Wait… Already planning again?

I’ve been here in BFE, TX for about two months, yet I’m already looking at planning my next move. Actually my next two at least. Maybe being single actually a good thing… Since I apparently have a problem settling down and staying in one place for very long.

I plan on staying here in BFE for at least 2.5 years or so. Long enough to get my AAS in Paramedicine and my Paramedic License (not cert) here in TX. Plus it’ll give me good experience working in a 911 system, and prove to myself that I can handle being definitive care for a long transport until I can actually get them to a hospital. That means a lot to me since I’ll actually have time to see my interventions make a difference or not, instead of dropping off the patient after only being with them for 10 minutes or so.

It’s ok living here, but it kinda sucks to have to drive at least 70 miles to do anything. I guess while I like living in a small town, there’s a limit on just how small. The town in NM that I lived in HS was just barely larger than here, but it had a college and a few things to do at least.

After I finish up my AAS and get some experience, I’m looking at moving back to NM and going to the University there and going for my Bachelors of Science in EMS on the Critical Care track. There are a few services I can work for down there that I am pretty familiar with, plus my old service down there if I really wanted to.

Some people have asked why I would make a move in the middle of going to where I really want to work at just to go to school for another two years, especially since I’ll already be a paramedic. Well… because I believe that more education is essential in this field. I want to have as much education as I can so I can better serve the patients who trust me with their care. The fact that they don’t get to pick and choose who responds to their calls makes me want to work that much harder to make sure I’m the best provider I can be and see if I can help change the system from the inside out.

I figure I’ll stay there for a few years (as short a time as I can manage while getting my degree) and then get ready to move again. I really don’t want to do career EMS in Albuquerque, just not that fond of the system there. I’ve been looking at various systems that I would love to spend my career working in and I’ve come up with three of them. One is Austin/Travis County, of course. A great third service in a good system. I’ve heard only good things about them, but heard they might be going to a P/B or P/I truck instead of the P/P trucks like I’ve heard they run.

My second option is Wake County EMS. This one appeals to me due to the fact that they have a community paramedicine program. That type of work really makes me happy to think about. I’d love to do it.

And the last option I’ve thought of so far is back to Denver to work for Denver Health Paramedics. Primarily a Paramedic agency with very few BLS trucks. I love the area up there and the agency didn’t seem too bad when I was there.

So those are my rough plans for the next 6 years or so of my life. Lets see how much life will throw at me and force me to change those plans. :)

Well, I’m on shift now as well, so it’s time to watch some more TV unless I find something else to ramble on about! Ya’ll stay safe out there.

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! 😛

Back

Just got back from a few days in Colorado. Signed a lease on a place with my new roommate in Lakewood, just outside of Denver proper. It’ll do :) Lease is up at the end of July (we’re taking over the lease from soemone who’s moving to NY) so it’ll give us time to get setup and on our feet and if we decide to move we can after that or if we like it we can stay.

Still waiting on CO EMS to issue a license, but I know that can take a little while. I’m still wanting to know what license I’ll be getting. I’m applying for just random part time jobs right now until I get that. I’ve got enough saved up that if I can just cover part of my monthly expenses with a PT job, it’ll help until I can get on with one of the many ambulance companies up there. Seriously, there’s like 6 in the greater Denver Metro area.

Now it’s time to get boxes, pack, clean, and organize. All the things I hate about moving.