Sep. 28th, 2014

Can't win

Sep. 28th, 2014 07:43 am
c1: (Star of Life)
Last night was the first 12 hour overnight shift. Field training candidates are supposed to only work 6 hour night shifts (ending at midnight) but they want me out of training soon, so they allowed me to deviate from that rule in an effort to get more patient contacts. An average overnight should net a couple more calls than I was getting, so instead of maybe 2-3 per shift, I'd get between 3-5.

Got the truck checked out by 19.00. Around 21.00, we went out for ice cream. At 22.00, I watched I Am Legend. Throughout the night, I caught up on reading the various EMS journals.* By 00.30, I was sleeping.

As far as calls? Crickets.

Oh well.

*Including a really cool article on video laryngoscopes; success rates on inserting an ET tube on the first try went from about 65% (traditional laryngoscopes) to somewhere north of 75% -- might have been 90%, I can't recall for sure. This is going to be a game changer as far as airway management.
c1: (Star of Life)
So today was a continuing ed training session, meaning training that I need periodically to keep my basic license (and by extension) knowledge up to date. Given the unseasonably clement weather, we went to a large disused parking lot on the edge of town with all our ambulances and interceptor vehicles,* set up some cones, and did driver training.

There was a 4 cone slalom, to be driven in forward as well as reverse. Then a 3 point turn, followed by backing into a spot only inches wider than the truck itself (and oh by the way, get close to, but don't hit the line of cones at the end), finished by driving around the building to end up back at the starting point. There's a choke point behind the building with some overhanging trees, so this wasn't a freebie.

This was the first time I've driven an ambulance in years. It's also the heaviest ambulance by far -- our primary trucks weigh about 13,000 pounds -- that I've driven. On the flip side, we have a backup camera, though it's not as helpful as you'd think. It did let me get to within an inch of the cones while backing up, but on the backward slalom, it was useless.

That being said, my partner, who has 20+ years behind the wheel, did a 4 point turn, so I'm feeling pretty good. (The director of the service also did a 4 point turn, but he normally drives an interceptor. My partner did give him some guff about that, which was well taken.)

Second half of the day featured a presenter from the New Hampshire Hospital for Children, who spoke about issues with pediatric patients. Kiddos are not little adults in the slightest has been my mantra for years (their physiology is entirely different, and their physical make up is such that they've got all their own landmarks, too) but it's nice having someone dust off knowledge I rarely get to use. It's a double edged sword that most kiddos are healthy, but at the same time, it means we all have less experience with them than we'd all like.

*A fancy way of saying "a Ford Expedition that's been tricked out with lights and a siren" that the paramedics can use to jet around town.

November 2014

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