Its been a small hiatus while I have had final exams and whatnot. In short the last two weeks, I passed my course portion of EMT, I went home and got some days off, I pigged out, went blonde (more on that later…) and started my hospital practicum in a rural hospital north of Edmonton, AB.
Now I’m very sleepy and it’s my 24th birthday tomorrow, but the hospital has been great. I’ve learned three good lessons:
1. Young South African doctors are hot, have hot accents, but unfortunately the moment you walk into their emergency room with “student” on your uniform, you are now a nuisance, invisible, and have no chance.
2. Watching a woman have a biopsy on her breast in a table in front of me has taught me I will probably never do well in a surgery. I can handle having to take action in stuff…but watching a scalpel on a breast was unfortunately enough to make me woozy in the legs. Thankfully the nurse said if I had fainted, it wouldnt be the first time that’s happened in the room. I guess some lady’s husband dropped flat while she was giving birth, and all the doctors and nurses were so busy, there was nothing you could do but grab him by the shoes and drag him to the corner out of the way. Hilarious.
3. Never ever make a pirate joke to a one-eyed patient. Had to help change a dressing on a guy who got his left eye and sinus cavity removed. Way gross, and cool, but as in taking his vitals and talking to him, he’s telling me he’s got big plans for the night. In my head I thought “yo ho ho, and a bottle of rum.”
“Sir, do you smoke?”
Patient: “Uh, we’ll that’s complicated”
“The doctor needs to know. It’s an Arr or no question”
Ok I didn’t say THAT but I thought about it.
Anyways, sleep is coming, and I’m hoping they call me in the middle of the night for a guy that’s shot or something. You know…good stuff.
Today is a sick day unfortunately for myself of all people. I went to bed early last night, slept like a rock, and woke up to a knocking on my door. I swore quietly, fully aware that the reason for the knock was because I slept in. I got out of bed and tried to walk to the door, but for some strange reason my leg wasn’t working, and I was unbelievably dizzy. I crashed to the floor in front of my bedroom door, and I heard Morgan ask if I was ok.
She said I had no color, and that she was going to go get Brian.
After 15 minutes I figured Brian wasn’t coming and everyone was mad at me. So I decided I was going to go to work. I stumbled around, trying to dress and get my bag together. I half limped out to the parking lot, and started the truck.
When I come back in to grab a coat, I had to hold the wall to come back down the hallway, and the world was spinning. I heard the door open behind me.
“Sierra Borden. I am going to kill you if you think you are going to work like this.”
Brian. You are such a dad.
He helped me back to my room. After asking me some questions, it sounds like the built up pressure in my right ear the last four days (I neglected to mention it to him before hand) had pushed fluid into my inner ear, causing my dizziness.
So I’m in bed today. Ian, the other paramedic brought me some medication, for my sinuses. I woke up at 2 and staggered to the kitchen for soup, but the dizziness factor was minute compared to the morning.
So now I study my gigantic EMT textbook.
My morning started off with a call, brilliant! I dressed comfy for my Safe Behavior training today. Went to breakfast. Made it just over to the paramedic shack when my boss, we will call him BF, got a call.
“Hey kiddo, wanna come?”
I eagerly accepted.
“I’m grabbing the equipment, someone’s having a seizure at the dining hall. Meet me there.”
I ran across the parking lot back to the hall, and right on the platform lay a man, with a bloody face and head.
He must have fallen the moment he convulsed.
His eyes were hazy and another EMR, Cregory we’ll call him, was gloved up holding his head still and talking to him.
The paramedics showed up and began to work him while I assisted prepping the equipment.
I love watching them work. It’s like art. They work so calmly, so fluidly, so synced and unrushed. Every word and hand movement counts. I pulled out the glucometer for Ian, passed him a lancet to which he pricked the patients finger. He then instructed me to spike the IV bag, prepping the line for hookup to the cathalon Ian was piercing into a vein on his hand. Thank God I remembered SOMETHING from EMT class.
After all was said in done, we got him boarded up and sent him to the hospital. It’s plus 1 today (in January can you believe it!) and Highway 881 is a skating rink they say, a logging truck has rolled on it. And Highway 63 (the “killer highway”) is closed due to ice. So by helicopter he went.
Turns out he has epilepsy. Kept asking for his meds while we were hooking him up.
The guy works as a derrickhand on a rig (meaning he works about 50-60 feet in the air on a platform).