Featured Blog Posts (265)

Experience and Success and the Student Paramedic

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…


Added by Street Level Paramedic on April 8, 2014 at 7:30am — No Comments

Nationally Registered 'Road Doctor'

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…


Added by Jennifer Berry on July 11, 2013 at 12:00pm — No Comments

Cardiac Arrest vs Heart Attack

Added by Eric L. Astillero, REMT-D on June 13, 2013 at 3:42pm — 1 Comment

Day 32: And the Final Grade Is...

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…


Added by Jennifer Berry on May 23, 2013 at 1:00pm — No Comments

Day 28: Scenarios Galore

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…


Added by Jennifer Berry on May 9, 2013 at 12:30pm — No Comments

Day 27: Are We There Yet?

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…


Added by Jennifer Berry on May 7, 2013 at 12:30pm — No Comments

Day 26: Men Having Babies

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…


Added by Jennifer Berry on May 2, 2013 at 2:30pm — No Comments

Day 25: Ten Things I Learned During My Ridealong

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…


Added by Jennifer Berry on April 30, 2013 at 2:00pm — No Comments

Day 24: Ready for my Ridealong!

I haven't had writer's block since starting this class and blog, but I have it today. I think the reason is because I am preoccupied. I have my ridealong tomorrow and my clinical shift on Saturday, so my mind is elsewhere.

I am excited about both. I hope to have some good calls, because every time I have gone on a ridealong for JEMS or one of the newspapers I worked for, I have had the curse of the ridealong. One time, when I was riding along with the Glendale (Calif.) Fire…


Added by Jennifer Berry on April 25, 2013 at 12:30pm — No Comments

Day 23: A Trauma-licious Scenario

I have said before, and I'll say again, that I think I'm a trauma junkie. I'm really enjoying all the gross pics in the textbook. More than that, I like being a detective in determining the mechanism of injury or trying to rule out (and in) reasons for a typically healthy person to suddenly become dangerously ill.

Luckily, my simulations group teammates agree. Our scenario is going to be a fall patient. Someone who got caught up in a gravity storm. I'm looking forward to us…


Added by Jennifer Berry on April 23, 2013 at 1:30pm — No Comments

Day 22: Only the Strong Remain

With all the MCIs going on in EMS right now, with the Boston Marathon and West, Texas, explosions, I'm going to keep this blog short today.

We're in the home stretch of this class. We have just four weeks left.  A LOT of people dropped after the midterm. My side of the room is mostly empty chairs. We had 32 people take the midterm, down from my last count of 37. I have a feeling it's more like 25 now. There's a buzz in the classroom and lab that wasn't there before,…


Added by Jennifer Berry on April 18, 2013 at 1:00pm — No Comments

Day 21: Boston Marathon Explosions & the Trauma Block

Yesterday, I spent most of the afternoon coordinating live coverage of the Boston Marathon explosions with our technical, enews and editorial teams. It was a somber day in the office, becoming more so as the event unfolded. We were bombarded with images of a bloody scene filled with debris from the two bombs that detonated at the finish line.

As an EMT student just embarking on the second half of the class -- the trauma block -- I started using each photo as a learning tool.…


Added by Jennifer Berry on April 16, 2013 at 1:00pm — No Comments

Day 20: Could I Be a Trauma Junkie?

I always like to ask EMS providers whether they prefer medical or trauma calls. The answers are always interesting, and they're definitely well researched.

I thought I would prefer medical calls, but I think I might be a trauma junkie. Keep in mind, this is just theory, here. Perhaps when I get on a Kevin Ware-type call, I might just pass out from the gross deformity in front of me. But I think I might prefer those unexpected, load and go traumas. Come to think of it, I've…


Added by Jennifer Berry on April 11, 2013 at 12:30pm — No Comments

Day 17: It's Getting Warm In Here!

Monday night was my first night back in class after a wonderful week off. Not that I didn't miss my instructors, classmates and all those slides. I actually did miss them, and it felt great to get back into our routine after a nice break from the daily grind.

(What did I do during my spring break? Find out by reading my last two blogs about whiskey and …


Added by Jennifer Berry on April 2, 2013 at 12:30pm — No Comments

Day 16: How Watching the Show Dallas Can Be Considered Studying

I am a big fan of the TNT show, "Dallas." I record every episode, and I try to figure out which character rose to power that week (https://rise-to-power.dallastnt.com/). I know it's a cheesy show, and I bet it's nothing like the original. But I still love all the backstabbing and changing alliances. It's like Survivor with hair and makeup -- Texas style.

I haven't been watching television, or reading for pleasure, or cooking,…


Added by Jennifer Berry on March 28, 2013 at 12:30pm — No Comments

Day 15: Whiskey & Sphygmomanometers

My college is on spring break this week, so I didn't have class last night. I haven't been on spring break for, well, let's just say it's been a decade or so. I forgot how wonderful it was to de-stress.

And boy did I de-stress. I went up to LA to visit my best friend. We've been friends for longer than we haven't been friends, and she is one of those people who can remind me what it was like to be in college. Which she did, of course.

She happens to have a good…


Added by Jennifer Berry on March 26, 2013 at 2:00pm — No Comments

Day 14: Everybody Poops

If the title of this post doesn't clue you into the topic of last night's lecture, then let me say it in plain(er) terms. We discussed abdominal issues. It was interesting because I've never really thought of all the things that could go wrong in the abdomen and the fact that the myriad illnesses and injuries manifest with the same handful of signs and symptoms (which are, of course, as uncomfortable to talk about as they are to experience.)

We discussed the questions EMS…


Added by Jennifer Berry on March 21, 2013 at 12:00pm — No Comments

Day 13: Looking for Patients to Assess

Last night's class was so sweet. It was the first lab we had gone to in over a week, and it was one where we got to do scenario-based learning.

Oh, and we took the quiz at the end of class instead of the beginning, so if you finished early (like I did), you got to leave just a wee bit early.

Our lab was on medical patient assessment. It's the one skill station I remember (other than being immobilized dozens of times at the immobilization station) from…


Added by Jennifer Berry on March 19, 2013 at 12:32pm — No Comments

Day 12: Filling the Holes

I'm a 22. Let me clarify, that it isn't my typical respiration rate. And it certainly isn't my current blood sugar reading. It's my typical quiz score. For three of the five quizzes I have taken. I don't really understand it myself, but it seems that no matter whether I study, how hard I study or whether I even show up to lecture, I get a 22 on my quizzes.

I would like to to think it's because I have absorbed so much by reading (and reading, and reading) JEMS over the years.…


Added by Jennifer Berry on March 14, 2013 at 12:30pm — 1 Comment

Medical vs Trauma

I have a class I neeed to teach for the Fire Dept I am doing my Paramedic Internship with. The questioned proposed is. Whats the difference between a Medical assessment and a trauma assessment.

Simple responses would be very awesome. Thanks

Added by Jeff M. Garcia on March 12, 2013 at 1:44am — 1 Comment

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