[[Okay, this post belongs back with the EMT school entry. This took place then, but I forgot to write about it...how, I don't know.]]

I feel the cold from the concrete as I roll myself over. "Oh...shit," I hear my partner say as he looks down at me. The warm liquid running down my face paired with the searing pain across my cheek tells me I've done some serious damage.
"Sam, your face is like...bleeding!"
All day long we've been in class learning about trauma. It's a Saturday, so we spent the day doing practicals, running through scenarios, and learning acronyms. As class ends, my partner and our friends decide to stay after to practice more. My partner shows me the ambulance and how it differs from the ones at my station, and we practice back boarding each other a few times. I hear my cell phone ring across the bay, so I run to pick it up. Enter the partner who makes one wrong move, and next thing I know...
I take a second to breathe, even though I am positive that I have obliterated my cheek, and I decide to take control since I can see my friends staring at me blankly, thinking back to the lecture we just had.
"I need a 4x4, I'm bleeding from the face."
"Uh yeah, okay, got it, Sam."
"I need someone to call my mom."
"Alright, I've got that."
"I need someone to call dispatch; we're going to the hospital."
"Okay, I'm calling."
"And...and I'm going into shock now."
As I feel the heat drain from my body, I hear the things going on around me. Someone mentions something about contusions, abrasions, tenderness, lacerations and swelling, and I feel my blood pressure rise. I hear central dispatch tone out the squad for a ground level fall...at the squad. I hear my partner and his friend murmur something about bleeding and stitches, and my heart sinks. Before I know it, I'm in the back of the rig staring at the ceiling, a position I had hoped I'd never be in.
"Sam. Sam, I need you to calm down."
I look over at the monitor and see a steady "220" flashing across the screen.
"Sam, you're extremely tachycardic and you're breathing 44 times a minute. You need to take some deep breaths for me and calm yourself down." I feel a non-rebreather slide over my face, and I panic. I feel claustrophobic and nauseated.
"It hurts so much," I manage to slur as I feel my partner grab my hand.
"Sam, what are normal respirations for infants?"
"Infants. Normal respirations. What are they?"
"Fifteen to thirty. Why?"
"When do you use a traction splint?" I try to remember what I've learned, but the pain is so severe. I push the pain from my mind and concentrate.
"Isolated, closed, femur fracture."
"What are the five methods to stop bleeding?"
Before I know it, I'm being unloaded from the ambulance and sheeted to a hospital bed. I'm by myself as the nurse gets a gown, and I'm shaking relentlessly, crying harder each time I feel a wave of pain. I hear a faint knock on the door, and my partner comes in and helps me with the gown.
"Your mom is on her way, everything is going to be just fine."
"I'm so scared. How deep is it?"
"Just hold my hand."
Eight stitches, and an x-ray later, I'm on my way out the door. As I rest on the couch with a bag of ice strapped to my face, I realize something. I've learned more from being a patient than from the entire EMT class thus far. Sometimes it's not what you do, but what you say. Even if your patient can intellectualize the standard procedures on the ambulance, in a time of crisis all logic goes out the window.
Caring for your patient physically is important, yes, but caring for your patient emotionally can make all the difference in the world.


Happy Thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving, world :)

Things I am Thankful For:
My Family (ever so supportive)
My Friends (always keeping me sane...or insane, depending on how you look at it)
My Freedom
Food, Shelter, Water, Clothing (the staples!)
Love (yet another staple)
The ability to learn
My interest, skills and love for EMS
Him (oh, you'll find out soon enough)
Love (important enough to be mentioned twice)

Now obviously I have a *lot* more to be thankful for. I could go on for pages and pages about the things I appreciate. But for now, (for your sake), that's all I'll write.

I hope you have a great Thanksgiving.



Things change so quickly

I've gone from being an unsuspecting blogger to being the happiest I've been in a long time. It's amazing what 3 days can do, you know? In three days, you can go from being a student to being certified. In three days, you can change your life completely. Time is a funny thing.

I'll have a good post up soon.



Final Paper

For my ULLC (University Liberal Learning Curriculum), I am writing my final paper, which has to be roughly 15 pages long. We were asked to pick our own topics, and so I (of course) pick something EMS-related. As a leadership student as well, I figured I could combine the two loves in a paper. My thesis is essentially this:
"Women are simply not given the same opportunities to lead within the emergency medical service as men are."
It's an outrageous accusation, I know. But I'm really trying to build a paper around it, and I'm kind of struggling. I was wondering if you all had any thoughts on the subject. I'm also bringing in the fire side of things a little, so if you're a firefighter, I'd love your input on women as firefighters.
Do you work with women? If so, are they in leadership positions? If given the hypothetical situation of a man and a woman of equal strength, training and intelligence, which would you pick to be your partner, and why?
Things like that could really help me, along with any resources you might know. And if I could cite you in my paper, it would be even better!




For the longest time, I've been reading other people's blogs. AD for example, writes very nice eloquent posts about certain patients or experiences, and then he'll write a post about Babs, or with a quiz or meme inside. Maybe he'll just post an observation or a news article. You know what I mean.
Well for a while now, I've been treating this blog as some sacred thing, in which I will only write the posts about calls and patients that will eventually make it into the book. Well I'm kinda tired of doing that, so I'm going to become more like the rest of you and "get with the times", if you will.
Be warned, however. I'm a college student with far too much time on her hands. Chances are, my rambling posts will be ridiculous.
I trust you all will be able to figure out the difference between Sam the college student rambling posts, and Sam the EMT book posts.

Happy reading, ya'll :)


Perfect World

In a perfect world, 911 would be a service used only in an emergency; being an EMT would be seen as just a noble career choice as being a firefighter; people would be grateful for our help, rather than complain about the rough ride, or having to start an IV; children would be well fed and cared for.
But it's not a perfect world, I think to myself as the small child with bruises on her arms smiles when I hand her a teddy bear.


I'm Back

Hey guys, I've been in Vancouver for the past 5 days with shoddy internet service. Anyway, I'm back in the states, and I should have a new post up soon!

Oh, and by the way...somehow or another, I have 279 absolute unique visitors to the site, and that number grows every day. I don't think I even know 279 people! Thanks so much for continually reading and visiting; it makes me so happy! It's awesome to think that people actually care to read about this stuff! You guys rock.