Stupid things you did on your first few calls

Frozin

Forum Probie
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When I first started I made a lot of mistakes. I no longer make most of these mistakes. Its just about learning from them.


1. Forgetting essential equipment I.E Clipboard, pen, steth, bp, pen light
2. Forgetting to write down important information to give a proper PT report
3. Putting restraints on incorrectly
4. Forgetting to remove my BP cuff from PT (still do this at least once a day).
5. Forgetting PT'S belongings (oops)
6. Telling dispatch we need to service due to house tank being empty. Then finding out the house tank was just not turned on. (hehe)
7. Taking a BP on an A/V shunted arm. (whoopsie)
8. Getting lost (mapping sucks! hehe)
9. Not eating before a shift (doesn't sound to bad, but when you are on your 5th straight call and 10 hours in with no break you'll wish you ate something)
 

reichera

Forum Ride Along
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How about getting lost?

Second call was for an elderly lady. I could not find a pulse on here, but she was obviously with us. I was concerned that it was me... until both medics had the same trouble. It was NOT me! :)

On my third call, a night call in a very rural area, we were third to arrive. I was told to bring a backboard with me. I pulled the backboard, turned around, and started up the hill (the direction all the trucks were pointed) and found myself in the middle of a bunch of livestock sheds! Got back to the trucks to my waiting officer who asked if I'd had a nice hike, then pointed me DOWN the hill, into a ravine, to a small house that was not visible from the parking area. :blush:

Gotta watch those sneaky otherfolk!
 

firetender

Community Leader Emeritus
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Only if you ask nice!

If ten people are interested and you promise not to freak out on me, I'll tell you about "The Baby Under The Bench Seat."
 
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ffemt8978

Forum Vice-Principal
Community Leader
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If ten people are interested and you promise not to freak out on me, I'll tell you about "The Baby Under The Bench Seat."
You can't tease us like that and not deliver...:ph34r:
 

firetender

Community Leader Emeritus
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that's One! I'll do as I said.

(Let me know, though, if I'm really breaking a rule here please; thanks!)
 
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firetender

Community Leader Emeritus
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...this is deeply personal stuff. With ten people I'm sure to find one to come to my defense.
 

foxfire

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If ten people are interested and you promise not to freak out on me, I'll tell you about "The Baby Under The Bench Seat."

#5 here. :)
And I promise not to freak out.
 
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firetender

Community Leader Emeritus
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this is kinda funny...I just finished writing the story and am sitting here waiting for #10. Tells you about MY life, doesn't it?
 

firetender

Community Leader Emeritus
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The Baby Under the Bench Seat

Disclaimer: This is the first time I’ve written the story out so certain details may have been mis-remembered, but the essence is true.

Back around 1974 when I got my first paid ambulance job (EMT), with a private company, the contract included hauling dead bodies when funeral home hearses were not available. The company was a “livery service”. It was also a medical supply company whose stores were located in each town’s satellite ambulance quarters. Yes, we were shopkeepers as well, selling commodes, kidney basins and trusses!

This took place in a two bedroom cottage, in a sleepy beachside retirement town on the Florida coast. I lived there with two partners. We were responsible for 24 hr. a day 7 days a week coverage of our assigned area along the Intracoastal Waterway. That meant two of us worked five 24 hr. shifts a week and the third only four. As it stood, one of us would ONLY work the four day shift, so I did the five-day shift for a good year; all for $600 a month! (This may account for my absence of sympathetic tears for your suffering today!)

One of our most important functions was to deliver “H” tanks of oxygen (“H” if I remember right; the BIG ones like inboard on the rig) to aged emphysemics in our primarily retired, rural town of 10,000. We knew every one of them; their lives depended on us, and yes, you guessed it; we delivered these tanks while on duty, using our Dodge low-top ambulances!

The scenario would often be that the aged sufferers would lose track of their flow levels, use up their O2 tanks real fast and they’d find themselves gasping on the phone to the company for immediate delivery. Any time of the day or night, we could be called out to “save” them. It was truly pitiful work to see people who could barely breathe sit stationary in front of their T.V.s, sneaking in cigarettes in between gasps for months at a time; opened rotting cans of God knows what scattered on the floor around them.

One morning we had one delivery on schedule and a second last minute emergency. We strapped one tank on the gurney and one on the bench seat. On the way to our first desperate customer we got a call for an “infant in distress”. Pulling off the side of the road where the weeds were high (Yes, we had gone through this routine before!) we jettisoned the tanks and sped off to the emergency.

We were led in to an unusually posh house for the area by a 30 year-old woman who was clearly stunned. In a huge bedroom, in a little antique crib was an infant, lying face down. Examination showed the baby was obviously dead; blue and with morbid lividity. We stayed with the parents, doing the best we could to calm them, called their Doctor, who called the Coroner who called the funeral home to transport (no Coroner’s cars available to that part of the rural county) who then called our Dispatcher to assign us the transport to the hospital where the Coroner would examine the baby.

We carefully wrapped the baby up, placed her on the gurney and headed for the hospital. On the way, we got a call from Dispatch saying the emphysema patient called back in deep distress. We had almost forgotten! We diverted to where we had stashed the tanks, grabbed one (the other could wait!) and hauled butt to the house. Just as we were finished replacing the used tank and carrying the old one to the rig – just barely getting to the poor old guy in time before he gumped out! -- the unit’s radio went off for a vehicle accident five minutes away. There was no one closer than a 25 minute response. We laid down the tank alongside the man’s driveway and took off.

When we got to the scene and I, the “patient man” went to the side door of the rig to take out the trauma box, there I saw the baby on the gurney! I jumped in, grabbed a blanket, wrapped the baby up carefully and then lifted the bench seat up and placed the baby securely in the compartment on another blanket and closed the door and then ran to the scene.

Of course, the MVA was major. We treated and hauled three seriously injured people, brought them to the hospital, then immediately transferred one of them to the Neuro unit in Daytona Beach, 30 miles away. Then, on the way back, we got diverted to no less than two other emergency calls. The last thing we did was go to the old guy’s house, pick up the earlier discarded “H” cylinder, and deliver it to an even older Lady, now at wit’s end!

And there we were, exhausted at about 7 p.m. back in the two bedroom house that was our headquarters and the neighborhood medical supply store when the phone call came in; it was the Owner of the livery service I worked for…

“What the living **** did you guys do with that Baby!!!”
 

emtannie

Forum Ride Along
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My worst was when I was doing my hospital portion of my EMT practicum... I was to spend a day in day surgery, starting IV's on all the patients that came in, so our medical director would ok me to start IV's in the field...

I was assigned to the endoscopy clinc, so all my patients that day were getting either an endoscopy or a colonoscopy.

In the early afternoon, I was caught up, all my patients had IV's, and the doc was a little behind (no pun intended) in getting patients through on their procedures. One of the nurses asked if I would like to come into the OR to watch. Of course I would! Anything is a good learning experience, right?

So, she gowned and masked me, and I followed her in. The doc was completing a colonoscopy on a male, late 40's, and removing some large intestinal polyps. I was watching the screen, amazed at the dexterity of the doctor who was maneuvering these tiny tools inside the patient's intestines.

As the doctor snared a very large polyp, removed it, and cauterized the area, a thought popped into my head, and I got a terrible case of the giggles.. I was trying not to laugh out loud, and my eyes were starting to tear, so I left the OR. One of the nurses followed me, thinking that I was having difficulty watching the procedure.

She asked if I was ok, and I apologised profusely, telling her that something had popped into my head and I got the giggles. By this point, I was sure that I was never going to get signed off, and that the staff would tell the medical director that I was the most unprofessional person they had ever met.

She asked me to tell her what I was thinking, and very embarassed, I told her "You know when the doc snared the polyp and removed it, and then cauterized it? All I could think of was - you know you are having a bad day when smoke is coming out your ***.."

She laughed SO HARD... and ran back into the OR to tell the doctor.. who, thank goodness, thought it was funny too... and I did get signed off that day...

Now, 13 years later, every time I pass that doctor in the hallway of the hospital, he still says hi and smiles, and I know he is remembering my completely unprofessional episode in his OR.
 

legion1202

Forum Lieutenant
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LOL great thread.


One of my best friends precepted (spelling)me so I got a little extra hands on then most people did. My buddy showed me how to put a 12 lead on (somthing we didnt go over in school) and so I wanted to do it all by my self on the next pt. So the next call rolls around and its a older lady that is very over wieght with c/c of sob. I start putting all the leads on and i go to put on lead 5 and 6 and I start looking for her breast to put it under. 10 mins later my buddy asks whats wrong and I explain to him i cant move the breast its stuck. The lady was very dirty and her breast had stuck to her side. He seemed to fix the problem.. I was two embarrassed to try lol B)

Second we where rolling to the hospital with a hypertensive pt. Again my buddy let me do all the hands on and report taking. As I was monintering the EKG the EKG went into V-tach with a pulse.. My heart droped, so did my buddies in the driver as I go to move out of the way we find out he has a pace maker.. We all failed to get this info from the nursing home.
 
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