So the other day I was taking this cute little 9 month old to a tertiary specialty childrens’ hospital. It was a nice place, big, clean, bright, state of the art equipment, people scurrying about looking busy, cute nurses, etc… It was a class act, that hospital. The patient was stable and quite pleasant. We had been playing in the back for the last hour to the extent that a 9 month old can play while in a papoose restraint. Yes, he was papoosed, but only because he had a fractured femur and needed the tight immobilization. I happen to like kids thankyouverymuch.
What got me about this is that when I got the patient into the ER room, a bunch of slightly older kids walked in wearing scrubs. My first thought was that they had a new crop of ED techs that were in training; however, much to my horror they identified themselves as surgical residents. Oops. Looks like the last ten years or so that I spent driving fast and breaking things could have been spent in a cramped room looking at books and developing my student loan debt. It got me to thinking that if new doctors were starting to look young, and if I was starting to feel grandfatherly in the ambulance, maybe I should consider advancing my career.
The problem with this is that I’m an EMS addict. Really. No I don’t have 25 warning lights in my personal vehicle and my physique is free from star-of-life tattoos… But I just have always liked getting up every morning and being plum lucky enough to be a paramedic. I can’t imagine doing anything else for a living. It has struck me that whenever I hear coworkers talk about career advancement it usually involves leaving the streets and taking time away from patient care. If you’re on the fire side, you can become a lieutenant or captain and get off the “box” away from the “gomers”, or if you’re not you can become a nurse and increase your income while diminishing your clinical decision making skills (Yes, I pick on most nurses here). However, I’ve been thinking about what I could do to advance my career while feeding my addiction to making sick people feel better in the way that only medics can.
So here it is, after a shift or two of kicking it around, I have decided to decrease the amount of my time that I used to spend sitting around on duty watching Internet videos of people hurting themselves and looking up pictures of cats with funny captions (Yes, I’m more of a man because I love my fluffy-wuffy lil’ Kitty-Witty) and spend some time writing useful tidbits of ambulance crap that I have garnered through the last ten years or so of riding under the lights and being smacked around by what the streets have served me up. What follows on this blog is one of my first pieces for the enjoyment of a wide audience. If you like it, I’d love feedback here or (EDIT) on the Life Under The Lights Facebook Page.
Oh, and for the web crawlers: Paramedic, Firefighter, EMT, ambulance, fire, medic, EMS.