Monday, December 4, 2006

Waiting

Time passes as nothing happens.

I've been doing shifts of 12 hours each, seeing maybe one or two patients in a whole shift. We are sent as intercept medics for another code, a motorcycle crash, a difficulty breathing-- only to get cancelled halfway there. Another ambulance available. The patient is a DNR.

Instead I spend days joking around with my precepting medics. Talking about calls we've done, calls we may do. I am amazed at the depth of experience that surrounds me. It seems as though these medics have seen at all, rushed to the scene underneath brilliant strobes and wailing sirens, made life-and-death decisions under incredible stress. They've all done it enough so that, to them, these things are now mundane. The bad car crash that happened 8 years ago where two of my highschool classmates died in a car crash and the resulting fire, they were all there.

I cant imagine any of this becoming mundane or routine. I admire these medic's ability to think calmly and clearly in the middle of a stressful call, to recognize patterns based on experience... but I shudder to think that these abilities come only at the cost of numbing repetition. I thrive on the newness of all of this. I want to get better, and I do on each and every call. Every 911 call is a different patient, every patient is a different experience. I am learning by the handful. I hope there never comes a point where I feel like I have seen it all, a point where I no longer care to do something new.

As the hours pass by each shift I sit at the corner desk in the Emergency Department with stacks of notecards, reviving details
to my memory that - still new to me - may save the life of my next patient.

3 comments:

White Devil said...

When things stop surprising you...stop. It's time to do somthing else. God bless brother...

Shane said...

You'll learn a lot as you go through ride time. Be sure to take advantage of the experience that surrounds you. You seem to have a good grasp on many medical concepts which is a step in the right direction. Keep up the good work and don't be afraid to ask any questions you have along the way.

Anonymous said...

I really enjoy reading your blog. Stay safe and God Bless!