August 29th, 2003

Nescafe rabbit

No stuff, just fluff.

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Found myself referenced in somebodies, which was an obscurely pleasing event.

And now on to non-fluff stuff.
Today was ACLS training, day one. Today, I successfully completed my AED and CPR testing. From noticing a person down, to establishing responsiveness, to rescue breaths and chest compressions and using the AED within 90 seconds of receiving it. I got it all right. Although those mannequins have got to be easier to compress than real people. Because I've seen a code.
Morning was...well, tedious. And overall, well, overwhelming. Too many drugs and doses, no way to learn them well. So we sat and listened and stared at him. I highlighted all of the drugs he talked about, like agood medical student. But I slept through a lot of it, due to extreme inability to stay awake. And there was a point in time where one of the lecturers was standing there, talking about using the AED, and right there on her chest, perfectly centred, is ''No Signal" and a countdown timer. For some reason , I found this to be terribly funny.
Afternoon: First station was the CPR/AED station. Because everyone asked me, an AED is an Automatic External Defibrillator. It's a cute little box that's designed for absolutely anyone to be able to use. You take it out and turn it on, and a synthesized voice says "Attach pads to patient and connect to device." And you take the pads and peel them off their backing, and you stick them to the patient's bare chest where indicated (there's a little diagram on the back of the pads). And then you plug the other end into the machine. It only fits one way, and there's a little flashing light to direct you. And the voice says "Analyzing rhythm. Do not touch the patient." And everyone gets back, and the AED decides if a shock is required. And if it is, it charges to the right amount and tells you to make sure the patient is clear, then to press the "Shock" button. Bang. And so on, and so forth. The idea behind these little wonders, besides them being much lighter for paramedics to tote around, is that your Average Human Being can now become a lifesaver. Prior to the introduction of the AED, the survival rate for an out-of-hospital coronary event was around 5% or less. In areas where these are available to the public, the survival rate has increased to 50-80%, simply because the response time is so much faster. There are even some models that will walk you through performing CPR.
90 second limit, baybee. I had it out, on, and shocking in under a minute.
Station two was on how to use a Real Defibrillator. "Who wants to try?" And everyone stood around for a bit, and I finally said "I'll do it." So we practised learning the voltages (100, 200, 300 and synchronised for V-Tach, unless it's pulseless, when you start at 200, and you might as well do it synced; 200, 300, 360 for V-Fib) and applying the paddles and shocking. And they had real current (just 20 joules or whatever) running through the mannequin, so it was all dramatically realistic. "Everyone clear?"
Station three, just as much fun, was on intubation. We learned how to use the blades, both kinds, and why the straight blade (Miller) is good on a mannequin but the curved one (Mack?) is better on Real People (the curved one pulls the epiglottis back instead of going over it, something that works well in humans but not in rubber throats. And we learned something about the combi-tube, and intubating infants, and I only made my mannequin make funny noises (meaning that I would've broken teeth in a real patient) once or twice. And I only missed the trachea and intubated the stomach once. Not too bad, for a beginner.
Station four was the Respiratory Arrest Case. And we all stood around the mannequin and she said "Who's going to be the code leader?" And nobody volunteered. So I finally said "I will." And so I got to stand at the head and tell everyone what we were doing. None of us knew. But with a little prompting, we got through the respiratory arrest, and I successfully intubated him after bagging him, and his labs came back with a K of 2 and a magnesium of 1, so gosh I wonder why he was having trouble. And we got him into ICU and corrected his 'lytes, and then it occurred to me: We have a COPD patient here with a relatively unknown medical history, because the EMT's only got his COPD status and not even his med list before he quit breathing and thus quit being able to answer questions, because they were apparently playing cards on the way to the hospital since he only went into respiratory arrest when he entered the ED. We should've gotten a bloody finger stick. I've seen a patient who was mistakenly intubated for respiratory arrest when her glucose was....oh, about 8. It's okay, though, we didn't get yelled at for it. And I got my signature, which is all that matters.

fyrfitrmedic and mama0807: We watched a video on acute stroke, and we all wondered something. The setup of the video was a bit cheesy: mother and daughter walking through the mall, mom says "Oh, oh my...my arm is weak...and my leg..." They sit down, girl says "Are you all right, do you want some water?" and mom says "No, call 911, I'm having a stroke, my doctor warned me..." and so on, and so forth. They call medics, medics arrive, and there in the middle of the mall, in front of Lazarus, the medics sit down with the woman and get her BP and do a Cincinnati Stroke Scale and chat up her daughter a bit. And then they load her on the cart, and put her in the ambulance. Is this the normal sequence of things? Or would you do the vitals and stroke scale in the truck? We thought they should've put her in the truck first.

Came home, took a nap, had a shake for dinner (good Nykkit). Got a call from ecchikun, his car was dead and could I come perform some kind of rescue? Be glad to. Especially since he'd been on his way up to FW. Which meant that I got to see Angel in Gas City where we split the hundred-mile drive. Even that little bit...as small as it was...helped. Plus, I took a half an hour of it to study for the exam tomorrow (we had a 33-question pretest. We'll have a 33 question posttest that is "very similar" to the pretest. Three guesses as to what the posttest is going to be like). The cards have all the answers I need, for drug dosing and such. I'm going to be fine.
And then down to the aeroport to pick up Seron, and then home to the Gathering. And hopefully tomorrow Angel will work things out with Keith, so when we call Saturday afternoon it will be a simple matter of telling Quinby's parents what will happen.

Today, O Best Beloved, I feel better than I did yesterday. And tomorrow I will feel better yet, because I will have my Angel by my side again. Plus, I get out of class at 12-ish. And I love being able to do anything but sit in class. I think I will take Shain with me, and sit in the student lounge, and kill some time before the aeroport.

I forgot to bring a stuffed aminal. Is lonely. I don't even have my plushie stomach. Maybe that's why I had such bizarre dreams last night. It was a time-travelling romance novel plot, where the main characters were always in the wrong century to wind up with their correct partner. A strange dance.
  • Current Mood
    optimistic optimistic
Nescafe rabbit

An addendum...

To mom, who reads my journal, and Daddy, who would if he weren't so busy:
I was talking to someone earlier today, about my frustrations. And I had to add that at least I knew my parents believed in us. And it dawned on me just what that meant, and how much it meant.
It means a lot to me to know that you're willing to listen, to discuss, and to offer your honest opinions. It means a lot to me that I can come to you and know that the advice you give or the concerns you raise are given to me in love and in trust. I know that I can call you when I'm troubled, and hear a friendly voice, and ask my questions and cry my tears. I see so many of my friends whose parents are unwilling or unable to accept them as adults with free will and free choice...and I look back at my life, and I wonder if there has ever been a time when you did not.
I am blessed, so blessed, to have you as my parents. I hope in time that when I have children I will be able to raise them with as much trust and love as you have done for me. I love you both.
  • Current Mood
    touched touched
Nescafe rabbit

Answering questions...

I'm in a test-taking mood, having just scored a Perfect on my EKG strip matching, and a 91% on the ACLS exam. Hence, I will now answer (1) my interview meme questions from iamnightand (2) the Friday Five :)
1: The Meme. Interviews go like this: If you want to be interviewed, leave a comment. I'll reply to the comment and give you five questions to answer. You update your LJ with the five questions, include this explanation, and ask others five questions. Etc, etc, etc.

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2. The Friday Five. Shorter answers, hence no LJ-cut.

1. Are you going to school this year? Yes.
2. If yes, where are you going (high school, college, etc.)? If no, when did you graduate? Medical school (third post-graduate year).
3. What are/were your favorite school subjects? I've always been interested in writing, reading, and 'rithmetic. Also all the sciences. Also band and choir. Also recess. Really anything but the answers to the next question.
4. What are/were your least favorite school subjects? Social Studies. Gym. Anything with a boring teacher.
5. Have you ever had a favorite teacher? Why was he/she a favorite? Dr. Shamanoff, my third grade teacher, who is a tiny woman with a bun and glasses. She never raised her voice. She never had to. I have never forgotten her gentle scolding when she caught me roughhousing, admonishing me to be more of a lady. I had dinner with her and Mom, not so long ago, and she told me I'd grown up into an admirable young lady. I'm still carrying that with me. I don't know why she was my favourite, except that the respect and understanding she showed me was far above and beyond what I had experienced with my other teachers. And she read us Shakespeare, and taught us long division, and never ever let me work an inch below my capabilities. All that with a smile and a soft voice.

It has been determined that I have until 6 PM or so to kill, now. I think I'm going to go get some food and perhaps my mouse so I can play Alice all afternoon or something. Maybe I'll even study.
  • Current Mood
    accomplished accomplished