My adventures as a pre-med college student volunteering in the ER and trying to hold my own as an EMT student.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

A new meaning of tired.

Just got home from a really good clinical. I went to the same station that I wrote about in my previous post since I had such a good experience the first time. I had amazing medics that were funny, had excellent patient care, and made a point to include me.

We started out the day with a call for a 90 year old man experiencing stroke symptoms outside of a restaurant. We arrived to find him feeling some generalized weakness, although he showed no facial droop and his speech was fine. We did a load and go, pretty routine transport. On our way back, we were driving along, and all of a sudden the medic noticed the car in front of us swerving in and out of the road, barely missing a telephone pole. Something wasn't right. He pulled over and flagged us down. I was in the back so I had no idea what we were doing parked on the side of the road until I hopped out. I put on my ugly neon orange safety vest that was about 5 sizes too big, and grabbed the equipment. The man was clammy, had a decreased level of consciousness, said he felt weird, and that we was also a diabetic. Ah ha! His sugar was probably too low, so I hurried to get a blood sugar reading and it was in the 40's. Way too low. The medic started an IV, and pumped some dextrose. Within seconds the man was alert and oriented, and his sugar shot up to 120. I was amazed at how instantly the dextrose worked. A neighbor came to drive the guy home since he refused transport and we were on our way! I thought it was cool, what are the odds that we were right behind him when he started getting hypoglycemic?

The afternoon at the station was slow, we got called out a few times but they resulted in cancellations. I mostly read my book, studied, and we watched a movie. For some reason, despite waking up at 5 in the morning, I just wasn't tired. Finally around 11:30, I crawled in bed, and had just started drifting to sleep when the tones rang out. On our way to the call, I learned it was for an 82 year old woman with abdominal pain. We arrived and walked up two flights of stairs, I was just hoping we wouldn't have to carry the lady down. She was super nice and wasn't in any pain at all when we got there. She had experienced sharp pain in her left rib that woke her up but then it went away. She didn't want to be transported but we talked her into going. It was a routine transport, she was very nice and willing to answer all of our questions. By the time we got back and finished paperwork, it was 1:30. I crawled into bed and starting dreaming when...

I somehow slept though the ridiculously loud tones but woke up to the shuffle of people around me. I was so confused since I didn't know if I was suppose to be up but i grabbed my shoes and blindly found my way to the hallway. One of the medics took one look at me with my hair looking crazy, one shoe on, and what must have been a very disoriented look and started cracking up. I tucked my shirt in and attempted to look presentable on our way to what was labeled as a "right knee injury". Whatta injury it was! We pulled up to a bar, where two drunk guys were sitting on the curb talking to the police, one was holding his leg in agony and freaked when anyone tried to look at it. When I finally did see it, I saw the strangest deformity and what I think was the bottom corner of his femur poking out. Ouch. Not that I was expecting anything different, but the guy was a total jerk. First he didn't want to be transported, saying his drunk friend was going to take him. The police shut that down real quick. So he still didn't want to be transported because he was fine and it "wasn't that bad." We couldn't leave the guy there with a bone poking out like that. The next 15 minutes were spent talking him into going with us. When he finally agreed, and he was loaded in the ambulance, he made us wait until his buddy could find his phone and keys. Well that took forever, and then FINALLY we were ready to go. I tried taking his blood pressure but he ripped it off as soon as I put the cuff on. The medic started asking for his information and the guy refused to talk. Wouldn't give us a name or anything, yelled when I fixed him up with an ice pack, and was just an all around unpleasant person. I was getting frustrated that he was wasting my precious sleeping time. When we got back to the station and finished paperwork it was 3:30 in the morning. I was so tired and fell asleep before I hit the pillow.

5:30 am. The tones rang out and I dragged my butt to the ambulance, riding in silence. I was so exhausted. We were called to a 64 year old woman that had fallen in her bathroom. We walked in to her apartment and the most disgusting smell hit me in the face. Well that woke me up. The medic smiled at me and told me this patient was all me. She was about 250 lbs, had a shirt on but was naked from the waist down. It was a lovely view. She had fallen on her knee so we got her into the stretcher, it took 5 of us. I should mention that she was hard of hearing and so it sounded like a screaming match between me and her in order to get any information across. In the back of the ambulance, she proceeded to yell that she had nerve damage, high blood pressure, diabetes, gas in the back of her head (?), acid reflux, she was going to throw up, blah blah. She had every problem in the book. All of her vitals checked out and she seemed fine other than the pain in her knee. The rest of the way she yakked/yelled about her cousin, her problems, her address, her neighbors, everything she could think of. I was happy to smile and wave goodbye as we were leaving the hospital. When we got back to the staion, I was free to leave and go home. I took a much needed shower and crashed for about 7 hours.

Overall, the clinical was great. I loved my preceptors, they taught me how to radio a report to the hospital, and let me pretty much run the calls. I really felt like I was part of the team, and will be returning on the 19th to finish up my last clinical!

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