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    Hell, north side
  • Interests
    Music, outdoors, faith are important to me. Sick of politics and the professional liars that are supposed to be something better. Ready for something else

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  • Occupation
    EMT P

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  1. Last blog post

    It's amazing how much time heals and brings perspective. Before things got better they got much worse. I really believe it all came from a horrible lack of confidence. Before I could rise from the ashes I guess I had to burn completely. I got to the crossroad where I had to make a decision and so I took a "gap year" and did some traveling, spent a lot of time in the wilderness and generally, just thinking. At the end I gave it one more shot. I changed locations, moving all the way across the country. I went with a service that has a very organized training program and a well oiled machine that molds everyone to what they want. I think having that kind of incubator experience helped me build confidence. My preceptor was firm but fair, I had a lot of feedback and it was just what I needed. I made a new plan. I made a new home, but ultimately I made a new me. I took the road less traveled and that has made all the difference. Ok I plagiarized that last sentence but it's all true and it's all good maybe I will start a new blog soon and detail that journey but I think this one is going to sigh one last breath and be no more
  2. Last blog post

    As it turns out you need a corkscrew to open a bottle of wine. I am realizing as I search out how various organizations run that there was no system in place. None. You make a mistake, don't perform well and it all falls on whether or not your partner might say something to you, or another medic on the call. It doesn't usually happen, so your mistakes just anchor you until you are shown the door with no warning. I guess the only thing worse is to never know what mistakes you made and then be out in the cold, ready to go somewhere and make them all over again. I got in EMS after 20 years of wishing I'd done it sooner. I do wish I'd taken more responsibility for the lack of experiences I got on my internship. I ended up doing penance for arguing with my instructor about it by being sent to handle cancer center transfers instead of the busy local EMS system. It's a messed up world, but one I'm proud to say I'm ready to depart from. I intend to stay in EMS somewhere else, where I can also find a place to put my management skills to. I know what's f-ed up about so many places, I think I can make a positive difference, if it's possible to be in management without extensive field experience. I've seen management ridicule people openly for asking what they considered to be a dumb question, gang up on less assertive employees, make character assassinations because they didn't like an otherwise very competent employee. I also need to get over the fact it's not easy for me, so I have to work harder at it. Just because I went to medic school with a bunch of brainiac med school wannabees who are really good with the details doesn't make me a crappy medic.
  3. Last blog post

    WOW, sorry. I really wasn't looking at the Blog like you have presented. I didn't want advice as much as validation. Lots of people read, no one replies seemed to be a message that hurt. I was hoping I could be a word of warning for newbies to own their medic school experience, their first job, to listen to the inner voice. My inner voice said repeatedly, you do not have enough experience. I let myself be placed where I wasn't entirely comfortable and then the stupid little voice kept going until reality mirrored it. I have seen a lot of posts where people comment, encourage, or just plain say, get a life. I do know what I want and it will not be easy. It is something I will have to work at, study at every day. Just because I passed the test doesn't make me a medic. I know that, but I don't need my face rubbed in it. I wanted to take another job but the words of FTO I rode with during my internship echoed: Don't try to be my friend until you get through this, then maybe you can try. What, you can't be tough and be friendly is what I wanted to say, but I shrank back and prayed to get done and go home instead. What I really wanted was a place to make mistakes and learn while someone sat at my side keeping me from doing anything stupid. I didn't realize I was supposed to come perfect. That seemed to be a unifying mark of many internships in my class and there was 100% pass rate on the test but only half are even working as a medic now 2 years later. I don't want to be one of them. So I apologize for mistaking the lack of comments on the blog for any real judgement. However if it seems like I need a smack, feel free to smack.
  4. Last blog post

    So here I sit spinning around in my own little world, waiting for some cheese and bread for my wine. No my whine. It will be my last post because obviously there is nothing in the last 3 that has made anyone offer any words. No slap upside the head, no you deserve what you've been dealt, etc etc. I posted in hopes of finding out if anyone could put their virtual arm around me and tell me it would be ok, that it would get better. Study more, try harder, give it up. Your employer sounds like a moron would have been awesome. I did some research and I found evidence that other EMS agencies use systems to manage their employees, track problems, provide solutions to head off problems, remediate and retain as needed. So I'm encouraged that another place may hold out some hope. I do leave you all with this, and I know at least 300 people have read the blog: We're charged with taking care of people on what is often their worst day ever. I know there's plenty of abuse, plenty of free loaders, plently of people with no coping skills. I never minded that so much which is why I thought I had something to offer to the field. No matter how dumb assed, how stupid or how abusive, I gave every patient compassion and kindness, even when they didn't deserve it. I treated them to the best of my ability without abuse, which is more than the ER I had to take most of my patients to ever did. No matter what dumb mistake a co worker ever offered up and I've seen some doozies, I treated them with kindness and respect and tried to be helpful about offering alternatives that might have been more appropriate without trashing them either to their face or behind their backs, which almost seems to be a sport in EMS anymore. See how hard you can go at someone until they break and then celebrate it? In a field where we take care of people, we suck at taking care of each other.
  5. The Heart of the matter

    I have been trying to explain to my husband what's going on with my job and I find myself almost incredulous that I let it go this far. I don't want to hang out all the dirty laundry, so I'm thinking deep inside I do want to stay in EMS. I made a mistake. After months of a schedule that required 40-48 hours straight, no breaks, long distance transfers and high stress calls, I made repeated attempts to change the schedule, me bringing up repeated safety concerns, such as EMT's driving 90 while texting, an EMT having a seizure on the job and being allowed back to work a week later, I made a medication error. Funny that really wasn't covered in my medic course, but the thought of hiding it, trying to pass the blame, anything dishonest, never crossed my mind. During a code enroute after the standard EPI, I administered Narcan per our protocols, but the patient had been down a long time and was pronounced at the hospital. During the cleanup of the truck a bottle of Haldol was found and being the standup adult that I am, I could only conclude I had administered the wrong medication. I don't remember it like that, but evidence is evidence. I distinctly remember grabbing Narcan. Orange cap. Not Haldol. Yellow cap. Anyway, I went to my director, wrote it up, wasn't asked for mitigating circumstances, such as the fact I'd been up for 40 hours straight. I wasn't asked how many cardiac arrests I'd worked solo: 1. Just give us the facts. Now 6 months later, with no follow up from the head of the service or the medical director, based on another incident blown out of porportion that I was rude to a nurse in the ER, I am being asked to resign. I'm actually being threatened with them going to the medical board is probably more accurate, unless I resign. My husband wants to know why I'm not being demoted, was I ever counseled on any of this, had I ever talked to my medical director prior to all this. My answer is I don't know, no, never. I can never remember anyone being counseled, suspended, demoted, nothing. Once in a while we lose a good medic to an ER nurse who makes a complaint about this exact thing. They were rude to me. I've thought long and hard the last 4 weeks about how many times I went to my boss about issues that concerned me, mainly the continued use of straight shifts. Everyone comes in tired, including me, I told them. Repeatedly. When I ask for time off, I get turned down by the supervisor. I was publically mocked at one point for it with a big production about "conspiracies" and how there aren't any, you just take time when you need it. But yet I couldn't get it when I asked. So in the end, it's my medical license and my future in EMS. It is completely my ass on the line. I've realized that I really lacked any sort of perspective to compare the service to, as I never worked anywhere else. The medical board can screw me forever and I will not work as a medical provider in this state. Ever. I guess I am a little curious about whether this is over the top, pretty typical or just boring and repetitively ignorant. I thought I was a good medic until all this happened. I doubt myself every day and I wonder if going to medic school was a huge mistake that I will pay for forever. Everything I have done the last 3 years was so that the last career I would ever have would be in EMS. Now that's in question. I was planning to move but regardless of the distance and how far away I can never outrun myself. I will always question myself. I guess the bottom line is if I had more confidence in my abilities I might have walked sooner and wouldn't be in this predicament now. I don't know. I love my job, loved my job, that is. Despite all the issues about safety, put me in the back and I'm happy. I love patient care, but maybe I don't deserve it. I keep thinking if I was a better medic this wouldn't have happened, but I know too much about other mistakes made and can only conclude that somewhere in documentation I missed medic self preservation.
  6. Merry Christmas

    It took me 18 days to realize my bad month was going to screw up the Christmas of people I know and love. The hardest thing in the world was to let go of being mad and feeling betrayed and also totally responsible for the entire situation and say, Move on. Just like when your buddy separates or gets divorced or whatever event now makes continued miserable repeatments of how great they are and how low the other person is, rehashed daily for your benefit. I didn't get everything done that would have been over the top, like making cookies with the kids, fantasy fudge, homemade kahlua and trashing a certain someone's medical license. Ok, not completely let go but much further than before. The truth is they will self destruct on their own but tomorrow I can still make fudge that will spike everyone's blood sugar while still taking another week off to just enjoy everyone. I can't job search or do any serious semi permanent decisions until after the first. Isn't that a rule somewhere? Anyway, I will also take another 7 day and more introspection to decide if I want to stay in EMS or not. I had a busy week with the volunteer service I run with and until the day I pull out of town that won't change. Otherwise I will continue to think on it. Following a little old advice about not making hasty decisions. Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. And please, if you're not having a great holiday, month, day, year or life, please don't do anything that will force an armed response. There's been too much violence the last few months and don't we all deserve a break? Try a pill, for Gods' sake. My vote is for 2 vicadin and a glass of wine.
  7. I should have started a blog here a long time ago. Maybe back in March when I started having problems. I don't know what happened or where things went wrong, but here on sit, all broken hearted all because I (fill in the blank). Remembered that old kids rhyme for some reason. To start at the end and work backwards for a second, I am in all practical sense of the word, "separating" from my employer. Isn't that a nice way to say Bye and don't let the door hit you in the ass on the way out. According to my officially unofficial text from my boss, my behavior throwing a fit refusing a transfer was not appropriate; the ER funds the program and they wanted my head. So he gave it to them by giving me the nice option of resigning first to "save my license". The events that caused this are in dispute but nobody is believing me, the odds are against me as I have apparently developed a reputation for speaking my mind. And the events are so radically different in my memory than theirs that I am going to a psychiatrist to determine if I've become a split personallity. NO JOKE. Although if I have to even consider it, I'm probably not 2 in 1. Anyway, I asked a question. I was ignored so I repeated the question. No one even turned out to look at me. I was 5 feet away but apparently my question was so powerful they were fearful of my "threatening behavior". I'm not stupid or delusional. I know I was thrown under the bus because the ER doesn't want us to question ANYTHING about transfers. Just shut up and take them. Don't worry you carry no narcotics; pain is subjective. Don't worry the patient may be chemically sedated and stop breathing. Just deal with it. The question? If you needed 10 of valium, 4 of ativan, 5 of haldol and 5 of versed plus 50 of benadryl to deal with this patient for a few hours, what am I supposed to do if it wears off and he wakes up? Wrong question. Wrong tone. Wrong Wrong Wrong across the board. Do not pass go, do not collect $200. Go back to the beginning and start again. Never mind I never refused, just advised I had to consult with the supervisor. Never mind the nurse in question has been accused of diverting narcotics and never mind that in the past, these "refusals" were much more heated and I've always gotten along with the nurses in the ER. I was the perfect example to be made because I was dumb enough to walk right into it. No one will refuse a transfer now, no one will even question it. They'll be afraid but they'll do it because their job is important to them. Of course it was to me too. I just switched to this better shift, but the tradeoff was that I ran my ass off every week for the last 6 months. 40-48 hours straight every week. No break, tired as crap. I brought it up time and time again that it's hard to be good when you're so tired but I was overruled at every turn by people who just wanted to get their 40 in and get out. So if anything the moral of this story is, to thine own self be true. I knew back months ago it was getting ridiculous there. Personnel issues were being openly gossiped about by the old boss, the new boss and interim boss with people who had no business hearing them. Employee safety issues were routinely ignored because it's complicated to fix a broke clock, easier to just remember it's right twice a day and bring your own timepiece. We all know we flirt with danger every time we go on scene. Dispatch information is usually sketchy, patients unpredictable, family members agitated. Is it really necessary to have to worry about if your driver is texting while driving code 3? Or maybe they'll have another seizure after 2 documented episodes. Yeah, all that and more. So for the next few days, I'll enjoy the time left before the Mayan's exploding time piece comes up short. If it doesn't I guess I can go Christmas shopping and shoot off my fireworks and ponder what life after EMS looks like. If I decide to stay in I'll probably have to move to outdistance the rumor mill. At least my psychological intervention can help me determine why I shouldn't feel angry at the situation and get past it all. I never had any job I loved more, looked forward to and was always excited to be at. Until the last 6 months. Boy doesn't hindsight suck.
  8. Where is everyone, Im bored..

    Sometimes you need to vent or just talk and the people around you ARE the problem so your idea sounds good to me too.
  9. Part-timers

    It's an unfortunate fact that people who do this as a career (FT) do it differently than people who are volunteers or part time. We have plenty of people where I live who just want to drive the ambulance and criticize what happens in the back. You're also probably fighting previous medics who treated the part timers like crap and now they're defensive and half assed. You could try something simple; just be nice to the guy and talk to him. Ask him if he remembers when he first started as an EMT, and coach him. Remind him how much you're depending on him to be part of the team, how much you want to do the right thing, and how he'd want you to treat him or a member of his family. Too many people forget how far you can get being nice, even when you don't think you should have to be. He's not doing his job, and you're having to kiss his ass to get him to do it is frustrating. However, what's the bigger picture here?
  10. wondering about getting my BS in EMS. Any thoughts?

  11. wondering about getting my BS in EMS. Any thoughts?

  12. wondering about getting my BS in EMS. Any thoughts?

  13. IV Skills Help

    Just wanted to post a follow up to all the great helps and let anyone else who experiences this know what I did. I kept trying. One day I forgot I wasn't very good at starting lines and, well, I started a few without any problem. It built my confidence up and then I just started asking people for tips, help, pointers. Anyone in the medical field with the skill, I just asked. nurses in the ER, paramedics who train emt's. Phlebotomists, Anyone. I found out I can volunteer at the bloodbank and get better still. So for those of you new to IV's you will have problems. You'll not always get young healthy trauma patients with great veins. They'll be diabetics with crap for veins, people who have such bad veins they'll have central lines because NO ONE can get a vein. And you'll learn little tricks, like this one: If you're using an unfamiliar catheter you might accidentally be advancing the entire needle, not just the catheter because it sticks, or you forget to loosen it up before you advance it. Or another one: If you insert the catheter, and get flash and can only advance it so far, you might be stuck in a valve. Attach the saline flush and gently gently push, you might be able to float the catheter past the valve. And don't forget: Humble yourself and ask for help. It can come from the most unexpected places.
  14. Ever Had a Fat Patient Break Your Back?

    I transported a 450 lb quad home once. All the way there I kept wondering how we were even going to unload the cot, let alone get him off of it. My driver was a 160 lb lady with a bad back. This man's wife takes one look at us and starts having a fit because even she knows there's no way we are going to get him into his special chair. Eventually the whole family had to pitch in, mad and all. Next time, I'm ordering lift help well in advance. It made me join a gym and start strength training so I don't end up permanently crippled.