Someone bitchy this way comes...

Trip Start Sep 14, 2008
Trip End Nov 01, 2008

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Flag of United States  , Texas
Monday, October 13, 2008

Theme for the day: Now see, what we have here... is a failure to communicate. I'm going to bitch a little, so get prepared.

My shift yesterday was a little odd. The call volume was low, which was good, since I have some personal and professional issues with the attendant on the truck (though his in-charge did talk to him, and it has - at least for my part - been resolved) and don't enjoy running calls with them.

Issue #1: Attendant to the rescue!
The attendant on the shift I just completed is up for his in-charge paramedic. That means he'll get his own truck. Apparently no one told him that students are supposed to be able to do some learning, and take over some calls. I've had problems with this attendant in the past... he always, and I do mean always, rushes into the scene and starts rapid fire questioning. Even when I ask if I can take a call, he stays quiet and the in-charge says I can. I'm all 'cool, finally.' but nope, he rushes in. Then when the in-charge gets in the back of the truck, I'm expected to formulate a treatment plan without ever questioning the patient myself or hearing everything that's said. Okay, fine. I can live with that... I'll turn lemons into lemonade: I'm not with this truck very often, so what I'll do is just use it as a place to hone my technical skills and observe the style of another paramedic. Cool. Oh it gets better.

Issue #2: You've seen one intubation...
... you have not seen them all. I fully admit that I'm inexperienced when compared to the medics at MCHD. They literally have 50 times the call volume of Nikiski. The issue arose a couple of shifts ago, the same truck (shocker) when I was offered the chance to witness an intubation in the ER. I made the mistake of saying "Nah, I'm good on intubations." Apparently I commited a faux pas, because the attendant for this truck mistook what I said and went all huffy to his in-charge and told him I said I didn't need to watch the intubation because I've hit every intubation I ever attempted (I found this out while I was talking about that bad call with my regular shift, my preceptor yesterday said "But I thought you were good and never missed!" when I told him I couldn't get the tube). Anyway, so I got called on the carpet by the preceptor of this truck for not wanting to watch every intubation I have the opportunity to. Grit your teeth and move on, Andrew Joel.

Issue #3: Don't be such a know-it-all!
We brought a patient in and were in triage when we got to talking with the nurse about diet soda. No one can pronounce 'aspartame' and half of them don't know what it is, so I politely explain. Someone, as it always happens, starts expounding on the evils of aspartame and saccarine and how even one little sip will give you cancer (Dun dun duuuuuuuuuuun). I explain to them that the experiments with aspartame giving you cancer involved rats being forcefed pure aspartame, buttloads at a time... and that you get maybe two or three tablespoon fulls in a decent sized soda. My preceptor blurts out "Where the hell do you get this stuff? Why do you know that?" I explain that my mother is diabetic and that I used to be and that I like to research the chemicals I'm eating. He gives me a funny look but it ends there.

This morning on my way out my preceptor is sitting down at the table
and he says "You need to not be such a know it all." I ask what for, he
replies "Just, you know... that aspartame thing. There's no reason for
you to know all that. Your best bet as a student is to be seen, to listen and not be heard. Just observe, that's the way I learn. I observe." Then he starts blah blah'ing about how when he was a student he learned to observe and now he can draw up medications, listen to his partner questioning and watch the monitor at the same time - I dunno, I stopped listening as I attempted to count backwards from 100 in my head to calm down.

I will freely admit that sometimes I let my mouth run off with random facts and shit no one cares about. But when I get called on the carpet for being a 'schmarty pahnts' for explaining aspartame - or the side effects of neurontin and anti-seizure medications to a patient's family (oh yes, that too) I will take exception to that. These issues with this particular truck are going to feature prominently on my Internship evaluation when I get back. The only reason I haven't said anything to anyone higher up is because I am a guest here. That I am a guest who is literally paying thousands of dollars to be here, I'll choose to ignore for now.

So yes... I am a know it all. Again, I freely admit sometimes I run off at the mouth - usually about trivial nonesense like the correct number of decks on the USS Enterprise-D (It's 42, by the way... an homage to Douglas Adams. See? That's know-it-all!), but in a case such as this I can't imagine how simply discussing aspartame or counseling a patient and her family on the side effects of very powerful medications can be construed as 'know it all' - especially when I have first-hand knowledge of these medications!

 Just because I have the ability to pick up a book and study something not directly related to cattle herding or the latest in tactical catfish gigging doesn't mean I'm throwing my intellectual weight around. You can call me a know-it-all when I correct everything someone says, not because I want to read pharmacology instead of the Cowtipping Monthly Newsletter.

That's my rant for the day... now that I've gotten it all out of my system, I can move on. If you read all of it, bless you in every way imaginable. You'll never get those 10 minutes back, you know. Just pointing that out! HAHAHA! God I'm such a dick.

*cough* Anyway

So I'm almost 3/4 of the way through now. I have 8 shifts left and I can go home! Almost all my 10 Cardiac, respiratory, trauma and medical patient slots are filled and I'm ready to high-tail it out of here! Now since I got about 3 hours of sleep last night, I'm going to go crash and burn for a couple of hours.
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