Are those shears in your pocket…? My Handover post

“So this is it, guess it’s time to head in,” I got out of my Jeep, made sure I had my pack and binders, and walked in the front doors of IFT Hell. This would be my first night ever being on an ambulance, and I wanted to make sure I was early and had everything I needed.

I checked in with dispatch, let them know who I was, and who I was riding with. They told me that my preceptor and his partner would be in shortly and that I should wait for them in the break room. I get there and put down all my stuff and decide I should go through it one more time.

“Lets see… shears, check, on my right leg, protocol book… there it is, let me just put it in my backpack. Penlight… Yep, right next to my shears… along with several pens… oh hey there’s a sharpie there too. iTouch w/ Epocrates… Yep it’s in my left side ankle pocket. Cell phone in my left thigh pocket. Wallet… crap. I need that to drive!” I scramble frantically and pat every single pocket I have, till I notice it sitting on the table right by my backpack. “Right, that goes in my right thigh pocket. I’ll put some gloves in my right ankle pocket.”

Now, lets see what I put on my belt,” was my next thought. “Leatherman, flashlight, rescue hook, and radio loop. Got all of that where I can get it.” Well, it looks like I’ve got all my stuff.

I waited there, looking at my PHTLS book and protocol book waiting for my preceptor to show up. I must have waited there for a half hour before the dispatcher came rushing in.

“Good you’re still here! I kinda forgot to tell the crew you’re riding with that you were in here and they left without you. Just get your stuff and wait out front.” She blurts out as she’s almost literally pushing me out the building’s front doors. “Sorry!” Was her final words as she rushed back into her little den of evil.

Great… first day and I’m already late… At least it’s not really my fault this time.” I think to myself as I fidget nervously with all my crap I’m carrying. The ambulance comes to get my quickly as I get introduced to the crew I’m riding with. The medic takes one look at me and laughs at me, as he asks, “This your first EMT job?”

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A lot has changed since that night two and a half years ago. As I’m getting stuff packed up to get ready to go to TX on Monday I take stock in what I have for uniform items and compare it to what I carried then.

First boots. That’s one thing that’s stayed the same. I’ve worn the Converse side zip tac boots for years and love them. Comfortable from day one and they seem to last a while. I might switch it up and try Magnum boots when I need to buy another pair, but we’ll see.

Next is pants… I used to just wear the cheapest pair of EMT pants I could find (usually the original Propper EMT pants) but now I’ve mainly switched to 5.11 EMS pants. Heavy enough for NM winters, but not too bad for our summers, once the knee pads get taken out anyways. I love the shear loops on both sides, since I’m left handed, and I prefer my shears on that side. I’ve got a pair of the new CuttingEdge Propper pants coming in so I can test out a pair at my new job.

Uniform shirts have definately changed. My first service gave us gray polos that, while they were really comfortable, didn’t look the best or the most professional. My service I worked for in Denver issued white Class A shirts… I hated those. Now, my new service, is issuing me two short sleeve black ‘button down’ shirts, and one long sleeve. Complete with service and certification patches. Now I say ‘button down’ because they look like they have buttons, but really have a zipper. Should make it easier to toss it on when we get a call at 0300 and I go from asleep to truck in 60 seconds.

Hat… well, I’ve always worn hats. And this is the first time I don’t get a service issued hat, so I went and bought just a generic EMT hat, since all my other hats are service or agency hats… Or a Farleys hat that says FU in really big letters on it :p

Now for what I carry.. Here’s where the biggest change it. On my left leg I carry shears and pens, and keep my wallet in that pocket as well, along with a pen in my shirt pocket. Right leg pocket has my phone in it, along with a pen light in one of the pen sleeves on the outside. My phone that has replaced carrying a PDA and music player. I have a few hours worth of music, plus Pandora, on it, along with Epocrates, the Infor-Med ALS field guide app, and Skyscape medical calculators on it. Gloves still get put in my right ankle pocket though. I also carry a knife in my left front pocket. And of course, on the bottom of my right wrist is a watch. Can’t do my job without at least a watch.

Speaking of phone, what I’m carrying for that now is the Sprint HTC Hero, running the newest Android 2.2 build. Great phone and Android is an awesome alternative to the iOS. It’s a great reference device, entertainment device (aforementioned music, plus Twitter, FB, and games), and also, ya know, calls people.

Flashlight, rescue hook, all that other stuff either doesn’t get carried or it gets tossed into my backpack, along with a netbook and a Kindle. A shift’s worth of amusements all in a neat little package :)

Now to just find my work backpack so I can actually get it packed for next week! I might have mentioned in previous posts… but I HATE PACKING! 😛

Moving update…

I don’t know if I’ve mentioned this, but I hate moving. With a passion.
But anyways… My roommate is now moved up to Lakewood in our place. We took my truck fully loaded and a rental trailer up there on Wednesday right after I got off of work. Long long trip. About 8 hours worth. But she now has all of her stuff up there and is starting working I think today…
Meanwhile I came back on Thursday just in time to go to a staff meeting at the hospital (great waste of 20 minutes BTW) and then head home. Now it’s time for me to pack. I have three more weeks working as a Tech at my hospital. It can’t end soon enough 😛
I wound up talking to an area firefighter while I was up there though and got pointed in the direction of a service that just lost several EMTs and Medics. So I think I’ll email their recruiter and see what they say. The only problem is that I’m still waiting for CO state to send me my license. Seems like it’s taking forever.

After I get up there I’ll look around at schools, although the same area that this service covers and that firefighter works in apparently has one of the better AAS programs for Paramedicine, so I’m hoping that all of it works out.

Now, time to go pack some more, then onto #CoEMS