What I learned in the ED tonight

Tonight I had the opportunity to shadow my medical director while he was working in the ED. I leanred many things: Every blog I’ve read about how drug seekers present in the ED is completely true. Every blog I’ve read about faking a seizure and “status dramaticus” is completely true. Healthcare is a strange mash-up of completely differently evolved professions A litre of NS and a dose of zofran will cure almost anything.

More Med Math Tips: Drip Rates

Maybe this is why 60-drip sets were invented…but no one ever told me, so I feel clever having figured this out. Your medication dose in mL per hour is equal to the required drips per minute when using a 60 drip set. Here is the proof. Keep in mind that we’re essentially converting units Remember that 60 drips = 1 ml, and 60 minutes = 1 hour, so we’re only multiply by different versions of one to maintain equality.

Memorial Day – Appendix

Some might be wondering how I wrote an entire memorial day blog without a mention of soldiers, perhaps accusing me of missing the mark or being unpatriotic. I know we all occasionally forget about or take for granted those in the armed services who make the ultimate sacrifice to provide us the freedoms we hold so dear, but it also doesn’t take much to jog our memories — hopefully. Let me point out another way our fallen soldiers continue after they die to benefit us civilians.

Memorial Day

Today I had the opportunity to attend a memorial service for the body donor programme my anatomy and dissection courses are affiliated with. When I’m dissecting, I see these donors in their physical entirety. I see their scars, their disease ravaged organs. I find every deformity, variation, and imperfection in their bodies. I find surgeries that suggest medical history: apendectomies, coronary bypass, hysterectomies. I find tumours. I can’t help but wonder: What pain were they in?

Lifeguard FAIL

This weekend I’m visiting southern California. My first stop after landing was a bonfire on the beach. While getting the fire going and cooking some hot dogs, I noticed a regular pattern of Lifeguard vehicles driving back and forth. Meh. A while later I notice a change. One of these all-wheel-drive eco-friendly SUV’s is clipping across the beach on a different path at a much faster pace. Maybe something is up… but he’s not running code 3, so maybe he’s just in a hurry to get somewhere.

Tip: Kg and Pounds conversion

When I was taking my Intermediate class, I came up with several medical math shortcuts. I’m sure I”m not the first person to discover these, but I figure if you stumble across my blog maybe they can be helpful to you. We all know that to get an estimation for converting pounds to kg that we can just divide by 2. Here’s the problem, the actual conversion factor is much closer to 2.

Education Rant

I recently had a chance to help with an EMT Basic class. I was asked to teach spinal immobilisation. I was grinding my teeth the whole time. Why do we still teach to immobilise based on mechanism? Why do we seem to think that spinal immobilisation is a completely benign procedure? Why don’t we teach our students to actually assess the PATIENT? Why aren’t we teaching them better or new physical assessment techniques?

BLS v ALS – my rant prompted by the EMS Garage

Written a while ago and saved for later publication: A recent  past episode of the EMS Garage (“BLS Care Is Not Dead”) they talked about a question debated since the creation: BLS v ALS. In short, I agree. Particularly with all the points they made about education. Here’s what uspets me. When I did my initial EMT-Basic certification I was taught “what” and “when.” The biggest difference in my Intermediate education was starting to think about “why.

Said at Inservice Tonight

We were discussing possible causes for sycope in paediatric patients: NA: Could be cardiac. Maybe a congenital heart defect? Lecturer: Yes, very good. Let’s define that word for anyone who doesn’t know it. For starters, it has nothing to do with the genitals. (collective giggle) This is your heart. Here I’ll make the left ventricle bigger so it’s anatomically correct. And here are the pacemakers. Face palm. I used to wonder why people make fun of us for being “just BLS.

CPR Recert Revenge

In my feeble attempts to make myself more valuable, I went ahead and got an AHA Instructor certification. Yes, I am a CPR instructor but have never had a chance to do CPR on a real patient. Still, I know all the protocols and procedures, ratio, etc., forward, backward, inside and out. My EMS Coordinator asked me to help with skills testing for CPR recertification this year. Several of the EMTs in my agency are also anatomy TAs at my university.