Last class we started ACLS - 4.5 hours of lecture - not fun. Then we ran a slow megacode - not as bad.
ACLS is this week - PALS is next week... and then we are done. I realized last night, looking at the course syllabus, that we are DONE with the classes out of the Paramedic textbook. Part of me is relieved, and part of me is frightened. I've been here before - and I wasn't ready. Now I feel almost ready for my final field internship.
I was asked a question today by a paramedic who is my age, and I consider a friend. He aksed me if I feel ready to run a code (cardiac arrest) by myself. I had to think a moment before answering, My answer was two-fold. “Yes – I know the protocols, and codes are pretty simple. But No… because I’m not done school and through field intership yet – and I am not a paramedic yet, I’m not even sure I’ll be ready for my first code when I’m out on my own… but I’ll just have to get through it.”
I look around my class, and I still see a classroom full of people. We’ve only lost 2 people from the class. This is a very small number, compared to previous classes. I think this is a good sign, but I also know that statistically, there are a few folks who aren’t going to make it though the final testing, and will never become medics. That sucks… but it is life.
All that said – It was a shocking realization that we are DONE with the easy classroom portion and are moving onto the full-out balls to the wall practical phase, where everything will become my show. This scares me more than anything, because this is where I fouled up before. Anyone can sit though classes – but being able to come up with an adequate treatment plan at 3am in the cold and the rain, on a patient that just doesn’t quite fit the protocol? That is a different challenge, and requires a knowledge of the body, the protocols, and the patients disease/injuy processes. That is what being a paramedic is all about – and some medics are AWESOME at that, and some aren’t as much. I want to be AWESOME… but first I’ve got to be there, and do that.
Well – Tomorrow night is the megacodes – wish me luck.