Yesterday was a whirlwind of a day. I moderated an awesome webcast in the morning, which tied directly into what I'm learning in class. I prepared for our EMS Today conference, which in and of itself is a whirlwind. Then I went to my night class, where we went over about 200 slides on patient assessment in 2 hours. And that was AFTER the break.

Luckily, I've been able to watch on some ridealongs with some amazing clinicians how the patient assessment is REALLY done. Because the way it's taught, it's too much to learn without any practice. But that's what I'm finding is the case with this whole class.

It was interesting to hear the term "nature of illness," which I automatically abbreviated to "NOI" because I'm familiar with EMS speak, which is basically a bunch of acronyms strung together with some sort of punctuation.

I think I'm a little drained today, so my apologies that this blog entry isn't very good. I will be blogging one more class before the show, then I'll be posting both as an EMT student (I'm planning on doing some learnin' at the show) and as an EMS editor (posting about the happenings on the show floor, etc.)

(If I were assessing my own AVPU and LOC right now, I would say I'm alert and oriented times, um, 2.5.)

Before I go, our official class headcount is now 37. That includes one guy who has missed two classes (including last night's), so he's probably a drop. How many do you think we'll have at the end of Monday's class?

And, before I REALLY go, please post how you do your assessment (since the way the book teaches us seems pretty stiff and bulky.) Meaning, what tips and tricks have you learned along the way that make it easier to get the info you need in a shorter amount of time?

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Comment by Gary Wyatt on March 5, 2013 at 9:54am

I always have my interns do a complete head to toe primary assessment regardless if medical or trauma.  Once complete then head into a more focused exam depending on what was found during the primary or based on chief complaint. 

Dennis Edgerly, EMT-P wrote a good article about assessments in JEMS Wednesday, February 18, 2009.

His "R's" are "R"ight on track!  I would however move the "Read the Scene and patient" to the top of the list!

  • React to life threats
  • Read the scene and patient ** its amazing how much information you can gain just by looking around.
  • Respond to your findings
  • Re-evaluate your treatment
  • Revise as necessary
  • Review your performance

Keep up the good work!  Your going to make a great provider!

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