Thursday, April 29, 2010

The Paramedic Process

Another Haiti photo.  I'm not sure if the scale was discarded of not, but it stood alone in the hospital street, seemingly neglected.

I've done eight straight nights on a 911 ambulance, and have spent a little time reflecting on my paramedic sprint.  I don't remember their faces, and less so their names, but I remember their ailments.  65-year old man, hypoglycemia and profoundly diaphoretic; 56-year old man, severe asthma attack that I fixed in three minutes flat; 67-year old man with new onset a-fib that I diagnosed by feeling his radial pulse; a twenty something man that I knew was lying to me about drug use just by looking at his dilated pupils.  After each run I would review the call in my head looking for mistakes, and there were plenty. I'd see a new medication that I had to look up, a symptom that I didn't catch, a blip on a 12-lead that was significant. Everything got looked up after the fact on my iPhone full of medical applications, mentally filed away for the next time that I see it.  I was intent on each run making me a better medic.  Being a paramedic is a process, I'm, seeing that now.

No comments: