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clintdub

Essay layout ideas

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Hello all,

Fresh paramedic...green as can be with three months as a paramedic. Work 911 and have been there over a year and a half. Had a question: I want to do an essay on different diseases and such (ex. COPD, Asthma, etc.) Just wanted to broaden my knowledge and wanted to do an essay every 1-2 weeks on something new. Just curious what a good format for an essay is. Using Asthma as an example:

Describe what asthma is Define different treatments. Signs and syptoms. Really wanna add some CPAP stuff on it cause I am really curious about that treatment as we dont do it where I am but am currently working on gettting it into our protocols. Can any of yall give me a good outline to follow to learn more about differnt illnesses and things? I very much appreciate it. Thanks

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By outline, you mean how to write the paper? APA format perhaps? I try to keep it simple and go with a 5 paragraph format when possible.

A link to how to write a paper in APA format 101:

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I mean what topics should I cover to get a better understanding? WHat I have gathered from others so far is

what is it, what causes it, effects on the body, signs and symptoms, lasting effects and treatment

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I suggest a college level writing class to help you learn how to improve your writing. The class will help you select topics, decide what you want to cover, help you organize your thoughts and writing project, teach you how to improve your research capabilities and actual written presentation.

This is a serious suggestion.

If you're just looking for ideas on what types of disease processes you should be writing on, then I suggest you sit down and figure out what you want to know and go from there. You are your best asset in determining where your intellectual strengths and weaknesses are.

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I mean what topics should I cover to get a better understanding? WHat I have gathered from others so far is

what is it, what causes it, effects on the body, signs and symptoms, lasting effects and treatment

My bad, disregard my prior post.

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I read the OP the same way CHBARE did. So while I still think a college level writing class will help you it doesn't really answer your question.

The second half of my response, though, is a little more on target. So you've picked a topic. What do you want to know about it? What do you think would be good for a paramedic to know? What do you think would be good for any health care provider to know?

Would putting it together like you were going to teach a class on the subject help? Think about everything you'd want to tell someone about the disease process. Then organize it and write it out.

Have fun!

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You're really asking a loaded question that is like following Alice down the rabbit hole ... y'know I hear that Alice in Wonderland bloke was tripping on magic mushrooms when he wrote it; anyway

Consider a simple question from one of the Paramedic (ICO) assignments I was reviewing:

"Briefly describe the pathophysiology of DKA"

To which the following answer was provided by the student:

"IDKA a shortage of insulin resulting in less glucose entering cells. This results in hyperglycaemia and cells shifting to metabolising fatty acids (the. Fatty acids are metabolised to ketones and these are acidic. The signs and symptoms of DKA are predominantly related to the effects of the hyperglycaemia and the effects of acidosis"

vs the answer I originally wrote in my submission back in 2007

"Diabetic ketoacidosis is an acute complication of hyperglycaemia and hypoinsulinaemia. Hypoinsulinaemia causes the fat storing properties of insulin to be reversed activating hormone-sensitive lipase and hydrolysis of triglycerides releasing large quantities of free fatty acids into the blood. This release of free fatty acid causes the liver to transport it to the mitochondria where it is beta oxidised and enters the Krebs cycle to produce ATP for energy. The beta oxidisation also produced large amounts of Acetyl CoA and aceatoacetic acid as byproducts. In addition to the aceatoacetic acid produced by anaerobic metabolism of the cells, B hydroxybutric acid is produced in the liver from fatty acid accumulation. The production of these acids causes blood acidity to rise above normal and results in metabolic acidosis. In addition to metabolic acidosis caused by anaerobic metabolism the other complication of DKA is osmotic diuresis. Because there is excess circulating glucose it creates hyperosmolar gradient towards the extracellular fluid and shifts water out of the vasculature along its gradient. The extremely high level of glucose exerts its osmotic effect on the renal tubules greatly reducing fluid reabsorption resulting in less sodium is reabsorbed, causing the macula densa to dilate glomerular arterioles and increase GFR. These two factors increase urine output and can lead to dehydration and hypotension"

It's like asking how long is a bit of string ....a how deep in tho the biochemistry and pathophysiology you want to get; now some bloke who actually understand biochemistry is going to probably look at what I wrote and laugh because I have no bloody idea what the hell beta-hydroxybutric acid is or whether there is alpha-oxidation before beta or some shit

Edited by kiwimedic

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now some bloke who actually understand biochemistry is going to probably look at what I wrote and laugh because I have no bloody idea what the hell beta-hydroxybutric acid is or whether there is alpha-oxidation before beta or some shit

Well, you posted it!

haha, actually you are mostly right. When glucose levels are low (or when there is a problem with trapping the glucose in the liver, as is the case here), fatty acids are brought to the liver and transformed into acetyl CoA, which is then fed into the citric acid cycle (TCA/Krebs cycle) for energy. The acetoacitate and beta hydroxybutyrate are the ketone (in KETOacidosis) products of the reaction. The body can use ketones for energy when things get really desperate (starvation state), but what happens in DKA is the ketones start to really build up. Like you mentioned, they have a low pH and start messing with body systems. Then you have that whole dehydration mechanism.

Happened to be doing this stuff in school right now so I had to chime in... sorry

OP! Didn't forget about you!

Writing essays is a great way to help learn and retain information. Maybe you should consider starting a blog or something like that and make weekly (or whatever) entries on what you've learned. I would go with a format something like this:

1. History and pathophysiology of the disease. (What is asthma and what is happening in the body)

2. Current treatment mechanisms (what is available to treat asthma and how do those treatments work)

3. Practical approach for paramedics (given all this information, what are the best practices)

4. Where can we go in the future (are changes necessary? is there research out there? etc)

Edited by fiznat

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I would suggest the following since you stated you wanted it for your own learning only:

Paragraph 1 is your introduction.

Paragraph 2 a broad overview of the disease

Paragraph 3 Signs and Symptoms, related history, co-morbidities, how you differentiate this problem with similar problems (if doing asthma, how do you differentiate from CHF, COPD)

Paragraph 4 the current EMS treatment of this disease, including medications.

Paragraph 5 Contradictions to the current treatment listed above (when does treatment differ).

Paragraph 6 How is treatment different for different populations (pediatric, elderly, obese).

Paragraph 7 Are there second tier treatments that you can employ if Plan A does not work (Mag or epi for asthma, Dobutamine for CHF).

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