Friday, December 17, 2010

First Shift

I just got finished working my first shift, a 48 hour weekend shift.

During this shift, I was supposed to be taking a crash course orientation in my responsibilities as a basic with the company. What I ended up doing was observing on a three man truck for the first half of my first shift, then driving on another truck with the medic attending and an experienced basic observing me.

On my second shift, I was let go on a truck with a supervisory medic.

Since then, just about everyone I talk to wants to let me know the proper ways to drive and what I need to be doing. A lot of it gets repetitive but I understand why. I'm making a point to be very cautions when driving calls, especially code 3 calls due to the high risk of being in a wreck. I already feel comfortable with the rig to be honest, but I don't mind getting more advice as it comes.

My very first call was something else. We were dispatched to a residence for a man with a "laceration to the head". I'm in the back of the unit on the way to the scene thinking, "I wonder if he was in a fight. Perhaps he was playing baseball and got knocked in the noggin. Maybe its an old man that tripped and fell". I was wrong.

Once we arrived, we were led through the house to the back yard where the patient was lying on the pavement with a good deal of blood around him and a towel covering his head.

It turns out the man was painting his house using some sort of scaffold stand and fell off, landed on the pavement, and the scaffold followed his lead, landing on him.

All in all he had a compressed skull fracture in the back of his head, every bone in his face was fractured, fractured right radius, fractured right ulna, fractured left wrist, shattered left elbow, distended abdomen (possible internal bleeding), and possible broken ribs (according to his complaint of rib pain). Oh yeah, and a laceration to the head.

Because of the fractured occipital bone at the rear of his skull, our medic opted to call in a helicopter to have him air lifted to the local trauma hospital. I think the risks of him bouncing on that fracture and driving at a slow pace to keep that from happening called for this option. I think it was a good call. It sure was interesting to witness also.

Due to the fact that both of his arms were splinted, they medics tried to find a vein in his feet to no avail. One IV was attempted in his neck shortly after arriving to the landing zone a short distance from his residence, but it didn't work out.

The flight medics jumped in the unit and made the decision to give him an intraosseous IV using the EZ IO drill. I had studied about it in school but I never got to see it performed, of course. Its an experience that I hope I never have to feel for myself. It sure looked painful.

I don't want to say that it was an "exciting" experience. But I sure was wondering how I would react to a real trauma call. I had been nervous as hell. I feel like I handled it well. I fumbled a bit with things just because I was nervous, but I wasn't disturbed by the injuries or the situation. It made me feel confident about future emergencies.

I found out later that night that this patient was air lifted out to a major city for better treatment. I hope he pulls through.

All in all, I think everything went well on this day. We had other calls, but this one was my first, and I'm sure I'll always remember it.

1 comment:

  1. Where you nervous on your first day? Where you scared making a mistake and is it common thing to make a mistake on your first day?


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