Sunday, July 20, 2008

NSR Week 5

Welcome to Normal Sinus Rhythm, Week 5! There is no theme for this week, so we hope you enjoy a veritable slew of ideas and stories. Posted with each link is an excerpt of the original post; head over there and leave a comment if you have the time.

If there is a theme you would like to see in a future NSR, leave a comment here or send an email to We would really appreciate input on this project.

Gertrude brings us a story of Recognition.
Something about her seemed familiar to me. A whisper of recognition. Where do I know that scar from? The mole on her arm and way she wears her wrist watch?

Sam tells us to Bleed, Everyone's Doing It.
Eric is in the back in seconds flat, and he sits on a shoulder as he calls for ALS. We need something to put this guy out, but we can't do it.
The deputy runs back to the medic, jumping in with handcuffs ready in hand. She restrains him somehow, but I'm not really paying attention.
I look down at our patient. He's bleeding. I don't know where from, but there's blood on his face.

Stretcher Jockey tries to remind us that Sometimes Good Things Do Happen.
These types of calls will more than likely always be a part of the job for as long as many of us are in this profession. It's frustrating and a waste of precious limited resources. These types of calls tend to wear us down. I sometimes feel like a part of my EMS "soul" is sucked right out of me whenever I get one of these calls.

When Are You A Competent Medic? Peter helps us out with the answer.
I think it took me about a year before I started feeling competent. This came from starting to handle the routine calls ( the 02/NTG/ASA chest pain, the breathing treatment dyspnea, the D50 hypoglycemia) well as I developed a rhythm and system that seemed to work. But then every now and then a call (asthmatic arrest, pedi struck by car) would come along and kick my ass, and I would go through the whole "Am I fraud?" "Am I going to kill someone?" agonizing, which I think all medics go through.

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