Qoute from The EMT Spot

"There is a patient out there who is on a collision course with your skills. They don't know you yet. You've never met them either. They have no idea that they are going to meet you in the future, but the day they do, they will test you." From The EMT Spot

Sunday, January 23, 2011

First Week Of Clinicals

I have finished my first week of clinicals with what can only be described as mixed results. I spent two days in same day surgery and only have four IV sticks to show for it. I have no one but myself to blame for that and it is due to a lack of confidence in my own abilities.  The first day was observation only and on the second day I was supposed to perform the IV sticks.  This is going to be a big challenge for me to overcome and right now I don't know how I am going to overcome this issue in my training. This is a make it or break it problem for me because if I don't learn to have confidence in my abilities how will my patients or the EMT's that I intercept with have any? I did get four sticks on "real" patients and might have gotten quite a few more but a friend of mine put it best when he said; "A paramedic that hangs back doesn't work real well."
I have to remind myself that it was a major victory to have accomplished that much because for many years I refused to even consider being a paramedic because I wouldn't even consider trying to master the skills necessary to become a paramedic, I just didn't believe I could do it. That is one of the reasons I love my wife, she has taught me to believe in myself much more than I ever could before. She isn't the only one of course, my instructors have said more than once that I have the skills and need to develop the confidence in myself.
Today I spent some time with the EKG technicians and learned the hospitals procedures and operation of the 12 lead machine used in the hospital, it was a much less stressful day then the two previous and I enjoyed the slower pace and I was much more comfortable with doing EKG's because you don't cause the patient pain when you do them. I hate seeing a look of pain on someone's face and know I am causing it; but I also know that the only way to learn to do IV's is to do IV's, you have to stick people with needles in order to learn how to do it quickly, safely and as painlessly as possible, I have to get my head around this idea and begin to act in a more confident way. So that was my first week of clinicals, I survived and will forge ahead and hopefully come out of this the kind of paramedic that that I want to be and keep learning about both myself and my profession.

Monday, January 17, 2011

St Marie's Will Help Me to Be A Better Paramedic

I recently took a weekend trip to New Hampshire and found something out about being a paramedic I didn't expect and it came from an unlikely source. My wife has always talked about how pretty the church is by where my stepdaughter lives and I finally got a chance to see the church for myself. It was everything she said it was and more, it is an old church built in the 1890's and has been very well maintained. The sermon was rather good and the priest talked about humility and how Christ did allowed himself to be baptized because his Father willed it. The priest then asked an interesting question; "What areas of your life require you to do things that you think are unnecessary so you find doing them difficult? If Christ can humble himself to be baptized, can you humble yourself to do whatever it is in your life? I then began to think about how to apply this to myself and immediately began to think about medic class and came to some conclusions. I have come to the realization that in many ways I am not the kind of student I should be, I am impatient and not always willing to do the work necessary to be the kind of paramedic that I want to be. That is my biggest struggle right now, not wanting to take the small steps now so that bigger steps can be safer later. My last few posts have been about how the class has frustrated me because I have been tripped up by seemingly small things that shouldn't matter once I am out of class and my attitude has gotten adjusted by realizing that I am human and need to learn all the steps before I can learn which parts don't apply to a given situation.
In other words paramedic class is teaching me humility! We have started cardiology again and it is just as much of a struggle but now it is a much different struggle in that I am trying to learn the material and recognize my own failings and improve on them instead of blaming the material or the instructor. Now I ask you, how many medics are better medics because they stopped by an old church??

Monday, January 3, 2011

Entering Clinicals

I was cleared to begin clinicals today and find myself both excited and nervous about functioning in a new role, that of somewhat trained paramedic. (note the use of a small p) I find myself at the point where I have to carefully follow the skill sheets and protocols, this is a new experience for me because I had become very accustomed to taking shortcuts and skipping steps because I knew what I was doing as an EMT. I assumed that because I was a competent EMT, I would then become a competent paramedic. It doesn't work that way. I find myself struggling with going back to rigid adherence to skill sheets and protocols, I don't like it but find that I have to take a step backward in order to take many more steps forward.
I find myself chuckling at the last post I wrote to this blog because I find after reading the comment that was posted and the article it referred to that my feelings were more of not realizing that I had to drop back to the novice class and swallow my pride, but thanks to The EMT Spot, I at least now have a better understanding of what is occurring.
The skills are becoming easier but up until now have been either practiced on mannakins or my classmates so the stress level was much lower than it will be with the real patients in the clinical site. I asked you to note the small p remember? When I look at how far I have come it seems like such a short distance when compared to how far I still have to go but the distance is being eaten at an incredible rate. I look forward to the day that I am sure enough of both my skills and my knowledge so that I can call myself a Paramedic and not a Student Paramedic; but realize that in some ways that day will come soon, in other ways it feels like it may take much longer that it seems today.