Monday, December 31, 2007

On Studying...

I had an instructor that once said that we would study more after we got out of school than we ever did while in class. Even though I have the utmost respect for that instructor, I had trouble believing him. Just like a teenager, as I grew up he got smart all of a sudden. By growing up I mean gaining experience as a paramedic.

I have opened my paramedic text so many times in the past few weeks I am thinking that I may have to buy another one because the spine is wearing out. I have been recently fully cleared to ride with anyone. Lately my supervisor has made full use of this. I have been working with the round-robin of brand spanking new EMT's and Intermediate's, not even one new paramedic.

One of my favorite shows to watch is ER. I have started collecting past seasons and my wife got me a few of them as stocking stuffers for Christmas. I have been watching them lately. It's kinda funny, I have watched that show for a long time. But now it invokes a much different thought pattern. I don't know if any of you readers out there watch ER, but as the name implies it's about an ER and the doctors and nurses that work there. There are paramedics in the show, but they are all just extras. They do make us look good most of the time, they roll into the ER with their patients neatly packaged, ready to hand off care with a quick, concise report. Then they roll back out, usually unnoticed as the drama of the ER unfolds.

The reason I mentioned this is that while I sit here watching this show and see the different types of trauma and medical patients that they treat, I wonder how I would treat that patient or that presentation if it were me.

So that leads me back to the original topic of discussion...studying. When I see a presentation or just think about something that may happen. A situation that is unlikely, but nonetheless a possibility each day I go to work. That in turn leads me back to my text, protocol book and of course the Internet.

It's funny how things work. They don't turn you loose until you have the experience on the street, but by the time you have the experience you are so far removed from the classroom that you've forgotten all the little details on all the stuff that hardly ever happens. I know that we are all supposed to be machines in our ability to remember every little thing on the fly, but that's not what happens. At least not to me. When I finally graduated, I never wanted to see another textbook, much less spend hours staring at one. So for the past few months, that is exactly what i have done, or rather what I have not done.

But to be honest I am terrified that something will happen and I will not remember what to do. Like the exact placement of the BIG on an adult patient, or how to mix an epi drip or some off the wall pediatric dosage. So I study, all the time, every time something new comes to mind.

I know that in the end it will only make me better, but I wonder if all new medics go through this...


1 comment:

Detail Medic said...

Yep. Every time someone asks me a question I sit down with them and look it up. It not only assures that they get absolutely correst information - I'm still pretty new at this and don't want to pass on info I'm not absolutely sure about - AND it solidifies it in my mind. I worked with a guy who spent 1 hour every shift studying his protocol manual. And he's been a PM for over 20 years!