Saturday, June 30, 2007

Learning Curve

So this Crew Cheif thing is tough. The whole decision making process is tough. The being in charge part is tough. The working with brand new EMTs is tough. Not that I mind any of the things I have listed, just two weeks without a day off makes for very long shifts. I had a few calls that tested me, like the syncope I went to who done fell out in the middle of the street. When we got her in the back of the unit and hooked up to the monitor, she was in an accelerated Junctional, then her heart just stopped for like 3 seconds, then one complex, the another 3 second pause then converted to just a regular junctional. Mind you she was CAOx3, vitals better than mine, and compleatly pain free. Her only complaint "I'm just dizzy" So we took a ride down to the ER where she never had an episode like that again. I did nothing for the woman other than IV and O2. She was more stable than I, so why fuck with something if it's fine, right? Thats how I justified it. Plus we were litterlly 3 mins from the ER. Had we been further I might have put the TCP pads ON her, you know, just in case Then there was the status seizure who I tried IV lorazapam, line infiltrated and I sat for the rest of the transport trying to figure out how to get the drug out of the vile to give it IM. It was one of those things that you don;t think about until you are sitting there going "I know there is a way to get this out, why didn't I ask my FTO. Damnit" Well, the pt still breathing, and thats what matters, a breathing, circulating patient is just fine. Its when the air quits going in and out and blood stops going round and round do I really worry. From what I understand this man spends most of his life in one long continuous Seizure.

So it's all a learning experience, every call prepares you for the next. We work unsavable full arrests so that when that one savable one comes along we are confident in our treatments. Everyday we learn something new, even if it is something as simple as figuring out how to draw out the lorazapam into a syringe, or something as complex as figuring out a dopamine drip or RSI algorhythm. We practice so that with the next one we can go without pause. Everyday I figure out something else that makes my job easier, makes me even treat with thinking, just doing, and doing it correctly and quickly. Makes it easier to save that one. To be able to go, he's alive because of what I did.


chucker said...

Wow. To my knowledge I have NEVER been able to say "he's alive because of something I did."

Keep working and've got the right attitude!

painter in hiding said...

Thanks chuck...Actully I have only once been able to say it and really mean it. For the most part. EMS is not about saving people, it's about caring for people, and postponing the enevitable.

Anonymous said...

The first successful resuscitation I had while leading the team was on a pt. with terminal CA (no one around him knew it when they called 911). We didn't find out until his family arrived at the ER. They were REALLY pissed!

Anonymous said...

Thankfully I have had many other opportunities to bask in the glow of successful intervention. They come too far and few between but are valuable moments. You'll have some someday soon, Chucker.

lodm said...

Ow chucker said it best, "wow". I hope can get a mentor as good as you once im on the force.