One of the greatest honors I've ever received is a compliment from a man who doesn't know I ever heard it. I started as a paramedic in a different fire department, earning my chops there, before my current position. When I applied to and was offered a job in my current department, my new co-workers were still forming their opinions of me. One of them, and his wife, happened to know my previous lieutenant, and found themselves talking to him and my name came up in…Continue
Added by Street Level Paramedic on November 14, 2014 at 5:34pm — No Comments
I don't hate HIPPA, unlike some of my colleagues. True, there are some who take it to extremes. Also true, HIPPA can be a convenient means of firing someone you really don't want around but you don't have specific cause to fire them for other reasons. Sometimes, though, it's a very useful tool to help you just keep your mouth shut.
Patient story: Fat Bastard
Fat Bastard (name taken from the Austin Powers movies) was a 400+ pound jerk who required frequent…Continue
Added by Street Level Paramedic on November 6, 2014 at 9:45am — No Comments
The view from the ER is a bit different than the view from the street. I am convinced much of the conflict between paramedics and nurses originates from this fact. Social psychologists and people who like fancy phrases refer to something called "cognitive dissonance." Cognitive dissonance is the stress and internal turmoil someone feels when what they see something that conflicts with their internal values and beliefs. It creates a certain kind of blindness--an inability to see something…Continue
Added by Street Level Paramedic on November 6, 2014 at 9:06am — No Comments
Ebola. Yeah, I bet you rolled your eyes just now. I'm sick of hearing about it, too. In our midwestern state, in our upscale suburban county, the odds are....well it doesn't really matter what the odds are, does it? Our job is to be prepared.
Any time I'm thinking about preparing for the unlikely, I think about the United Airlines Flight 232 crash in Sioux City, Iowa in 1989. I went to graduate school in Des Moines in 1990 for my Master of Public Administration degree.…Continue
Added by Street Level Paramedic on November 5, 2014 at 8:17pm — No Comments
If you have a little grey in your hair, you might have understood the reference in the title of this blog post. For the rest of you, David Carradine had a career before Kill Bill, and one of my favorite televisions series was Kung Fu, which ran from 1972-1975. Carradine plays a Showlin monk, studying under a Kung Fu master, and he's told he'll be ready to leave the monestary and seek his destiny in the world when he can snatch the pebble from his master's outstretched…Continue
Added by Street Level Paramedic on October 31, 2014 at 8:00pm — No Comments
Mobile Integrated Healthcare and the EMS provider
By Alan Perry
The EMS Agenda for the Future identified the need for Emergency Medical Services (EMS) to seek a broader and more integrated role in the healthcare system. Many variations of that vision have been pursued successfully and are now known as…Continue
Added by Alan E Perry on September 24, 2014 at 12:59pm — No Comments
My new EMS Blog Site for providers, instructors, and managers.
Have you ever had a person ask you what you do, or how was your day? As much as an EMS provider would love to respond, oftentimes, we don’t. Why don’t we you ask? Because if you had, this might be what you would hear. I…
Added by Christopher G Graham on August 13, 2014 at 8:30pm — No Comments
Be Physically Ready for Duty- Your Daily Fitness Checkoffs.
At the beginning of each and every shift firefighters, EMTs and medic meticulously go through and check their gear (or at least they should be) to make sure that it is ready for the challenges of the day. Our equipment must be functioning properly and our rigs must be fueled and ready to go. The question that I also want you to think about is whether or not your…
Added by Aaron Zamzow on August 4, 2014 at 11:21pm — No Comments
Para-Gods. It seems the newer and less experienced the paramedic is, the more arrogant and intolerable the tendency to be a "para-God." Example: Our paid-on-call fire department has made the transition to a paramedic level service. Numerous new people were hired to fill the roster, including "MacGuyver," the subject of this story. MacGuyver is a brand new paramedic. He's smart and has an excellent memory. He can remember what he's read, repeat anatomy, statistics, diagnoses, and…Continue
Added by Street Level Paramedic on June 19, 2014 at 7:30am — No Comments
An EMS instructor once told me that 90 percent of patients are going to live no matter what I do or don't do for them. Five percent are going to die no matter what I do or don't do for them. It's the other five percent that I prepare for with my training, education, and experience. You can argue about the numbers, but they seem to be in the ballpark.
Much of what we do is give rides to the hospital for people who prefer not to ask their friends or family to take them. Sure,…Continue
Added by Street Level Paramedic on May 4, 2014 at 3:00am — No Comments
Late each summer, paramedics who were trained in the same program as I are invited to meet with the next incoming class of paramedics to provide advice on how they can successfully navigate the program and achieve their goals. I always attend. It's partly paying it forward, partly dedication to my program and my instructor, and partly schadenfreude (the German term for "experiencing amusement from other people's pain").
I stand in front of the group, look at their…Continue
Added by Street Level Paramedic on April 8, 2014 at 7:30am — No Comments
Added by Nathan Stanaway on August 14, 2013 at 2:30pm — No Comments
All of you out there who hold certifications know how much you want to show that baby off! Especially if you're not actually working in the field yet, just being able to whip out a card that displays your name and some language that you can save a life is a pretty cool parlor trick.
Below, I pose with my National Registry of EMTs certification card at the wedding of a couple that's a friend of JEMS. When the bride gets back from her honeymoon, I hope to jump in her ambulance…Continue
Added by Jennifer Berry on July 11, 2013 at 12:00pm — No Comments
I am ecstatic to report to you all that I not only passed the class, but I got an A on both the final and the class.
An A is always a sweet reward for a job well done, but this one is even sweeter because I fought so hard for that grade -- literally and figuratively. I not only worked through a lot of troubles with learning how to study and how to manage my time as an adult student, I also fought with instructors over the semantics of quiz questions.
I did it…Continue
If you've been reading my blog this semester, you might remember when I first heard about the group scenarios we had to do in front of the class. (Could I Be a Trauma Junkie?) I was very excited, because they reminded me of the JEMS Games and seemed like a fun way to incorporate research, learning and coordination...and a…Continue
Added by Jennifer Berry on May 9, 2013 at 12:30pm — No Comments
I don't know what has happened to our class, but it's like someone flipped a switch because we are all suddenly very over this class. I think the professors are too. In fact, I know at least one of them is because he told us so during last night's lecture.
It's nice to be in the home stretch. This has been a fun endeavor, and I've learned so much. I've become intimately familiar with what EMS providers do, how it feels to be on a BLS transfer rig, what the challenges with the…Continue
Added by Jennifer Berry on May 7, 2013 at 12:30pm — No Comments
If you're wondering about my LOC when reading my subject line, don't worry just yet. I'm referring to how realistic the male students in my class were when playing the pregnant patient in imminent delivery.
I know emergency delivery isn't a common call, especially for BLS providers in San Diego County. But I still took this non-testable skill in last night's lab very seriously because I cannot think of a worse position to be in than to be delivering someone's baby and be…Continue
Added by Jennifer Berry on May 2, 2013 at 2:30pm — No Comments
This past weekend was jam-packed with EMS stuff since I had my ambulance ridealong on Friday and my hospital experience on Saturday. It was a tiring but awesome weekend. Both clinicals were fun, but in different ways. The ambulance had more downtime, but I felt more at home. The hospital had more things to do, but it was more self-directed.
BLS rigs in San Diego do mostly interfacility transfers, so we spent a lot of time waiting for appointments. I got some studying done, and…Continue
Added by Jennifer Berry on April 30, 2013 at 2:00pm — No Comments