On the Way to Paramedic in Northern VA
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Jeopardy.Zip - EMS

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Sunday, December 05 2004
Windshield Taste Test

Arrrgh. The Backache Fairy left me something lumbar this morning, into which I've been pouring ibuprofen. At this EST hour I've been washing the IP down with CRW and the pain's beginning to subside. I have no firm idea as to what I did to deserve this, e.g. patient lift, etc. It's one of them there EMS mysteries.

As may be, I have an 09:00 to 21:00 shift tomorrow with the transports, then an evening with OWL volunteers and hopefully, unlike last week, some 911 calls... I mean really, there are people in distress, lemme help 'em for gossakes. After which I pick up a Tuesday 09:00 to 21:00.

It's almost like a 24...


Sticker Shock for Refractory VFib

One aspect of EMS to which I've given a little thought lately is its expressions. That is to say, "How can I better tell my non-EMS spouse, or anyone else, about:

  • the "really great" MVA;
  • the "rotten" duty shift where nothing happened;
  • a "funny" suicide attempt, etc

See the problem? When we say "really great MVA" we actually mean "the car accident where quick and correct decisions, technical expertise, and lots if not all of our training coming into play, with a bit of luck, made a positive difference in the patient outcome."

"Funny suicide?" Sure, we get 'em. The person who decides to end it all by taking everything in the medicine cabinet - which consists of an entire bottle of Flintstones vitamins and two bottles of Ipecac to wash the pills down. Now, there's nothing at all funny about the fact that the person has a problem, is trying to do themselves in, etc. But, as one of my younger classmates might put it, "Dude, WTF?"

"Really great MVA", like "hilarious suicide", is much quicker to say. It's just that if you happen to be telling that war story while waiting in line, or at a restaurant, bystanders will Look At You Sideways.


Friday, December 03 2004
Facelifting and Wait Training

Apologies - this site is going through some face lifting. I should figure out the final form shortly. Thanks for your patience!


Thursday, December 02 2004
Squint-eyed Quiet Complaints

"Yeah, it's quiet. A little too quiet."

According to City Data, Woodbridge VA had a (year 2000) population of 31,941 souls, none of whom required 911 assistance Tuesday night. Which is of course a good thing.

"Wait a sec... my Medic Sense is tingling!": Is there such a phenomena in EMS as the "quiet before the storm", or was Tuesday a statistical occurrence? Certainly it has happened before that we didn't turn a wheel on duty, but such evenings are rare. And how could it be, that so many people would individually know nothing of an impending MCI, yet collectively refrain from invoking the 911 system? That bit just doesn't make sense, and so, no storm may be predicted...

That's part of the allure, of course. In EMS one never knows what's coming next, yet we've got to be prepared for it anyway. Including, I suppose, the always totally unexpected event of no event at all.


Posted Sunday, December 05 2004 21:01, Site Meter