Desert Sand Mica

Whatever, just crash it Bob...


Oh. right.

What I said about skills night? Forget that. SKills night rocks.

We spent 2 and a half hours tonight riding around in the back of an ambulance with lights and sirens while pretending we were getting vitals on a patient. Sheer unadulturated insanity. Up and down Wadsworth and all around W**tm@#ster Mall. "Woo Woo Woo!" - Damn that thing is loud.

We were laughing, we were bonking our heads, we were watching our notebooks fly across the floor. And then more laughing. We were bouncing off our seats, literally airborne.

Actually, my favorite part..was riding up front. For some reason, whenever I've actually formed a mental pictuire in my head of what it might be like to be a paramedic, I always picture myself driving. Isn't that weird?

I'm getting so excited. Clinicals are days away. That means ride alongs in ambulances, and hours in the ER at St. A&th%ny C*ntral. It's not like tagging along watching someone else work. We have actual duties, that are really really important. This is like, real life.

We had a short lecture tonight and talked about bedside manner. We talked about how scared the patients are, and how to not scare them. How to use code words and phrases to communicate to the driver that the situation in back has taken a drastic turn for the worse or they need to pull over, etc. without the patient becoming alarmed. To try to convey to the patient through your confidence and your demeanor that this is no big deal.

We have a class of about 40 people, I think. When asked, none of us had ever been inside of an ambulance before, except maybe on Fire Truck Day in 1st grade. That showed us how monumental it is for these people to be in an ambulance. That this is likely that absolute worst thing that has ever happened to them in their entire lives. Think about it..if a friend of yours had a story about how he almost died and got rushed to the hospital in an ambulance, you'd probably listen to it pretty intently.

And trauma. Trauma is a whole 'nother realm. As a paramedic, you of course wouldn't see acute trauma and mass casualty scenes too often. But they do happen, and they're freak as hell...from what I can tell. Our main teacher said to us all once that if we've come this far, we won't be the kind of people to freak out. That when we are standing in the road with a victim's leg in our hand, we won't freak out but at it look really close - the bones, the tendons, the msucles..and think "wow, that is cooool!" I can't wait to see it all.

Last night we had a speaker who came in just to answer questions. He is an ER Tech at a hospital, and volunteers for local rescue too. He was kind of psyching us up for clinicals. Telling us not to be shy, and tell your preceptors (ride-along mentor) that you want to see and do everything. He said he was on his first clinical and got to "hot unload" a helicopter patient. Wow. A lot of us were talking tonight in small groups and me and the big hair girl and some other nice folks were talking about how petrified we are of looking unexperienced and stupid in front of seasoned paramedics, and most of all..patients. Were patients going to look at us and say " don't know what you're you. - HELP!" And here they are in the freakiest point in their whole lives and they have some green wannabe attempting to help them.

Anyway, I'm so wired up from riding around. Riding in the back and trying to stabilize or save a patient is near impossible. You can't hear anything in a stethoscope, you can't concentrate on blood pressure, because you are bouncing like a mofo. Granted, they were giving us worse case scenarios, and most rides are smooth and swift.
When I was sitting up front I was talking to my favorite skills coach - she was driving. She was pumped that I wanted to eventually drive. She loves driving and her and I are a lot alike anyway. She's larger than life, and everyone loves her as a coach. She's really hard and will not let you slide on one damn thing. She never gives us breaks, and for a 4-hour class, that's a long time. They always want us to feel like what it's like to be frantically trying to help someone when you're really, really tired.

And now I'm really really tired.


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