101 Things the Fire Department wishes you knew



Monday, March 16

That does it, I'm changing this thing

In the end it wasn't the homeless beggar or the drug crazed whacko throwing his poop that cracked my "go with the flow" mentality, it was an elderly woman who frowned when her daughter spoke about her.

Early this morning, while helping a cancer patient back into bed I had to listen to her adult daughter complain about how difficult it is to help her mom all the time.

Our patient felt weak, from all the chemotherapy, and got up to use the restroom. Her legs felt weak and she plopped down to the floor. When she needed help she did what every self respecting person does, she called her family for help.

10 minutes away with her own family the daughter didn't help mom back into bed, but called 911 so we could, "Get her admitted, she can't stay here alone."

The woman with the end stage, painful, slowly vomiting her life away, cancer simply wanted to stay in her home. A more and more common tale these days.

The family saw fit to rent out a few rooms in mom's house to help cover the costs of, well...I'm not sure because there is no caregiver at the house and judging by the daughter's reactions and words, there never will be.

Our hands were tied. We couldn't leave a woman in bed with no way to ambulate in case of fire and no one there to help her. The family refused to step in and without access to other options, a dying woman is now in the most disease infested, uncomfortable place the current system allows. The emergency room. And taking a bed out of rotation for emergencies no less.

Well, not anymore. I'm young in this business but I see a need and I see a solution and I'm going to do something about it.

Studying the Advanced Paramedic Programs I can find I see an awesome opportunity to reach out to the community in a way they demand but we can not provide currently. A fluid response that can be dialed up or dialed down to address specific issues in specific communities.

I spent over 3 hours this morning reading through state EMS documents, training requirements, Licensure and re-certification demands as well as a number of position papers describing similar problems. Usually a task like that spills the wind from my sails on page 2.

I am fired up, energized and ready for a fight. I can hear the Medical Directors already shaking their heads, but with the training I've outlined, the skills needed and the limited persons who will perform them, there is no way it can't at least get to a trial phase.

I feel my time here playing at Happy Medic Headquarters will decrease quite a bit in the coming months as I prepare this proposal. You're not rid of me, but the posts will be fewer, and perhaps as a result, more pertinent to the original purpose of this place.

Wish me luck gentle readers, I'm taking on the entrenched Old Ways and I intend to win!

Your Happy Medic

9 comments:

Anonymous said...

Happy Medic have you looked into Wake County EMS (it is in NC Raleigh NC to be exact) they just recently started an advanced paramedic program.

Anonymous said...

Here is a link about the Wake EMS APP

http://legeros.com/ralwake/photos/weblog/pivot/entry.php?id=2107#chief100-0903161314

Mike "Fossilmedic" Ward said...

Check the comments in Mike Legeros blog, includes an update from Skip Kirkwood.

Good luck!

Chris said...

If you're thinking what I think you're thinking, you might want to look into UK District Nursing or ECP/ENP schemes

Good luck

Anonymous said...

No offense dude, but Cali needs to get the basics of EMS down before you start talking about this APP shit.

The Happy Medic said...

Anonymous,
I'm not looking to solve the problems with California's lax Paramedic standards. With budget cuts I need to find a way to upgrade a select few positions, already supervisory positions, with special skills that will allow them to solve the problems in my system.
Special skills like pediatric intubation, RSI and the training and authority to refuse ambulance transport while given access to alternate patient care options.
I'm no fool in thinking I'm going to change the world, just my world.

Anonymous said...

Fair enough.

In that case, I'd eliminate as APP candidates any and all graduates of CA's world-famous "Make me a medic NOW so I can get on the job" paramedic schools, unless they already had a degree in a life science before they went in.

Just sayin.

The Happy Medic said...

Your description reminds me of the old Texas Paramedic program where they taught the color of the boxes, not the names of the medications.

Anonymous, drop me a line at my gmail address, I'd love to chat more.

Ckemtp said...

Do you hear the people sing? Singing The Song of Angry Men.
It is the Music of a people who will NOT be slaves again.
When the beating of your heart echos the beating of the drum, there is a life about to start when the morning comes.

Will you join in my crusade?
Who will be strong and stand with me?
Beyond the barricade, is there a world you long to see?
Then join in the fight that will give you the right to be freeeee!!!

- Ok, so Happy when I read your post that song from Les Miserables popped into my head. Whether it's cool in a comment or not is immaterial.

I'm with ya buddy, and I've got an idea to help with your project and another trick or two up my sleeve as well.