Week 1 on placement

Alex Grant

Faculty: Medical Science
Course: BSc (Hons) Paramedic Science
Category: Allied and public health

3 March 2015

I was never very good at chemistry at school, all the letters and numbers all mixed together to make these really complicated chemicals and chemical compounds. So this second job on my first shift was an interesting one!

We were advised not to enter the property, as there may still be a risk of the poisonous gas being present. The first thing you learn as a student paramedic: is the scene safe? Is there any danger to me?

The patient had been cleaning their bathroom with a mixture of Harpic and bleach, spent another ten to 15 minutes in her bathroom after starting to feel like she couldn’t breathe and eventually became so short of breath (SOB) that she was unable to breathe properly and had to call for help.

As we arrived in an RRV (Rapid Response Vehicle), we were unable to transport her to hospital, as we are not equipped to carry a patient. We checked all her observations (temperature, pulse rate, blood pressure, etc) and made sure she had everything she needed for her trip into hospital.

My last job of the day was a three-car RTC (Road Traffic Collision). There was one patient who was presenting with neck and chest pain due to their seatbelt not locking on impact and their chest smashing against the dashboard during the impact. This patient was in agony, we treated the pain and took all of the observations and it was decided that there was a high chance of a ‘c-spine’ fracture. We collared them to provide support for their neck and then had the extremely helpful firemen attend and cut the roof off of the car. This was incredibly exciting and thought provoking. I’ve never seen so many blue lights! The patient was then pulled onto a long board in an attempt to maintain a neutral, straight alignment of their spine. They were then packaged up, think ‘burrito’, and transported straight to the hospital.

My first shift was one of the most varied shifts I could’ve possibly had, I attended a range of different jobs that required a huge amount of difference in skills. Some patients required extensive questioning, poking and prodding whilst others needed to be taken in rather quickly. I am very aware that a huge percentage of the jobs I will attend will not be the huge ‘trauma-time critical patient’, but mostly a ‘social’ side of things, such as helping the elderly when they fall and getting to know people who just need a bit of a hand when something has gone wrong. I wouldn’t change my role for anything in the world.

Bring on the next three years!

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