Sunday, November 28, 2010

Clinical Conundrums....

As I am finishing Paramedic school this week, I figured I'd post on the interesting few stories I have to share from many clinicals.  As a requirement, we have to do many hours of clinical time, in hospitals departments such as, Labor & Delivery, Operating Room, U of U Burn Unit, and most hours are completed in the Emergency rooms and riding along with fire deptsrtments. With that said, I have some great moments from my experience!  I have decided, to share them with you, in the form of a "Top Ten" list:


One certain firefighter/paramedic from a neiboring agency, calling me any name but my own.  My fault, however, that he asked if it was ANDREA? and I said, Mindi. Next day, "TIFFANY, right? I said yes. His captain called me MANDY. and The rest of the day, I was called KID. 

Yes, picking up on me. Whilst in a breezy hospital gown.

The all too common conversation, was "Oh, your not a nurse?" "No, I'm a paramedic here getting clinical hours" "OH! YOU are a firefighter?!? "Yes." "My sons, brothers, cousins, dogs nephew, is a firefighter, but he doesn't have a job yet, can you get him one?"  or  "YOU are a firefighter? but your a girl... is that hard?" Yes.

Let's just sum this one up in a few words, since I still get frustrated thinking about it. Old man. Me. Hospital room. he's not happy. I get to hear it all, for probably 45 minutes.

We practince IV's and giving certain medications. I drew one up, was pushing out the air bubble, out of the syringe, my "air bubble" was the medication. Oops.

As I'm standing at the nurses station, I notice a greasy, odd man staring at me as the paramedics wheeled his friend into a room. He approached me, and it was an instant "personal space" issue. "So, you're with the Fire Department?" "Yes." now, at this point I'm ready for the normal "wow you're a girl stuff...which he said, but then it went verrrry...akward." "I just watched Backdraft, and man, you guys are really great, carrying kids out and stuff, man that's so great. I can't believe you do that, can I shake your hand?" Uh, movie magic there fella. He shook my hand, which I immediately sanitized, and tried to stay busy. He decides to leave, comes back to my personal space to let me know I'm the most beautiful firefighter he's ever seen, wants to shake my hand again (immediate sanitation follows) and leaves. I thought I was free and clear.... Not so.  I then went into a room helping a gentleman with chest pain. I started and IV, had the curtains drawn in the room, and as I'm drawing blood, this crazy shows up again "JUST wanted to say HI! HI!!" really.... Hope he gets a copy of Backdraft for Christmas.

In between the Primary Childrens Medical Center, and the University of Utah hospitals, is a long tunnel connecting them. One day after a PCMC clinical, I was making the long walk back to U of U. Interestingly enough, hardly anyone was in the tunnel. I heard a male voice, singing. As I got further in the tunnel, it got louder. I finally saw a man, sitting on a bench, singing his heart out in spanish.  I wondered if he knew I was coming, but as I got closer, I noticed he didn't care. He kept singing, and it made me smile. He had an amazing voice, and although I didn;t know the words, it touched me. I wondered what he was there for. Waiting for his wife that was ill? Or a child? I'll never know. But after a long hard day, he'll never know how much he made my day. I passed him and he kept singing. It faded as I walked away, but my smile stayed affixed the whole drive home.

As a form of extra credit in the semester, I was allowed to attend a apecial burn class for Fliht medics/nurses and Burn Unit nurses. As part of the 2nd part of the day, I was to be made up as a burn victim. They were all required to pass some practical testing with those of us that were made up as victims. I got the uh, easiest one (sarchastically of course).  Electrical Burns.  I had to form my hands into half claw, half fists and dip them in wax, over and over. The wax feels like typical 3rd degree burned skin. Once I had dipped so many times, I had to keep them stiff, for 3 hours. 3 hours. 3 hours!! They painted the make up on and I laid on a table and tried to act burned. I did have a very nice view, of some nice looking flight medics though :)

I had a night shift in an ER. After being there for 5 hours, I was standing at the nurses station, and felt a little sick. I thought it was since I hadn't eaten all day, so I ate a granola bar. We had 6 traumas in 5 hours, and I was running around helping other nurses, and finally had a minute. After deciding I didn't want to announce I was sick, I went to the last trauma to help the nurse. It was a patient that had been beaten severely, and was covered in blood. I started to clean him up, and suddenly, my hearing faded, going, going, gone. I looked up and a white tunnel closed in on me. I grabbed the side of the bed, took a deep breath, and slowly stumbled over to the nurse. "I think I'm passing out..." She grabs me, and sits me down where she can watch me. I pulled off my surgical gown and mask, and she said, "OH, you are PALE!" I told her I had seen many a trauma victim, I was so worried she'd think I couldn't handle blood!! So nerdy. I sat for a minute, then left. I cried the whole way home out of embarrassment. Turned out, I had a flu bug.

My greatest story ever. A woman came in after suffering an allergic reation. We gave her 3 different medications, to help the reaction, her breathing, and the hives. Her son, was speaking to me in broken english, about how I was a paramedic. She started to come around and he asks me.. "When do her nipples go away?" I reply, "Excuse me?" he says, "THE NIPPLES, when do they go away??" he then points to the bumps on her face. I respond loudly, "HIVES! HIVES!.....HIIIIVES"


  1. "Which I immediately sanitized"

    I am laughing my head off, I loved every second of this. I've been meaning to ask you - when do my nipples show up?