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Reflections from Medic School

Lone Star


Greetings and salutations Dear Reader!

Monday was the module finals for Airway Management in Paramedic School. I’ve somehow survived another opportunity for the school to involuntarily cull me from the herd. Class size has dropped from 16 students to a mere 10.

Most students appear to be interested in either how fast they can get their Medic certifications (we lost one student to a local ‘patch mill’), or they’re pushing the boundaries of the attendance policy of the school and getting removed. A couple of the students just haven’t taken deadlines seriously.

I’ve been sitting here thinking about how far I’ve come and how much I’ve apparently learned since classes started in March of 2011. Granted, I’ve still got about a year left on the course, I’ve been hit with a sobering thought.

While my grades aren’t ‘off the chart’, they’re not scraping the bottom of the barrel either. With that said, they tell me that I’m doing well in the class and that I’m learning things, (which is the whole concept behind education…lol). The problem I’m facing is that despite being told that I’m actually learning and advancing my educational levels, and that I’m advancing as a provider; I don’t feel like I’m any smarter….

Sure, I can cram a tube down someone’s throat in the hopes of securing an airway; I’ve seen what vocal cords and the glottic opening should look like, and just how easy it is for an infant’s tongue to occlude their tiny airway. I can insert foreign objects into veins, the chest and even the throat. I can bury needles into bone and can inject substances that most people never get to touch, let alone decide who gets it or not.

Having just completed pharmacology, I’ve got a huge stack of drug cards sitting on my desk, and they (the drugs) scare me. While there are antidotes and antagonists to counteract a bunch of them, the result of an ‘oops’ is still so very apparent.

As I progress through the coursework, and am exposed to the ‘inside information’ that all medics are exposed to, it just leaves me simply AMAZED how field medics can keep all this straight in their heads!

Yes, the field of paramedicine scares the living hell out of me! I’ve found that it’s so very easy to kill my patients with these new skills….and yet killing your patients is kind of contraindicated to living, not to mention illegal and contraindicated in personal freedom and ability to practice…

I’m sure that I’m not the first Medic Student to feel this way, nor will I be the last; but there are days that I seriously feel like throwing my hands up in the air and walking away, simply because the responsibility that comes with the new ‘toys’ and skills is so overwhelming! I feel like I’m drowning in a sea of information, and have a tidal wave of even more hanging over my head waiting to smash me against the rocks of the beachhead of a new land called Paramedic.


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I felt the same way in school. Now that I am orienting as a new medic it scares the shit out of me even more. What scares me most it trying to remember everything. Long story short, yea its crazy. I still dont feel like a medic. Its hard to get out of my old habits but I am working on it. You too will make it through this.

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Welcome to reality Brett! This job has huge responsibilities and if you werent scared of what you are learning..I would be very very worried.

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