Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Just another EMT in CT

See what I did there with the title twitter people?  So I just caught wind of news that as of July 2013 the state of Connecticut will no longer recognize the Advanced Emergency Medical Technician (AEMT) also known as EMT Intermediates (EMT-I). This level of certification allows EMTs with more training to this certification to do more advanced pre hospital health care, some thing such as advanced airways, intravenous fluids with vascular access. AEMTs in some states are allowed to give medicines and have heart monitoring.  I believe AEMTs are a valuable asset to EMS providers. We have to maintain our certification through EMT recert classes along with continuing education courses on a regular basis, providing a trained health care provider. When a paramedic isn't available an AEMT can initiate ALS care in the form of vascular access and fluid replacement on top of a detailed BLS assessment.  This isn't a research blog post, just an objective opinion I wanted to vent about cause a big part of my career is on the line here.  I became an AEMT with the hopes of moving onto paramedic one day, and to get more skills and be able to do more than just throw on oxygen and call for a medic and provide rapid transport and yadda yadda yadda.  For me the highlight of my shift is getting to start a line on a patient. That's usually the first thing I tell my wife when she asks me how my shift was. It gets me excited to come to work. If I loose that I'm sacred I'm going to loose my drive. Every medic says good BLS before ALS and I agree with that. But there's only so much to the point that makes you just another EMT,  just another ambulance personel. This outs me one step ahead of the game. I don't get paid anymore for having this certification, I just like knowing I can do just a little bit more than the other guy.  Thanks for taking the time to listen to my rant, I guess it's time to figure out what I want to be when I grow up. Feel free to leave comments and share your thoughts on levels of care where you practice.  Emt_in_ct

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

social networking and the EMT

how does it affect you?

Whether it's facebook, twitter, blogging or any of the photo sharing sites that are out there how do they affect you when it comes to friends, family, co workers and the public?

There are always ground rules set in place to protect employers from social networking or social media, as long as you're not giving your company a bad name most don't mind.

From my own personal experience however I feel that it has done more harm than good, this explains my gap between entries. I gave up on facebook with co workers all together, I mainly stick to twitter just to keep me occupied throughout that day when there's nothing else to do. With Twitter comes local media news outlets and other EMS providers in the area along with EMS providers throughout the country and the world. The problem with having local media following me on twitter is if I were to make a tweet in regards to a job that I did or that another crew went to there has been occasion they have contacted me for more info, I know this draws the line to where I'm allowed to interact with them.

Many a coworkers have approached me because i have "the twitter" and "do that blogging thing" and think I'm public enemy number 1, but they approach me without having read any of my entries and they just think I'm sitting here bashing them, they won't give me the time of day and go on a witch hunt without reading for themselves.

I feel that no one understands me here, I have nothing but support from total and complete strangers on twitter however. Those people on twitter that are doing the networking and reaching out to other providers are whats going to move our industry further. they are EMS2.0

Thursday, March 1, 2012

It's been a while

I've had alot of thoughts lately. About work, about where I work, about what I do and where I do it. I love what I do and just cant think of myself doing anything else. I don't want to be stuck inside behind a desk someplace, I like to be on the road. It all should come down to what you're happy doing and getting paid while doing it!

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

The Prosthetic Medic

I just made a donation to our buddy The Prosthetic Medic. It only took 5 minutes with a paypal account. He's been to hell and back and just lost his leg, he's a paramedic who wants to get back on his feet... foot... but he's got a long journey and needs a prosthetic leg and needs help raising money for it! He wants to get back to work, he's got the passion that I wish everyone in EMS had.

Take a moment to check out his blog and read all about him and his story. Donate what you can to help out a brother who helps others.

Friday, January 27, 2012

A Quick Review: TheEMSstore .com

I got an email from JEMS yesterday suggesting I check out the new website just for EMS. It's done by the same guys that run offers just about everything and more that TheFireStore offers, but it's easier to navigate and find exactly what you need. The new website currently offers free shipping on orders over $50 when you use the code provided. The new website has featured items and what's hot in the industry. It also has a great selection of great brand names.

If you're looking for boots to alcohol swaps you can find anything you need. The website offers tools for training and medical supplies, clothing and jump bags and just about anything else you can think of.

Give the website a look and spread the word!

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Boots On To Boots Off

Boots on to boots off

The alarm goes off at 0600 and I have to decide whether to hit the snooze button or not. Those extra 9 minutes I'd turn over and give my wife a big snuggle. Those are the only 9 minutes  I'll be able to be with her till I get home from my 16 hour shift, then it's back to bed for me, where she would already been in bed for a couple of hours. I give her a couple of kisses on her cheek and get out of bed and cover her up. 

I head into the kitchen to find our furry 4 legged kid, Dyson, our Bernese mountain dog puppy, eagerly awaiting to run in between my legs and repeat this more than a few times. I start my coffee and take him out to the back yard and put him on the runner. I try sneak inside to grab my coffee and he's already onto me.  With coffee and cigarette in hand I watch him run around the yard and do what he has to do. I check my twitter, Facebook and the news. Onces he's ready I take him inside and get his breakfast ready. 

I go back to the bedroom and put on my uniform. I have my slippers on and wish I could wear them all day, or just get back into bed. I say another goodbye to my wife, I make my way through the kitchen to say goodbye to Dyson, and I head to the basement. 

I grab my scope and my pager and put on my boots and head out the door. I try to leave an hour before the start of my shift, even though my drive is only 15 minutes to work, any hiccup in traffic can get me into work late. I drink my coffee and don't bother with talk radio. I just let my playlist on iTunes get me through my commute. 

I get to work and have some time to kill. I'll sit in my car for a little bit and go back on twitter and Facebook. (this goes on for the rest of the day)
I'll head inside and brew some coffee and get my ambulance assignment. I'll grab the keys and radios and check off the ambulance. For the most part they are usually ready to get on the road. Once my partner gets here its about time to get on the road. Depending on who my partner is, we know our routine. 

We sign on the air with dispatch and the day begins. It's one of 3 things. Get a post, get a call or get a transfer. One can only hope to start the day off with posting. But it is what it is. Other crews are already out on the road running calls or posting. We have the city to cover for emergency coverage also one of our neighboring towns as a primary. The rest of the towns around us we provide ALS intercepts and have mutual aide agreements with. And there are plenty of nursing homes, dialysis centers and hospitals to keep the whole service busy with transfers alone. 

Our  ambulance is our office, living room, kitchen and day room for the next 16 hours. Every crew has their own specific spot when we're told to post. Some prefer out of sight out of mind and find hiding places, I prefer to people watch. The way I look at it, if we're given the opportunity to post I would like to have food, a restroom, coffee and some visual entertainment. Sitting behind some big box store out of sight isn't my style. 

I always try to make te best out of things. Most of us prefer to do emergency calls, but in this commercial industry of EMS emergencies don't pay the bills. The transfers are where the money is and that's what we do. I try to have a good time with every one I come into contact with. Staff of facilities and patients alike, deserve the same respect that we wish for. We're all in this together. Whether it is an 8,10,12 or 16 hour shift we go through different emotions through out the day. How you act on a call can affect the mood of everyone around you. It can leave a bad impression of you and your service. 

Once the calls start coming in the paperwork starts stacking. Sorta speak, we do ePCRs on laptops. And depending on the type of call it can be a 5-10 minute run form to more in depth. A transfer can be done in less than 10 minutes on the laptop. And with more detail on emergencies they can take longer.  Bouncing the laptop back and forth between partners between calls can delay this process also because there's only the one laptop.

When we have downtime, I'm on my iPhone. I'm browsing twitter and all the news outlets. I try to keep up on current affairs. I have plenty of mindless apps to keep me busy. Depending on the partner we're sitting in silence or talking up a storm. Either one is fine with me. If I find food or coffee and have time to eat during that time it can make or break the shift. Dispatch doesn't care that we're on 16 hours, we signed up for it. The only break we get is getting sent to post in the town over from the city while the designated cover units get a call. 

By now we're hoping to get out on time. Dispatch tries to get us heading back to station 30 minutes prior to the end of our shift. This should give us time to fuel the ambulance, wash, restock and finish any ePCRs we might have left. During that last hour the last thing anyone wants is a late call. But it's what we do. We cant expect to get out on time because of the service we provide to the community. 

After the ambulance is cleaned and restocked I turn in the keys and the radio and its time to head home. I walk to my car, I'll text my wife that I'm on my way home. If she's awake she'll call me. If not I have my music to entertain me. The ride home is always faster than the way in. When I get home the sound of the garage door opening will wake up the puppy and give my wife a heads up that I'm home. I walk in and take off my boots and put on my slippers, and my feet are in heaven. As I walk upstairs I can hear Dyson yawning and groaning as he stretches waiting for me to walk through the door so he can run inbetween my legs and that's when I know I'm home. 

Monday, January 9, 2012

The Shift Lunch Box

I've been trying to think of foods that I can pack for a long shift while at work that don't need to be kept cool. 

Being that we post in the field it's tough to bring foods that require refrigeration. For the sake of argument I don't have a cooler or ice packs. 

I've asked around for ideas of foods or snacks that you would like in the field. I was tryin to keep in mind healthy snacks but filling. It's hard to stay away from salty foods with my selection of foods and snacks. 

This is what we came up with so far. 

Apple sauce packs
Granola bars
Peanut butter
Fruits like apples or oranges 
Fruit snacks
Juice boxes Or water
Tuna or chicken salad prep combo with crackers
Beef jerky
100 calorie count snack packs
PB&J sandwich "snackables" (welches made pre packaged)

We all know we don't exactly eat the healthiest when we're on the road, and buying food here and there really adds up in a work week! This can be a guide to packing snacks to keep you filled with energy but without bloating you. 

I'm having trouble coming up with a hardy meal that doesn't need to be refrigerated. If you have any ideas please share in the comments.