Now I’ve done thirty clinical hours.

I’ve seen four foley catheterizations. Yikes.

I’ve done ten IV starts. Only one tonight; the nurse warned me the guy’s huge pipeline was going to roll, and it did. I put the needle through the skin, bumped the vein, and the vein bounced away. I had to pull out, throw away the cath, and put in a new one. The nurse helped me hold traction on the vein, though I could have done it myself the second time, really. What I didn’t do, duh, was screw the two parts of the blood collection dealie together ahead of time; while I was attempting to do so one-handed, I squirted a bit of the patient’s blood here and there. Hey, it’s just blood. I mopped it up, okay? I did get the four tubes of blood, and got the thing taped down right. No harm done. Oh, and the guy was blind, so he didn’t even realize I made a mess. Anyway, I made it up to him by getting him a cup of coffee and cutting up his microwave chicken.

I’ve seen two sets of sutures put in.

I’ve seen one endotracheal tube put in; intubation. It was cool. The guy it went into was basically dead, so he didn’t care. After the tube went in, the patient had to be bagged for ventilation; I gave the respiratory technician a break and bagged the guy for about twenty minutes. Not the first time I’ve bagged; I did it for two patients while observing on the helicopter. At times, though, I was unsupervised doing it in the ED.

I’ve put one patient on a cardiac monitor by myself. I had to remove the patient’s shirt and bra to do so; I would have felt self-conscious if she hadn’t been passed out. The vomit on everything was distracting, though.

I’ve started lines twice by myself, totally unsupervised. I’ve started bags of fluid multiple times.

I’ve set up materials for lines and fluids by myself countless times.

I’ve been sent for tools or supplies many times. They think I know where things are, now. ‘Bx, get me a size fourteen non-latex kwazzomtilblirator.’

I’ve seen numerous unsettling psych cases. There seem to be about one per day.

I’ve seen two drug seekers.

When I got to the ED tonight, it was very busy; all of the normal beds were taken and patients were on stretchers in the hallways waiting to be seen. I’d never seen it so busy. It cleared out after the first few hours, though.

I went to the state EMS conference over the weekend; I attended sessions on IV fluid therapy, dealing with hostile patients, controversies in dealing with pediatric patients, and assessing trauma patients in rural settings. Then I went to the big EMS party and listened to a DJ, partying with half of the EMTs in the state. It reminded me of many bad wedding receptions; everyone drinking and too many drunk people doing the macarena and the electric slide.

I got some cool stuff from the vendors, I guess. I got a nice heavy work shirt custom-embroidered with the star of life (idiomatically known as ‘SOL’) and the name of my fire department, a hat to match, I had thumb loops installed in my FD turnout jacket, I got a study guide for the EMT-I exam. Whoop-dee-doo.

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