Thursday, April 13, 2006

EMT part Deux

Okay, I missed a couple of things from that last post. Forgive me. I have since had almost two hours of sleep, and four hours of school.

First, don't eat too much meat and drink too little water. Gout is a bitch.

Second, if you remember that time when you were on your bike, and hit something smallish and racked yourself, remember also that you don't want to do this on a motorcycle. You will rupture a testicle. Good news is they try to repair it before they try to remove it, so you won't have to worry about running out of there half cocked.

Also, being old sucks. Bedsores suck. Stinking wounds suck. Sagging flesh sucks. Unexplained protrusions of flesh from one's abdomen suck.

And finally, being homeless sucks. Going to detox sucks. And, trying to kill a child, being arrested, strapped face down naked by the arms and legs to a gurney, and being rotated over onto your back while yelling obscene things at me and the nurses about sucking something or other really sucks. But then you probably deserve that last one and I don't feel sorry for you nearly as much as I feel sorry for the police officer who has to sit around outside your boring room while you sleep whatever it is off. Also, you pissed yourself.


So, I went on my second clinical today. For anyone who doesn't know, a clinical is like a one man field trip. We are scheduled at least two of them, one on an ambulance and one in an ER. The purpose is to get five patient contacts, with vitals and a narrative. My first clinical was on an ambulance, and I got four contacts. None of the calls were very urgent. The most impressive one was a guy who swallowed the tab off of a pop can. Not inhaled, just swallowed. Also, there was a kid with one of those bad croup coughs. The other two were sick with nothing in particular.

This clinical was in an ER, and I got one patient contact. One documented patient contact anyway. To start off with we were quite busy. Once things calmed down a bit it seems almost everyone was either discharged or sent upstairs. There were a few people left, all of which were sleeping (it was about 03:00). With two of them, I knew what they were in for and had helped treat them. One of them I got documented before they left. I should have started with the other one, but I didn't know she was about to be discharged, while the one I was documenting was still there when I left. It doesn't really matter too much though I guess. I got my five necessary patient contacts so I'm pretty much good.

I saw a lot of things tonight. I put EKG pads on few people, two of which were old women. I helped turn a combative patient over, along with two EMTs, a couple of police officers, and some hospital security. I helped with bloodwork and patient transport. I helped a nurse put a tube up a womans nose and into her stomach so we could force feed her some activated charcoal to absorb some of the vallium she had swallowed. Her arms were in restraints, but she didn't really resist anymore after she was restrained. I helped put a catheter into a woman who was unconcious. I'm not sure why she was there. The common opinion among the nurses seemed to be that she was a drama queen, but that seems a bit cold and illogical to me.

The first I saw of her she was hyperventilating. Her roommate had found her not well and brought her in. I'm not sure at what point she started hyperventilating, but she looked panicked. After she was done with that she became apneic (not breathing). Then she went to breathing normally. A sternum scrub did not wake her. Smelling salts did not wake her. Pushing a catheter into her urethra did not wake her. If that's just drama, I'm impressed by her determination to stick with it. Eventually she woke up and wanted to go to the bathroom so we took the catheter out and walked her down the hall. She was able to walk back by herself, and then she crashed on the bed again. I found that one to be a bit disturbing, especially since while she was hyperventilating all I saw was her eyes, and with the makeup she had on her eyes looked just like my girlfriends. It startled me until I noticed that her ears were pierced differently.

The valium OD was a bit disturbing too, but I saw her the next morning and she seemed pretty much better. She was still waiting a psych checkup, but her husband was there waiting with her. She got married last night, and her father didn't approve of her marrying a mexican. I think that she will be fine though.

Anyway, that was my day. It has now been about twenty one hours since I slept, and four hours until I have to be to school. I am thinking I will not sleep between now and then, but I'm not sure. I might get ready and have a bit of a nap just before I head out.