Monday, February 21

Super-Pup, Clinical and Ride stuff, Exam.

Travis the super-dog came home today. For those wondering, he is a 12 year-old Cardigan Welsh Corgi. He is still paralyzed below the “waist” (if you knew travis this term would make you laugh), but has control of his bowels and bladder. Imagine holding up the back end of your dog while he does his business – For my wife and I this is not something we have to imagine any more... He was VERY happy to get home. While I hope he recovers enough function to walk, as long as he is happy and not in pain I’m ok with things. Again, thanks for your well wishes. It is funny how it makes you feel better to have people you don't even know chime in. I really do appreciate it.

I had another round of clinical time Saturday night. The doc on duty is taking a stats class, so I taught him some stats and he let me shadow him around. He is a good teacher and I had a fine time. There were, however, no real stories to tell. I did get to see one of the patients from the night before (a psych patient). I just heard tonight that Sunday made it three nights in a row for her. You think she needs to be admitted somewhere?

Sunday I rode with my “preceptor” for the first time. He is about my age and has two kids as well. He has been a paramedic for a long time and is very street savvy. I was there from 0800 to 1800 and we only had three calls. The whole agency was slow for some reason (they usually do 60 to 80 calls a day). We did a BLS transport from a hospital to a nursing home, a chest pain and a difficulty breathing.

The only interesting thing about the transport was the facility we returned the patient to. NICE. May I live in such a nice place when the time comes.

The chest pain call was the real deal. Sub-sternal chest pain that started while he was shoveling snow. The pt was 51 and had no cardiac history. While we were with him his pain began to radiate to his back and down his left arm. He looked “bad”. Lots of oxygen, two nitros and two baby aspirin. At the hospital I got to see the 12-lead ECG including some S-T elevation. I also got to see them give the clot-busting drugs. Cool (I’m a cheap date).

The difficulty breathing call was a good one as well. Patient had pitting edema in her lower extremities. Lung sounds were diminished but not noisy. She had been sick recently. When we got her on the monitor she was in A-fib. My preceptor asked me to start the IV and I got it! Not much for those of you who do it all the time, but I was quite pleased. Her mental status started out a bit fuzzy but cleared up with the oxygen. We transported her without incident.

Tonight was our respiratory and cardiac emergency module exam. Big deal in theory as rumor has it that many people get kicked out of the course at this point. Given how similar the exam was to some pratice questions we’ve had, I can’t see how anyone failed it. I got a 97% (it was out of 126 questions, including reading and interpreting 23 ECG strips). I don’t know how others did, but nobody had that “look” when you know people are getting hammered.

We’re on to other “medical” calls. Endocrine, gastrointestinal, altered mental status, etc. If it were not for the ride-time and clinical time, the end would be in sight.

Thanks for reading.