I don't even really know what renumerations means, haha...
So it is now eleven p.m. and I SHOULD be sleeping but I'm still buzzing over what happened at work today so I thought a nice bloggy time might help me debrief. I do know what debrief means.
So today I did what is called a spareboard shift, which means I'm filling in for a full timer who is on days off for some reason, and I GET PAID FOR THE WHOLE DAY. Awesome. The previous two spareboard shifts I've done we were smoking busy which is blasted irony because I'm getting paid anyways, why can't we just sit at the station bored out of our minds, and be smoking busy on a day when I'm making $2 an hour? Pshhhh. Not that I mind working hard~I much prefer it!! I didn't sign up to be a paramedic so I could watch TV and be bored all day! So anyways, today I was working spareboard and happy to get paid. We didn't get a single call until 5:45 when our pagers went off for a Code 3. As soon as the pager went off I knew I'd be late getting off work and consequently late to pick up the boys as any round trip from station to patient to hospital and back to station takes a minimum of an hour and a half. I yelled with joy! Hooray! Please, suck me AWAY from the television!! I'm not strong enough to do it on my own!!!
So my partner today was battling some eye injury which precluded her driving the ambulance, making it my turn to drive. It was likely my turn anyways, as I have not driven since early August! Our call was Code 3 for a motorcycle MVA (motor vehicle incident) about a 10 minute run up the Sea to Sky with lights and sirens, so off we went. There were two patients so our other Lions Bay ambulance was not far behind us. Two people were on a motorcycle driving home from Squamish when they crossed the centreline into the path of an oncoming dump truck, and both were thrown approximately 40 feet onto the hard asphalt. Actually it is a miracle they were not run over by any other vehicles, considering the traffic volume. Both were awake but confused, with broken bones protruding from their skin in several places, and symptoms of shock (massive blood loss). We had tons of help: an ICU nurse, two or three first aid attendants, a doctor, and then 2 other ambulances within the first 5 minutes of our arrival. Surprisingly, ALL of our help was competent, trustworthy, calm, and helpful~often 'nurses' or 'doctors' on scene are not, being fish out of water when it comes to being the first on scene at a messy accident....anyways, everyone was STELLAR today and I wish I could go back and thank all of them as we were leaving. My level of experience makes me competent and consistent with patient care, but I still forget these types of details until after the fact.
We rolled our patient onto a spineboard with a cervical collar around his neck to protect his spinal cord (as an aside, try removing a motorcycle helmet while not moving a person's head or neck AT ALL...I'm getting pretty good at this skill after a few motorcycle crashes), my partner started an IV after much coaxing because his blood pressure was TANKED, and I drove us 35 minutes with lights and sirens on to the nearest trauma hospital, the other Lions Bay ambulance crew close behind me.
You know when you turn 16 and you first get your driver's manual, and in it you are cautioned not to 'eat, drink, read, talk on the phone, or do anything distracting while you drive?' And then you decide to become a paramedic and they hand you the keys to the ambulance and say, 'by the way, you have to drive in an incredibly dangerous manner, through red lights and on the wrong side of the road next to people who don't hear your sirens, don't see your lights, don't use their mirrors, and sometimes DO see/hear you but don't care, while simultaneously talking to your partner in the back, listening and responding to your dispatcher on the radio, talking to the hospital on the phone, and manually changing your siren tones appropriately (long range, short range, hyperyelp, and some annoying blasty airhornish noise that has no name). Don't hit anyone or make any mistakes.'
Ah, Code 3 driving is one of the best parts of my job.
Our patient was losing more and more blood internally, slipping in and out of consciousness, pale and sweaty, cold and thirsty...SICK, if you remember my SICK and NOT SICK categories.
When we arrived at the hospital it was ALMOST like ER, with a SWARM of people waiting for us in the trauma bays, descending like wasps, complete with buzzing. They had blood waiting for him.
Donate blood, people. It's gold.
It took me a half an hour to clean up after this call (driver's responsibility) and hours to stop buzzing. My shirt and pants were SOAKED with sweat, as were the uniforms of my coworkers. Very, very cool call because:
We got to see bones poking out
We were first on the scene with dozens of people waiting for us to arrive, and watching our every move
We did excellent assessments
We worked well as a team
We had AWESOME bystanders
We made a difference in the lives and longterm outcomes of these patients who would have been in VERY bad shape without us
We got to drive very fast
We worked hard
I love my job!