Two months I have waited for this, and it has finally happened.
My name is scribbled in the book now as a 3rd rider, dubbed with the honor of a purple highlight signifying me as a new preceptee. Starting only two days from now, I will unwrap the pressed nine-lettered shirts that have been hanging in the closet waiting, and present to work ready for this next step. I get to be a paramedic again.
...Or at least play the part of one.
This news has come so suddenly, the change so abrupt that I cant help but feel naked without time to prepare. I've had two months of waiting, but waiting now seems somehow different from these two days that I have before I am expected to perform. I have been begging for this, prodding my administrators and making weekly frustrated phone calls. With the anticipation of a faraway goal stripped to reveal only harsh immediacy, suddenly everything seems much less glamorous. Oh yeah, I think to myself. I'm supposed to actually remember how to do this stuff.
I have been studying my protocols casually over the past months. I carry the book with me at all times, and I try to flip through the various pages after routine calls at work. I've gone over dosages and various intricacies that elude over time, but I now feel like it has all been inadequate. I need to work harder to make sure I remember. Read this book at least a few more times over, make notes, test myself. The book is beginning to become tattered with use, the bindings bent at the corners and edges frayed, but still it seems that I find something fresh every time I reopen the pages. Some detail I glossed over last time, a chart I misread and mis-memorized.
There is fear about missing a minute detail, of course. But the greater fear is to miss something obvious. Something like oxygen or c-spine precautions. With this increased complexity I have found it difficult to remember the basics- those things that are supposed to happen without thinking. New to paramedicine, I need to pay attention to the ALS, pour my time into it to make sure everything is right. It takes my attention away from the things that are most important. I know that this is a mistake commonly made by new paramedics, and I am putting a lot of thought into trying to make sure it doesnt happen to me. Or my patients.
This weird combination of fear and excitement is exhilarating. I start on Saturday. Wish me luck.