baton Rogue LA for interviews. I’ve also been making plans to go ot TN and visit her for a few days. I have something I really need to tell her and I’d rather do it in person.

And on to her… it’s amazing how perfect she is and she doesn’t realize it yet. Every time I tell her that I know she can do everything she’s up against she just acts flabbergasted that I’ve got any confidence in her. One of the nice things is she doesn’t think that she’s perfect, she knows she has flaws, but at the same time she thinks those flaws make it so no one wants her.

She told me that she really wants to stay with me wherever I move to (right now as just friends since I haven’t told her anything), even if it is TX. She has told me many many times how much she hates TX and yet she’s willing to move down there to be around me.

Well, I’m done for now. I’ve got a few more apps to finish and send out.

http://transportjockey.com/2010/06/26/64/

Quick update

Just wanted to let people know I’m still around and looking for jobs. Put out tons of applications, in places from Denver, to Durango, to Baton Rouge, to Tulsa, to Albuquerque. And everywhere in between. Applying for ER tech, ICU tech, Tele tech, EMT, EMT-I, among others. I even applied in my home town where my parents live to work in an ER.
I’ve already gotten turned down on 3 ER Tech positions, 1 Dialysis tech position, 2 EMT positions, and at a Starbucks. But I’m trying hard not to get frustrated.
And I’ve got a lead on what something that I’m really hoping for. A job as an EMT-I in Kabul, Afghanistan. It’s a year contract and the pay is incredible. I’m really hoping i get it since it sounds interesting, is remote medicine, and would help pay off all my bills and let me finish medic school anywhere I wanted to without having to worry about working.

Now, back to looking for more jobs and being a lazy bum… Oh look, Chai :)