19 June 2006

99% perspiration

The other 1% is probably frustration, because it certainly isn't inspiration at this point. The last couple of days have been extremely toasty which hasn't been helping my complete lack of motivation to accomplish anything. Yesterday was my first shift on the vanbulance since Tuesday, and I'm not going back until Thursday and working straight through next Sunday. This part-time thing is weird because I work in big clumps rather than evenly spaced.

Sunday brought a slightly unusual patient for us, as he had a tracheostomy and needed suctioning. In the 4 months I've been rolling in the same truck, I've never used the wall suction nor the portable unit. The suction machine already had a Yankauer tip attached to it, so I never really paid it any attention during the morning truck check beyond "yep, it's there." This patient was well experienced at suctioning himself, so the nurse advised us simply to give him the suction and let him do it. He starts with it, then looks at me, clearly trying to communicate something (he can't talk at all because the trach is below his vocal cords), then pulls the tip off the tubing, flips it over, and connects it back together. When he's finished, I gave him my paper and pen so I could understand what he wanted me to know. Basically, he wanted me to know that it was on backwards. D'oh! I felt bad because that made us look pretty stupid. Guess I shouldn't have assumed that whomever hooked it up had done it right. Looking at the new one we got from supply to set up the equipment again, I'm not entirely sure how it even fit on there backwards anyway.

This week also brought my first shift as a volunteer with the local FD. It was even a day that K's shift was working which is good because I see those guys all the time and I'm reasonably comfortable with them, even though K had the day off. The guys were harrassing me about how happy they were that they didn't have to deal with both of us at the same time. I now have a big "probie" notebook full of things I'm supposed to accomplish in the first six months I'm there. It includes things like knowing the streets in town, knowing and learning to operate all the equipment on the ambulance and the appropriate way to drive, and a couple of other weird skills like the raising and lowering system they use, the cold water rescue suit, and dressing a hydrant. Not nearly as comprehensive as all the stuff K has to prove he knows to be off of probation 7/1, but still quite a bit of stuff. The night was quite slow, with the only call happening while I was already at the station so there was no chance I was going to get lost.

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