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    EMT-B, ER Assistant, Nursing student
  1. I suppose I should have been more clear about that! I wonder if it is more common in rural areas? Here's a photo off Google that can give you an idea of what I am referring to. Edit: It is essentially a thin blanket wrapped around a long piece of towstrap and is used to stabilize the head and neck while doubling as a harness to remove patients from a car, small space, etc.
  2. I am curious what community opinions are about this. In recent months there has been discussion within my fire department about choosing equipment for vehicle extrication. We have multiple options including the Kendrick Extrication Device, the more "homemade" horse collar, or simply using a slide board, C-collar, and man power to remove a patient from a car seat. What are your thoughts on these different methods? I admit that I am partial to the horse collar because of the multiple ways it can be positioned and ease of use. However in school the KED was presented as top-of-the-line for patient safety when extricating. I understand that choosing what to use depends on the situation and how much time we have to remove the patient, but I am still interested to see what others have to say about it. Thanks, Chris
  3. Hello all, I am fairly new to this site and have already had the chance to converse with a few of you. For those about whom I speak, thank you for the welcome. A quick intro so you have an idea of who I am: Last spring (2015) I had the opportunity to take an EMT-B course sponsored by my volunteer fire department. I am coming up on 1 1/2 years as a member of the team and am pretty sure I have found my niche in the world. There is something about working in emergency medicine that makes me feel it is exactly where I am supposed to be. Currently I function as a volunteer EMT-B but I am pursing further education. Other than that, I am studying to become an RN and work part-time as an assistant in a level I pediatric trauma center. All of these things have been a huge blessing to me and I can't write this without tipping my hat to the God who made it all happen. The story of how I came to take the plunge into emergency medicine is both exciting and mixed with some very sad, dark memories. But through all of that, I been lucky enough to meet some incredible professionals who truly love their jobs. This community seems to be filled with more of the same and I am excited to be a part of it. One day I hope to be a flight nurse, or some type of emergency medical professional, on an international plane. This is a long-term goal, and it may never happen, but I believe it is good to aim high and always keep learning in order to provide the best patient care. If any of you have similar interests and want to talk don't hesitate to PM me; I'd like to get to know more people who share the same passions as I do. Thanks for reading, Chris
  4. Thank you (all three) for taking the time to write me back! Ruff, that's a really good idea to seek out a mentor who has been in EMS for a while. Also good advice to remember whose emergency it is. There is somewhat of a support group in place at my fire department; not exactly an established group but it works pretty well. After my first bad call, multiple people reached out to everyone who was on the crew. There are a couple captains and lieutenants that did an excellent job reaching out to us and debriefing. What better way to learn than from someone who has experience working in the field. As far as going back to school, I am working on that right now. There's a possibility for me to become an IV tech which seems like a good step. Off-Label, thanks for the encouragement. I really appreciate it. ER Doc, I hadn't thought of a code like that. I suppose that takes a lot of the mental pressure off working on them, which in turn actually improves the care the patient receives. It's the cases like you describe as circling the drain that concern me. But like you said, all in good time. I hope that one day I can go far with all of this. I'd love to be a flight nurse one day, but I am just starting out right now. I really appreciate the advice you all give and respect your experience in the field. Chris
  5. Hello all, I am fairly new to this website and this is my first post. I am wondering if someone has advice for me. I completed an accelerated EMT-Basic training course the spring of 2015. The volunteer department I am affiliated with has done nothing less than support me through my training. There were countless times that other EMT's or Paramedics offered to meet with me on their own time to help me study. Two of the best Paramedics I know met with some of my classmates and I to practice patient care scenarios before the NREMT practical exam. Truly, the world of EMS is proving to be a second family to me and I feel very honored to be a part of it. However, through all of this I continue to lack confidence in my abilities to make the best decisions when time is critical, such as a call for a patient who is coding. I understand that we who work in Paramedicine are just as human as the patients for whom we care. We can make mistakes. However, part of the great responsibility of being a healthcare provider is that people entrust you with their safety and in that case of EMS, their lives. This past week my Chief and Assistant Chief presented me with a First Responder bag and radio. They want me to become familiar with the equipment and begin responding to calls on my own. I am excited to do this but honestly it intimidates me. I worry that I might think I know what to do but will mess up when everything hits the fan, so to speak. I am currently studying to be an RN and have a part-time job at a pediatric hospital's Emergency Department. I am able to work alongside nurses, physicians, and EMS crews. Every day they teach me more about life in the world of emergency medicine. Last weekend there were three vicitims of a very bad car accident brought in. By the time my shift ended we had lost one of the kids and the other two were critically injured. It rattled me. I am confident that emergency medicine is where I am meant to be, and yet it still gets to me sometimes. It is like taking on something that both fascinates and terrifies at the same time. I love it and feel overwhelmed by it all at once. I may be unusual in feeling this way but I thought I would put these thoughts out there in case anyone is willing to share some advice. Does this fade with time? How long did it take you to feel comfortable in EMS? Thank you, Chris
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