Thursday, October 18, 2007

Pharmacology 101

Did I mention how my Medic school instructor is pretty cool. JB (as we'll call him) started the basic Intro to Pharmacology unit with us tonight (not where you memorize all the drugs, but where we figure how how drugs function).

Now if you were an instructor and decided to use a clip from a movie to show the exciting world of medication administration what would you pick?

The scene OD scene from Pulp Fiction of course!

What a great way to kill twenty minutes in class.

PS: Got a 90% on my A&P exam. Not as good as I would have liked (5 questions wrong), but who can complain?!

Monday, October 08, 2007


Whew! This was a tough weekend.

The guys at my volunteer squad back at school needed a hand with shifts on Friday night and they came to me. Since I'd been MIA for awhile, and like an idiot, I decided to help them out. Overall not a bad time, however, when it came to Saturday, I knew it was going to be trying to finish the day.

I decided I wanted some experience doing the overnight shift in Lower Manhattan, so to kill a couple birds, I took a double starting 3PM and ending 7AM Sunday morning, on a BLS truck for my clinical time. We were hopping all through day and into the wee hours. Some new experiences:

-Getting left on scene by the crew
-Sleeping in the back of the ambulance (max 35 min. at 5:15AM between calls)
-Picking up an inmate from a police precinct
-Having said inmate cry all over me
-Sort out the victims of a massive fight, including our patient, who, when asked "Would you rather go to jail with everyone else, or not go to jail?" picked "Go to jail."
-Sixth Floor walkup (is there a maximum number of floors in a walkup?)
-10 jobs in 8 hours, 16 jobs total.

Let's put it this way: when I finally walked into my apartment at 8AM, I was beat, and hit the sack. I also banged out of some tours I was supposed to do today.

Back to the day job tomorrow, and the Anatomy & Physiology exam is Wednesday night.

Let's hope I make it through the week....

Monday, October 01, 2007


Finally... after nearly 5 years as an EMT, I get to push some drugs!

Doing some ride time for the clinical component of my Paramedic class, we get an Altered Mental Status (read: probably drunk), in a homeless shelter. And while after only two and a half weeks in class, I still don't really know squat, I saw the ALS AMS algorithm being worked. More importantly, the Medics I was riding with let me push the meds. OK OK, so I didn't have to think about anything and all I was doing was pushing plungers on the stuff that the Medics were handing me, but it was still a learning experience.

Here's what we did:

25 mg Dextrose (D50W, 50 mL)

followed by

Thiamine, 100 mg (100mg/ml)

and finally,

Naloxone 0.5 mg

After all was said and done, we talked about what we pushed and why. I also looked up the protocols, and sure enough, that was exactly what it said to do. One of the Medics, who is a 25-year veteran and usually based in the South Bronx (read: YIPES!) drilled in the Six Rights of medication administration, and scolded me for initially not checking what I was pushing.

Right Patient

Right Route

Right Dose

Right Time

Right Medication

Right Documentation

Overall, a great learning experience... and I'M EAGER FOR MORE!!!