Wednesday, June 27

Conversation starters for Paramedics talking to Anesthesiologists

In Paramedic School we had to perform a mock intubation every day.  In the lab there was a check off sheet and a person in the class had to sign you off that you had completed the skill.  We were building muscle memory.  It was a chore, but I'm glad we did it.

Later on in our clinical rotations we were in the Operating Room for a minimum of 5 intubations.  There is nothing more awkward than asking a pretty girl for a date than asking a person freaking out about surgery if someone who has never intubated can practice on you.

I was able to talk 5 people into letting me learn in one morning.  I sank all 5.

Anesthesiologists are rock stars of the operating room.  They saunter in, briefcase of sweet drugs, mix a cocktail, knock you the F out, then drop a tube, attach the vent and chill.

I thought intubations were super easy until I got into the field.

Turns out the 5 tubes I got were on people in the following condition:

Have been fasting, no food in the last 8 hours
No liquids in the last 2 hours
Free of fever, cough or other respiratory issues
No traumatic injury to the head, neck or chest.

Damn, dude.

Tomorrow morning I am going for what Billy Crystal's character in City Slickers would refer to as "a procedure" but I'll need general anesthesia.
The questionnaire I filled out was amazing!  It pretty much said that if I did any of the things everyone I've ever had to intubate did, I'd have to delay the procedure.

So tomorrow, at table height, in a well lit room, with every tool and medication nearby, a Doctor will do to me what I do to strangers with sometimes 5 minute notice, in the rain, in the dark, with suction running non stop, clogged ETCO2 lines and so much noise lung sounds are a joke.

But I still want them to be successful not just on their first pass, like the standard we are held to, but maybe agree that my full recovery without injury to my teeth, throat or lungs is maybe more important.

Big question is...

Is there a Paramedic student there tomorrow?  Hells yes I'll let them try, right after I tell them who I am and what I do...but not until right after the Doc pushes the meds.

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