When Seconds Count (Shared)

I read this story today and I have to share it with you! I love reading stories by patients, about paramedics that do an exceptional job of taking care of them! My first boss instilled the “customer service” upon me. See…people don’t care that you got the big IV, or knew which part of their heart was being attacked, or how many hours of schooling you went to…what they care about is how they were TREATED! How friendly you were, how you took care of their needs, how you made them feel comfortable…that’s what the patient cares about! I can’t stand when I’m stuck with a partner that can’t be nice, it’s simple! Be nice to the patient AND their family! So here is the story I just read, please take a moment to read it for yourself, and see the link below if you want to go to the page where I found the article. Thank you.

After a crazy-busy Saturday, lying in bed late at night watching Big Brother was a welcomed retreat while browsing Twitter on my iPad. A peaceful, relaxing night until suddenly, a daze fell over me almost leaving me feeling like I couldn’t breathe with sharp pains traveling through my chest, clammy skin and an immense amount of dizziness. I’d never felt like this before. After a few steps out of my bed, I found myself lying on the ground holding my chest trying to remedy the excruciating sharp pains. I couldn’t move, breathe, talk. It hurt too much. Everything hurt.

Minutes later with the unbearable pain not subsiding, I look up to see two paramedics and three firefighters running up my stairs towards me. “Patrick, can you tell me what’s wrong?” queried one paramedic. Sharp pain still ran through my chest, sweat still pouring off me like I had just run a marathon, my head pounding. Next thing I know, both paramedics had me sitting up with ECG leads placed on me from head to toe. “This is going to make you feel better,” said one paramedic as he placed an oxygen mask over my mouth.

Wrapped up in blankets in the back of the ambulance, the paramedic with me in the back chatted about The Sopranos and other random topics in an effort to keep me calm while I was connected to an array of cords and monitors. While he continued to reassure me that everything would be OK, it hit me; when the paramedics were dispatched to my call, they had no idea what they were going to deal with. They didn’t know me — I was a complete stranger to them. Yet they treated me like I was a close family member.

Simply put, how can someone care so much for someone they don’t even know? While so many try to avoid trauma, paramedics put themselves into harms way to help those in need and at the end of each call, they may never know what happens to the patient. Tasked with saving the patient’s life, it’s no easy fete. They work feverishly for the crucial moments they are with the patient, before doctors and nurses can intervene.

Lying on the stretcher in the hospital, I didn’t notice the two paramedics who worked so hard making sure I was OK, slip out. I didn’t get to thank them for helping me when I was in such pain — for making sure I didn’t feel anymore frightened than I had to be and for being there when I needed them. Although I didn’t get to thank them, they didn’t want to be thanked — me being fine was thanks enough.

To all the paramedics and emergency responders who risk their lives, miss family gatherings, work long hours and experience such trauma with every call, thank you. You truly are the people who run in when everyone is running out when seconds count. You dedicate your lives to helping people when they are at their lowest, and you work every shift saving lives.

So to the two paramedics from Durham Region, Ontario who treated me like their own child and who whispered to each other when I was in a groggy daze, “I was worried for him” — thank you. Thank you for being there and thank you for caring. Thank you for making such a scary experience that much easier.

It’s when seconds count that it all matters.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/patrick-mott/teen-health-scare_b_3644810.html

Jobs, Jobs Everywhere

So I realized earlier tonight that all my blog is quit confusing with all these jobs I have now. It’s easier to keep track of “hell” job because that’s the only one I have that is pure hell. But I have many other jobs I love so how do we keep those in order? I guess I’ll have to start numbering them.

Hell job will stay as hell job, also known as Job 1 because that is the first one I had. When hell job started to go to crap, worse than it was, I found another job. I loved this job, I used to call it my good job, but I got other good jobs. So let’s make that first good job I got Job 2 because technically it was my next job on the trucks. I have others between there, but we never talk about those so I’m skipping them.

Not long ago, I got offered a job, shortly after I had applied for my dream job. I kind of fell over this job, it was a complete accidental. I had class with a high ranking person on a department not horribly far from me. It was quit the drive, but it was hours and I need that to get me out of hell. So I took it and I love it there too! We’ll call that Job 3, because it was my next official job after the first one I like. I still love it there!

And finally, the newest job, the one I recently posted about. This had been my dream job, the job I wanted when I first got into this career. I am beyond happy about this job! It’s what I always wanted! I know several people there, a few bad, but not near hell job, no one else tolerates that shit! Since this job came last we shall call it Job 4. I can’t think of any other way to refer to them for now so we shall just use the number system.

I guess I’m back to studying for now because I’ve breaked long enough. First test tomorrow morning, medical exam for the new job. Then a State test to obtain a certification for the fire side. Then Thursday is my Critical Care Paramedic final…FINALLY! Followed by my practical test for the new job. I’m ready to get this week over with!

Rural Medics vs City Medics

Around here there a many debates about which is better. We have one particular city department that swears they are way better because they treat way more patients. This is a department that has a hospital without 5 minutes of EVERY part of their venue, and I’m serious when I say that, they are NEVER more than 5 minutes from a hospital. They rarely start IV’s, they are arrogant, they have piss poor attitudes, they won’t give medications. Hell, I witnessed them bring in a full arrest patient, NO monitor, NO IV! How can you be better than someone when you pull shit like that? Not everyone is the same, I have seen a FEW decent people on this department, but that is rare and those people never last more than a few months.

There are a few medics I know that consider themselves “city” medics, however they have a bit more time to get to a hospital. These medics usually have anywhere from 10-30 minutes of transport time, depending on the hospital the patient chooses. These medics have told me before that rural medics are way better than city medics. Why? For many reasons. I’m currently in Critical Care Paramedic class. It’s kicking my ass some, but one student in there is really struggling, he’s a “city” medic. He has more than 10 minutes to get to a hospital. The drugs we are learning in this class…I already know them because I’m one of those rural medics and we have this stuff

Quick lesson here to help you understand better. There are 4 classifications that hospitals can have and you are about to learn about them, they are Level 1, Level 2, Level 3, and Level 4. Let’s start with the lowest level and work our way up.

Level 4 – Do you have an Urgent Care near you? Or a hospital near you that is so small they have 2 ER room beds and can not admit patients for a long stay? Chances are you don’t, not unless you live a good drive from the big city. I have one, at 2 different jobs I work at, they each have one in their area. This is basically like going to visit your doctor. You show up there with anything more than a paper cut and they are calling 911 for your butt! Yes, hospitals call 911 for ambulances, mine do all the time.

Level 3 – This is just a step above the Level 4 class. These hospitals can admit patients, are larger, and have the power to do more, they just do not have the staff. These hospitals usual accept sick patients for long stays but if you broke anything you are going to be sent else where. If you have a heart attack or stroke, they only have the ability to diagnose these problems, if you need it treated then you will be sent else where, either by helicopter or the bandaid box. How many of these do I have in my area? One job has 3 of them, the other has 1.

Level 2 -This level has a significant increase in care over the other two. They can treat just like the highest level, a Level 1, however the staff to treat is not required to be in house. Meaning, they are required to have the capabilities ready within 20 minutes. So, you have a heart attack, go to my local Level 3 center, they diagnose it as a heart attack. The weather, naturally, is shitty so they whirly bird won’t come pick you up, now you get the bandaid box with my partner and I. We can’t bypass the Level 2 center, because they can treat you. On our way we call them, say we have a heart attack and to activate the cath lab, they have 20 minutes to have that staff ready if they want to keep their Level 2 status. Level 2 centers tend to be in the outer layers of the city, also known as the suburbs.

Level 1 – This is the highest classification of hospital. They are usually, though not always, teaching hospitals. They have every capability in the hospital, waiting 24 hours a day. They can treat everything, and treat it well. It so happens that my “area” has some of the top adult and pediatric hospitals in the world.

Now, when I am working and you come in really sick to the hospitals here and have to be transferred out, we have to take you to the city. We call them “city trips” or “city runs”. You know how long it takes me to get from this Level 3 hospital to a Level 1 for you to get the help you need? If the weather is good, 1 hour and 30 minutes! Yes, you read that right. If the weather is good, you’re flying most the time, but not always, each patient is different.

So what do you do during that time? Well you can type all this up like I am, because this patient is sleeping. Some sleep. I had a 4 hour and 45 minutes transport time for special care…yes, I spent almost FIVE hours with this patient and she was amazing! You’ve read that story. We entertain ourselves, bring cards, have movies on our iPads for the kids when we get them. I bring my computer and DVDs sometimes. This weekend alone, in two days, I have traveled over 500 miles in an ambulance! But what else makes us better? Our treatments, we constantly have to watch the patient, change our care, think like a doctor. I can tell you from experience, it is way more challenging to be a rural medic! And way more fun!