Wednesday, 28 November 2007

An Amazing Thing

Sometimes life hands you packages wrapped in ridiculous packaging.

Yes, I say that a lot. But it is true. Kind of like the phrase I picked up from a BNL song: "It's not what you're sure of, it's what you don't know". A phrase with a wealth of meaning.

Yesterday, there was an emergency at work. Nothing terrible, but still an emergency, and I had the fortune to run into Rich who pressed me into service without another thought. I had another fleeting thought - lunch - but clearly yet another roadblock existed between myself and the not far-off kitchen. Lunch would wait.

Outside I became EMT [wench] and once I assessed the situation, took over and got positioned to do head/neck stabilization. The position was exceedingly awkward, but almost every car accident is awkward and demands finding new and creative ways to access the patient. It wasn't long but it seemed to be forever, holding the patient's head and asking questions and being reassuring and getting what history I could. The police officer was keeping people away, which was good. I was, as usual, hyperfocussed on the patient.

At some moment when the EMTs and firemen had arrived, I was more aware of my surroundings and looked up to see that aside from a staggering number of emergency personnel (slow day in Springfield?), my manager was out there. Uhhhh... how'd I miss that? One voice not to be missed (and certainly a presence stronger than most), how had I missed that he'd joined the scene? It's me... my weaker area of EMS is getting too focussed on the patient and missing things happening outside of the little circle of concentration.

I need to work on that. An EMT needs to be more aware of a broader circle of environment and when I am working directly with the patient, I lose that. On the other hand, my biggest strength in EMS is not what I can and cannot physically do, but more my ability to interact with patients and make them feel more relaxed and reassured; not reassured that they will be alright (we are trained never to make promises - sometimes people die) but more to imbue a sense of comfort that we will take good care of the patient and to make them as comfortable as possible.

None-the-less, it was still an amazing day!

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