Thursday, April 26, 2007

Highlighted in Purple

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.


es said...

I wish you luck but I don't think you'll need it. You will do very well!

Ambulance Driver said...

Good luck!

BuckeyeEMT said...

Congratulations on finally being able to start! I am sure you'll do just fine! Relax...take a deep breath and realize that this is what you have been waiting for. You'll do great! :)

Brett said...

congrats... no just dont kill anyone!

PC said...

Good luck. I'm sure you'll do great.

Wendy said...

May good luck, patience and clarity ride with you. :)

Anonymous said...

Good Luck! Keep us posted because we're rooting for you!

Shane said...

Good luck. You will do fine. I have no fear about that. Just take your time and accept that you're going through a continuation of the learning process. This should be a fun and enjoyable process for you if it's done correctly. You will make mistakes. You will learn from them. You shouldn't be made to feel discouraged from there. Every call should present a teaching opportunity, no matter how insignificant it may seem at the time. You will begin to look at calls through a different set of eyes...often times seeing something that other's don't. In time, your confidence will build and a few years from now you'll be sitting down talking to some new paramedic student about the trials and tribulations that you went through, along with some of the calls that you've gotten to do...and most importantly is the calls that left you with a learning lesson for quite some time. I know I still have my calls that do that to me...and I don't think they'll ever go away.

Good luck once again, but I know it's not needed. I wish that they could have gotten their stuff together and I might have been able to precept you.