Tuesday, April 26, 2011

How did I end up here?

How did this happen? I never thought I would end up here. As a EMT student in the fire service.

From a young age, I knew basic first aid. How to stop bleeding, and put on a band-aid on a small wound. If it was much worse, I would get help. But it would always freak me out, plus I had a problem where when I saw blood, I passed out. Simple as that.

As I grew older, things changed. I ended up with a job teaching kids, in a place where we always got injuries. I then decided to go ahead and actually take a first-aid class. Got through the class fine, but still would cringe at blood and avoid looking at it when I could. By this time, I also lived with my two EMTs and was learning a lot from them. But I wasn't having as much as a problem as blood as I used too.

That summer, I also helped out doing EMS at a local music festival, a weekend of handing out band-aids and telling people over and over, no we don't have painkillers, but you can buy them just down the street. And soon after that I joined the fire department and started going on calls. At first I avoided calls with blood, because it still freaked me out. Plus I didn't really like EMS back then, I wanted to do fire. I liked fire, and firefighting liked me. Which is a whole different story.

The next spring, my job required me to take a higher first-aid class through the American Red Cross, their "Responding to Emergency" class. It was boring since I knew it all already, but I didn't have to pay for it. My instructor for the class, was actually a EMT with the local paid department, who knew a lot of the same people that I knew. But I took it, two springs in a row of taking first-aid classes.

I did EMS again at the music festival, this time doing more then the year before, since I had more training and was just more comfortable with it. Actually helping clean out wounds that were covered in mud, and putting the band-aid on. But still avoiding the blood when I could, a few times feeling a little faint thanks to the blood.

Then I went back to work, and the second day back. I had a kid accidently cut his hand open with a knife. I was on break when it first happened, and walked into one of my co-workers taking care of it. Once he saw me he asked if I had a better first aid kit, cause he needed more supplies. I got mine got, a nice kit thanks to my family and got him gauze as he asked for it and helped wrap the wound up. We decided to call his parents to pick him up earlier, and I stayed with him as we waited. Keeping an eye on him to make sure he was okay, but he then started to act not normal, he wasn't as alert and just showing a couple signs of shock. I was nervous, but I stayed with him and didn't let him see that I was worried, as I just kept him talking. Finally his mom showed up and took him to urgent care. He was fine, just needed a couple stitches.

I spent that night going over all the mistakes I made that day, just to see what I didn't do and should have so that I could learn to do it, and learn from the mistakes. I moved on from it knowing that he was fine, and I did what I could.

A couple months later, we went on a call for a bloody nose. And we get there, and there is in fact a bloody nose bleeding all over. At first I was nervous, but there was only one other person on scene with me. So I had to help out. After the call we were returning to the station, and we look at each other and realize that I didn't have any problems with the blood. I was fine with looking at it, and didn't react. I was amazed and that is when I realized that maybe I could be a EMT and handle the blood just fine.

It got tested again this winter when we got a bad MVA, and once again no problems with the blood. Only one thing bothered me, the feeling of not being able to really help those people more. I had to stand back and watch as our EMTs hurried around to treat the patients, and all I could do was get them what they needed and stay out of the way. I knew after that day, I wanted to become an EMT so that I could help more.

A few weeks later I told my chief I wanted to take the EMT class. I got the permission, and signed up for the class that was starting in March. It was what I like to call, the insane class. Instead of it being a 2 semester college class like it normally is around here, It is all covered in 3 weeks of all day for 5 days, we get 2 weeks off between each week.

About a week before my class started, I went to EMSToday and met all the EMT and Paramedics there. Just being around them, made me excited for my class. And just a better feeling about the EMS world, since before I was only used to it in my area.

As my class got closer, I got more and more nervous about it. Scared that I would fail, and would be a awful EMT. But that all quickly changed.

From the first morning, I knew I was right in taking it. My instructors are great, my class is crazy. I am the youngest in the class, yet one of the top students. On the last day of my first week, I had to have a meeting with two of my instructors where they told me that I am doing really well, and am one of the best students. I was so happy. That first week was a struggle, as I got slammed with insane homework one night, as I started to have a mystery medical problem going on which we figured out, and just no time to study or relax. But I finished the week at the top, and I was proud of that.

My second week went better, as I finally had time to study and get my reading done. Learning more and more, and still doing well. Getting a 100 on at least one of my "Celebration of learning" that I had that week. And doing well on my skills, and really learning how to do an assessment. Our skill practice days were interesting, and full of learning. We had one instructor those days who was really good, and loved to make our medical assessments challenging and really make us think. I knew I was doing well that week, and other people were noticing that I was doing well, and knew it before I started the class.

Currently, I am in the middle of the break between my second week and my final week. For my class we have to do a minimum of 10 hours ride time on a ambulance. I am half nervous about it, and also excited about the chance to watch the ambulance crew and learn more. We shall see what happens on my shifts, I hope it goes well. I am doing my time in the next couple days.

But it is amazing how I went from never wanting to be a EMT, to being 2/3rds of the way through and loving it.

Well that is all for now, I actually wasn't really planning to post tonight. But here it is. Hopefully once things calm down from my class, I will post in here more. I keep thinking about it, and just never having the time or the right story to post. Hopefully I get some ideas and good stories to share.

Stay safe out there.