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.