I spent my shift at the station today burrowed in a corner of the training room catching up on last week's work and reading. I will spend tomorrow at the laundromat doing the same thing. We've covered basic chemistry, cell biology, pathophysiology, pharmacology, nervous, endocrine, respiratory and circulatory systems, related emergency medications, medication calculations, shock, fluid balance and resuscitation and advanced airway management. We've learned to start IVs and intubate unconscious patients, and started the process of learning to knock out and intubate conscious ones. After several days of being repeatedly stuck with needles (of varying size) by classmates, we all look like heroin addicts with bruises and trackmarks all over our arms. Those of us that weren't shy of needles before are becoming so now. Those of use who were terrified of needles don't mind them quite so much anymore.
But the bottom line is that I love this. After so many abortive attempts at finding something that will work for me, this just feels right like nothing else has. I love the crazy academic pace, the kinesthetics of skills. I love watching all the disparate pieces of information start to fall together in a patient. I love suddenly understanding even more of what I've been seeing in the ambulance, being able to think critically about calls and start to answer some of my own questions. I can't wait for clinicals to start in a few months, as nervous as I am for that step up.
[this is only a few ... ]Not that there haven't been a few hiccups along the way. The Paramedic program is experimenting with a new class & clinical schedule this year, working with new instructors and simultaneously integrating online components that have never been used before. The balance is far from perfect, and things have been a little on the chaos side at times. But with two weeks behind us, I think we are starting to find the sweet spot.
On the MRSA front, I'm almost through my round of antibiotics. Although the worst is over, the infection is hanging in there with every last bit of energy it has. I am going to be watching that spot very carefully in the days after the pills are gone. I won't make the same mistake twice. (At least not this year ...) I'm also starting to feel all the negative gastrointestinal effects that go along with a heavy course of these types of meds (perhaps the root of some of my denial.) There is lots of yogurt and probiotics on my horizon.
Peter is off on the east coast this week, visiting some good friends and helping his dad get their old Harrisburg home ready for sale. He'll be back Thursday, just in time for the fall colors. The marsh-tundra at the bottom of Goldstream valley is crimson, and the aspen have started to turn.