Uh Oh…

Have you ever had a moment in your career that made you stop and go “uh oh?” I ran across a story today that made me realize how important it is to check and double check interventions and medications. Apparently there was a paramedic that gave a wrong medication to a patient. Has this ever happened to you or a co-worker? Think about this, how close in size are the medications D50 and Sodium Bicarbonate? When out of the box and put sde by side in a dark room, could you tell them apart? So say you couldn’t, and you ended up giving your patient the sodium bicarb instead of the D50? Now what happens? Do you record it in your report and notify the hospital or, since it’s just you in the back, do you “sweep it under the rug” and pretend it didn’t happen? Think about how easy that would be. No one is there except you or the patient….

Hopefully this wouldn’t be the case. Hopefully you check and double check your medications and give things a second glance before proceeding. In our line of work, when it’s balls to the wall and things are happening super fast, its easy for something like this to happen. Just goes to show you, you can’t ever be too careful. Watch your step, and don’t rely on your partner to catch everything.

Keep your IV catheters bevel up,

Small town EMS

It’s been a while since I last posted on here.  We have been mondo busy lately!  There has been an increase in transfers as of late.  Speaking of, how do you as an EMS provider deal with your job?  Especially when it becomes one that you aren’t sure you love anymore? 


Don’t get me wrong, I love my job and the people I work with.  I have a very unique situation in which both the call volume and types of calls I experience has helped me grow as an EMT and paramedic.  However, there are times when I feel trapped at my current job.  There isn’t much room for advancement, and the requirements (mostly unspoken ones) have become semi-constraining.  I am very blessed to have a fiance that understands my job seeing as he has basically the same one, but it still bothers me with how much I am “at work.” 


At my present job I am scheduled 10 shifts every two weeks, each shift 12 hours.  Sometimes that means working anywhere from a 12 hour shift to a 72 hour shift.  It all depends on our part time paramedic’s schedule.  I am always in the office Monday through Friday from 8-5 whether I am on call or not, because there are day to day things to be done.  Our service also goes out and speaks to local community groups, as well as teaches CPR to community members and other services.  My shifts can be during the day or at night as well.  Due to the amount of business that we have experienced over the last couple of years, our number of second unit calls have increased as well.  Which equals me doing calls when I’m not on call.  Please keep in mind this isn’t me “bitching,” it’s simply a representation of my job requirements.


I am curious as to how other people’s shifts work.  Being that we have increased in call volume and my job requirements have since increased, especially when I am not on call, I have lost a big chunk of my “down time.”  Which has honestly been eating at me.  While I am not sure that there is any real feasible solution to our current situation, What does an EMS provider do when they feel the burn out approaching?  Obviously this is a career that I have chosen and love dearly, and I don’t want it to become one that I hate and no longer do.  I am looking for thoughts and experiences from those that have gone down this road.


Once again, safe and warm thoughts during this holiday season!