Monday, August 4, 2008

Looking back...

I've hit the year mark. One year as a paramedic. Actually that mark came about 4 months ago. But it seems almost like yesterday that I was still going to class and clinicals. Still had the world in my grasp so to speak, at least that's what I thought then. I suppose that to some, most, I am still wet behind the ears and I guess I would have to agree in some aspects.

When I got out of school I thought that I was ready to take on the world. I was ready to cure the ill, bring the dead back to life and make little old ladies walk again. I can't help but to laugh at that now. It's intereseting the changes that you go through as you gain experience. It's also interesting the things you forget as time goes by.

When I was in and fresh out of class I could spout off just about anything you wanted. Pediatric dose for some off the wall drug? Bam, right there it was, on the front of my mind. Now? Hmm, have to think about it a little first. I used to look down on some medics for not knowing some of those things. Now I see why. I'm not excusing myself or others. It's our job to know these things. But sometime things just kind of fade from memory without constant vigilance.

In this past year I've went from a brand new medic to a now FTO. Thats short for field training officer. The training officers for the region that I work in have gotten together and started this program for FTO's. The old precepter program is outdated and none of the 5 services in our region nor the students riding in those counties use it. So a bunch of us from each service have been sent to all kinds of classes on how to teach in the field. A lot of it is very interesting and has helped, but the rest is fairly boring and stuff that we, being students once ourselves, already know. Anyway, I now get students that come to do clinicals on my shift and the new hires when they are doing their orientation rides.

I find that I enjoy it though. I have also been teaching for about a year now. I love to teach. In some ways, I like it more than actually running calls. I had an incredible instructor through my Intermediate and Paramedic classes. We learned so much more than what was in the books. I enjoy giving back the little knowledge that I have and the little tricks and things that the more experienced medics have taught me along the way.

As far as me being a FTO now, I'm not really sure what to make of it. We've had a lot of turnover recently, as most services around here have. There is also that gap that seems common place in EMS. There are a lot of medics with 15+ years of experience and then a lot with less than 5, with not too many in between. I don't know if I was picked to be in the program because of my competance or just lack of options. Think about it, a medic with only one year of experience is teaching others how to be a medic. Doesn't seem right to me sometimes. It seems like the more experienced people should be the ones teaching. But since it fell in my lap, I do the best I can with what I got. I hope they go away with more than they came with.


Epijunky said...

Congrats on your anniversary. I've been a fan of yours for about as long as you've had your Medic patch.

It sounds like you've had a job you enjoy fall into your lap (as far as the FTO thing goes). I don't know where you work, but it wasn't uncommon to have a newer Medic as an FTO at the service I was working at last.

Congrats again :)


Anonymous said...

In some ways, the longer serving can be too experienced to teach as they can forget to explain things that have become second nature, not to mention new protocols/rules that they often take with a pinch of salt. You're experienced enough not to make a complete twit of yourself, but have studied recently enough to empathise and not make newbie feel stupid.
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