Wednesday, January 5


Just got back from medic class and had to post this real quick. We took a quiz, got yelled at, and then did some lab work on respiratory emergencies. As I have mentioned, I love this stuff and had a good time (but for the yelling…).

Last March I was taking an EMT-B class and posted on getting the riot act read to us because some people were not performing to the best of their ability. Tonight in medic class a similar situation happened.

First some background. We had the Module 3 Exam (trauma) right before break. It was 100 questions, and I thought it was challenging but fair (I scored a 95 so it was very “doable”). Monday we didn’t talk about the exam and started new material. We were told that tonight’s class would start with a quiz. Tonight’s quiz was again fair and was almost directly out of the notes from Monday (there were 20 short answer questions with answers like: Larynx, cor pulmonale, sympathomimetic, 0.3 mg, 125 mg, Beta 2, course rales, prolonged inactivity and birth control pills, visceral, steroid, edema, right-to-left shunting, barrel chest, COPD, etc. – I’ll let you guess the questions). I handed my quiz in and waited patiently for class to start. As quizzes came in, the instructor started to look more and more agitated. After the last quiz came in, off he went on a very well formed tirade, which was certainly less degrading but somehow more forceful than the one from my basic course (and 10 minutes shorter). However, some SCARED faces in the crowd. After class I asked the instructor what was up. He said the exam scores were low (mine was the only one in the 90’s, with many in the 70s). Given the exam was new, he had wondered whether he made the exam too hard. When he saw that on tonight’s quizzes people were again missing a lot of questions (the guy next to me got a 90 and I got a 100, so it wasn’t the quizzes fault..), he decided he had to say something.

I know this got hashed out last time so I’ll save my commentary on why I don’t care if you are a slacker if you work in fast food, but if you want to come to my house and take care of my kids in an emergency I want you to be someone who CARES about the material. In any event, someone once wrote to me that these conversations take place in most EMS classes and in my experience it is two for two.

May the individuals in my county breath easy tonight, because I despite doing well on the assessments I need a LOT of practical experience before I will be able to make differential diagnoses between various respiratory disorders in the field. At least our ONE ALS provider in town is around tonight…