So everyone has their weakness. Even God-like paramedics, like myself (ha!), have something that they just aren't that great at. We are not perfect creatures, especially after a grueling 36 hour shift. I am not on my A game. At about hour 27 I lose all capacity to form real sentances, it mostly becomes a series of grunts and sighs. But thats neither here nor there. My real weakness, Is math. I just can't ever grasp a hold of it, which in my line of work can mean giving a patient Four mgs of Epi instead of point four mg of epi which can result in the patients heart actually exploding. Now, with that said, I do drug calc after drug calc, I carry a calulator in my pocket at all times, along with a whole notepad of doses. I have a chart for all my RSI drugs, I have a chart for all of the drips we carry on the truck, I even have a chart that has all of my pediatric drugs and doses. I have no problem looking things up in my feild guide, my standing orders or whatever esle I have handy. Even if it makes me look a little bit rookie-ish. Because I'd rather look like a rookie to a live patient than a dead one.
The reason I'm telling my secret is that this is why I totally scared to get my Acting Crew Cheif. It's really, really scares me that the powers that be want me...the math retard...to be in charge of a truck. It's not like I can turn to the compleatly green part-time basic and say...So how many drops make 5mcgs per min per kg? Not that I wouldn't trust my Basic, because they can save a paramedics ass. But it's something they don't need to know. It would be like asking the stock boy at the grocery store...so...what should I do about my 401K? The Basic's job is to turn to the overzealous medic who is getting all distracted by all those advanced things like IVs and various tubes and say..."Shouldn't we expose the patient all the way because the cop said the dude heard 4 shots, but I'm only seeing 2 bullet holes? It' might explain why the dudes crashing but the holes we see wouldn't cause that" Yes, we medics have been known to over look the basic stuff because we are so into all that really cool blinky, beeping advanced stuff. But thats another post, so back to me...and my drug problems. You wouldn't think a little thing like a few math problems would have me all worked up like this, but it does. I may be able to read a 12 lead quickly, yet efficently. I may be able to restrain a violent psych in les than 2 minutes. I know that help is only a radio key-up away. But when it's just you and your partner out there, and they have put you in charge of not only you partner, but also some other person's life. And I have to know that you give .5mg every 5 mins up to a dose of .04mg/kg of atropine to the dying bradycardic and also how much fluid goes into that syringe to make .5mgs of atropine. That just scares the hell outta me.
But practice makes perfect. So I will continue to do drug calc after drug calc...drip after drip. Just so when the narc keys are tossed to me on that first shift as an Acting I will be able to quit hyperventalating and be able to help the sick and stupid of my county.