Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Back after a few day's off...

Well, since there seems to be a small but steady following here, it appears that I am overdue for a new post!

Tonight is day 4 in a row of working, hence the lack of updates. Before you get too sympathetic, tonight and Monday were my only full 12 hour shifts. The other two were shortened due to shift trades!

For lack of a better topic at the moment, I guess this will be another about me post.  As I mentioned before, I work full time as a paramedic in a busy Trauma Center. I have only been here for a little over 6 months, but I love it! One of the common questions I get from both patients and other EMS providers who aren't familiar with us, is what exactly does a medic do in the ER? Well, here we go!

Triage, lots and lots of triage..Pretty much at any point, you will find at least one of us out front, manning the triage desk. After registration enters the patient into the computer, they either come straight to the triage area, or go to the waiting room, depending on how busy we are. From there, we snag patients, check vitals, obtain a quick history of current complaint and related medical history, meds, and allergies. We determine (if we are busy) the severity of their complaint and whether they need a room immediately or if they can wait a bit. If we are not swamped, they go straight back to a bed regardless.  Busy nights it is a very stressful place to be, with people coming up every few minutes demanding to know when they will be getting a room.

In the ER itself, we assist with getting patients into gowns, getting them hooked up to the monitors, and obtaining full medical history, confirming medications and allergies, surgical history, social indicators, etc.

IV's and 12 lead EKG's are a big part of what we do, bouncing from room to room helping the nurses out.

"Bedside Testing" such as glucometers, urinalysis, and blood chemistry's using the I-Stat machines.

Since drawing Blood Culture's takes a bit of time, on night's that we don't have a phlebotomist in the department we are usually responsible for these. On nights that we do have a Phleb, we still usually end up helping out.

When we have a trauma come in, we are responsible for establishing the IV's and/or IO lines, getting the patient on the monitor, and any other assistance as required.

In general, we function as nurse extender's, functioning fully to the scope of our practice, with the exception of medications. We also place foley catheters, as well as Orogastric and Nasogastric tubes. We also do a whole lot of patient transpots, be they taking someone in a wheelchair up to the observation units, or taking a cardiac patient on a monitor and med drips over to the Cardiac unit.

Being in the ER has a ton of new learning opportunities and a nice variety of patients that I get to encounter. We are a training hospital as well, so new changes to healthcare as they come out are regularly being brought up and utilized. All in all, I really enjoy my job.

When I feel the need, I can still go get my "squad fix" as I still work (very)contingent at one of the private EMS companies in town. Later on this month in fact, I am working back to back days at one of the premier Rock Concert/festivals around for said company..should be a blast!

Till next time, be safe, and have fun!


1 comment:

  1. I couldn't do my job without you medics most nights. Thanks for all of your hard work brother. Keep kicking ass and get ready for a busy summer. I think we have been in the calm before the storm for the last few days.