Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Day One: Information Overload and Callouses

I should be studying my city maps right now. I should be reading and learning the departmental protocols. I should be..... but I have information overload today! In my 6 hour shift today we did not go out on any calls, BUT the paramedic, on my shift, went through my training material and by the time I left today my head was swimming and I had callouses on my palms.

Being the eager beaver, and hater of late people, I was the first person to arrive at the station, so I brought in the morning paper and turned on the lights in the day room. Then the rest of my crew began to arrive. I have to remember to thank my instructor for the heads up and shift suggestions. Thus far I really think I am going to like my Wednesday crew. We got along well and went out for breakfast. Good group, so that is a plus already!

Part of the on station training in intended to get you familiar with the vehicles and the tools of your trade and where to find them, how to use them and most importantly how to get them BACK into there space when you have finished with them. If you are short, like me just 5'5", either I will have to ask for assistance or make some repetitive jumping motions.

Most of the stuff is easy to use and has easy to find buttons or pumps or releases. It is the cot that actually took the wind out of me and left callouses on my palms. They had the smallest guy, at 185 pounds, lay on the cot while they had me practice moving him in and out of the rear of the ambulance. Not anything like class where we can only use the dummies. Nothing like an actual person who may also be tall and their feet are in your chest and face! Also, when you are a female, with smaller hands, it is not that easy to pull the levers to release the cot to move it up and down. Yikes! We spent a good amount of time on that activity and I was quite winded by the time we were finished. I am happy to report that I did not ever drop my new team mate. Good thing. So, thus far I am in solid with these guys.

Even before that I managed to bruise my left palm just going out to breakfast. I sat in the back and when I got out, never having shut the door of one before, I hit it to close to the door handle and let's just say that it hurt enough to make me want to say bad words. I refrained at the risk of looking like I did not know what I was doing. At least both hands hurt now and it will take my mind off of my aching triceps!! I did come to the realization that I need to work out even more and make good use of my free weights. We do have two workout rooms at the station and I think I am going to make good use of those as well. I definitely need more arm and upper body strength.

Then we climbed in back and began to pull out all the tubes and gauges and saline bags that go with setting up IV's for the paramedics. Learned how to check someones glucose level and change out an O2 tank. After that we turned on and got out all the parts of a heart monitor and AED. By that time I only had 45 minutes left on shift and they gave me a break, we went inside and watched some Antonio Banderas movie that was on HBO.

Good diversion guys!! Took my mind off of my aching hands. Dying of thirst I opted for a Diet Doctor Pepper and then it was time to pack up, say my farewells and unload the brain until tomorrows alarm clock and begin again for another day.

And I was wondering if this was going to provide enough fodder for blogging!!


The Drew said...

WoW!Already so much excitement!You go,girl:-)

Anonymous said...

Busy, busy, busy! Sounds like a lot of work AND a lot of fun!

So proud of you!!!