Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Post first set of finals

Ok, finals royally suck. I now understand why my friends had cram sessions, over dosed on triple lattes and cried a little before this dreadful week. Last term wasn't this bad. I took writing, intro to EMT and my required PE class. There were stressful times, but nothing compared to this week.

Round one of my skills were last night. What I was tested on: O2 Administration, Heimlich into CPR on an adult, CPR on an infant, Bag-Valve-Mask (BVM) w/O2 into Combitube, mouth to mask and OPA to suction to NPA administration.

Oxygen Administration - I wasn't too worried about this. Going into this station, you just hope your equipment is working. We have to demonstrate that we know how to set-up, read and monitor an oxygen tank and non-rebreather mask and nasal cannula on a conscious patient. This station takes a few minutes and I completed w/o any marks.

CPR on an infant - went flawless! I was nervous b/c babies are aliens and you do things so differently. But I checked for LOC, called for back up, head tilt/chin lift, rescue breaths, compressions, second EMT entered the scene and I was in total control. I passed. Yes!

Heimlich on an adult into CPR - we use manikins that are only torso and head. We have to verbalize EVERYTHING. I'm holding my torso and head, informing the proctor that I would position my foot in between my patients legs while giving abdominal thrusts, "Until when?" asked the proctor.
Until the patient becomes unconscious or whatever object is blocking the airway is expelled. Well my patients goes unconscious. I assist him to the floor and this is when my nerves got the best of me.

I did the proper head tilt, chin lift and looked in the mouth and asked the proctor if I saw anything, he instructed me I did not. I should have given one breath and asked if it went in, but I gave two rescue breaths, didn't check for pulse and went into compressions. Eek. I failed. The proctor lightened the atmosphere, pulled me aside and told me to relax - I know this, I just need to relax. This was my very first station and my nerves got the best of me. Embarrassed, I walked out of the testing room while all my classmates giving me the thumbs up sign, I quickly turned my big-fat FAILED sheet into my instructor, Mr. Cooper, and got in line to start a new station.

Bag Valve Mask (BVM) w/O2 combined w/Combitube - many people were nervous about this station. I was not. I knew this station. We're being tested if we know how to use our BVM, give proper ventilation (1 breath/5 seconds) w/O2 (15 LPM) - then second EMT enters scene and we have to instruct them to continue ventilating at the proper rate and maintain that face seal w/the BVM. While they do that I check the integrity of my Combitube (no leaks, everything in working fashion), then the stressful part - inserting the Combitube CORRECTLY and start breathing again under 30 seconds. I did mine in 22 seconds. This station went smoothly.

Mouth to Mask - we use our pockets masks. We're tested on if we know how to use them, create a proper seal and give the correct amount of rescues breaths (1 breath/5seconds) and connect it to an O2 tank and continue breathing. Passed.

OPA/Suction/NPA - Ugh. I had this down!!! OPA, oropharyngeal airway, is that piece of plastic EMTs stick in your mouth to keep your tongue from blocking your airway. Did it. The test continues as if the patient is having a gag reflex and I must remove the OPA and suction whatever the patient spit up/vomited and prepare them for the NPA, nasopharyngeal airway. When it came to suction this is where I did the critical fail. You check to make sure you have suction, there are two ways to do this. You kink the hose, this is what I did, and you put your finger over this hole - this I did not do. The proctor failed me. I inserted the OPA and the NPA flawlessly. This put me in such a sourer mood.

We get to re-take these practicals. I'll be calmer the second go but I wanted to ace them the first time! All my buddies passed the first go around and it just pisses me off, lol.

Wednesday we're being tested on the AED and trauma assessment. I'm nervous, but I think I'll keep it together now that I know what I'm getting into. I have some re-takes to do, which sucks, but this term is almost over. Yes!

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