Thursday, January 31, 2008

Nursing Student?

Let me say that I am NOT bitching about the flight job. I LOVE flying. However, I am so over some of the bullshit that comes with. Part of "staying current" is going out and doing clinicals in various hospital units. The idea is that we can fly anything and we need to have a decent working knowledge of most common patient issues. What sucks ass is that unless the nurses in the units and really familiar with us, we get treated like nursing students.

Nursing students are pretty much the lowest on the totem pole in a hospital environment. You have not a lot of experience, don't know where the hell shit is and have to ask "mother may I?" for everything. (I'm NOT bashing them, I love students and have done my time as one) Nurses either 1)pretend you don't exist 2) treat you as a grunt or 3) want you under their thumbnail so so you don't break anything or kill the patients.

So clinicals for me have been a challenge. I just try to stay awake and not get dragged in to the shit wiping. I spent today with a nurse who used to be a clerk in my ED. She "taught" me the correct way to give a bath and how to tape an ETT in place. (guess it doesn't matter that I can drop one in the helicopter and secure it in flight) I get to do a neuro ICU rotation (FUN!) the OR and cath lab and I should be done. There are about 8 units that we have to visit total. I get to repeat in 6 months!

3 more flight shifts and I will be flying on my own. After dealing with one of the psychotic flight "paragods" at my training base I'm about done. Still waiting for the good trauma to come in. The best I've got is a near amputation of the arm. I hollered at him in high school spanish, gave him a shitload of pain meds and that was that.

All in all, still better than working in the unit.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

The Status Quo

PIG TRACH CLASS! Hours of fun for the entire family!

Sunset from the air

I worked in ED Wednesday night. We were on diversion so not much coming and going. I sat on 3 patients all night long. We only had one trauma, a young guy who was shot in the arm. Unfortnately his stepfather went nuts and took a big ass gun to this kid's mom, my patient and then himself. There was also a young girl (11?) who was able to get out of the house and hid in the woods. In the city this is not "unusual" however this took place in a neighborhood not far from where I grew up, out in the country. Thats fucked up, but crazy has no zip code.

I flew yesterday. One flight in 24 hours. Thats my status quo. So we flew a retired air force officer across the state from the military hospital to a transplant center. It was a LOOONNNGG flight! He may have been exposed to some inhaled substance that caused his lungs to shut down. I must say that the hospital he was transferred from was pristine. This is not somewhere that we normally fly to, so I was surprised to say the least. Our local VA Hospital is a fucking armpit and an insult to the folks that are treated there. This place looked clean, smelled clean (impossible for a hospital) and everyone was pleasant and helpful. If I lived closer I would work there as a civilian.

Its snowing now. You would think the fuckers in VA would understand that this is NOT a national emergency. I ran up to the store and you would think a fucking hurricaine was coming. People were cleaning off the shelves of milk, bread and eggs. Hmmm... maybe I shoud have grabbed some Corona while I still had the chance!

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Still Here

The schedule thing is bizarre so I haven't been posting as I should. Oh well, as Wil says, "Feces Occurs."

Have flown some pretty decent traumas, but nothing that even approaches my top 10. The closest was a forty-something guy who was driving a (small) car that was hit by a dump truck. It was a pretty impressive scene, especially from 1,000 ft. We had to land in a field and wait for fire to finish cutting he and his wife out of the car. When we got him he was that nasty grey-white color and both legs were shaped like the letter S. (for all of you non-medical folks... thats FUCKED UP!) We didn't intubate him, but gave him beaucoup pain meds and a shitload of Jet A. I mashed on his chest and belly and didn't get so much as an ouch. He was stable, just looked like shit on a stick. We dropped him at the trauma center (not mine) and that was that. We found out later that his insides were completely smashed. Liver, spleen, kidneys all shot to shit, his legs were the least of his problems. (at least this explains his color) Last I heard his family was being called to take him off of life support.

My last patient was 3 weeks old with a congenital cardiac abnormality. If we left her alone she was ok (sort of) but if we did anything with her, like try to start an IV, she would 1) scream like hell and 2) drop her O2 saturations to 60 and turn blue. Let me tell you, there is nothing like calculating resuscitation drugs for a 3 weeker at 1200ft enroute to the hospital. She made it to the PICU ok, but will probably have surgery sooner rather than later.

I will say this, my perspective of "sick" has definitely been altered. There is some crazy shit out there!

So I have the serious vacation "itch." Feeling the need to run away somewhere warm. I just need to convince the cop to say "fuck it" and take a long weekend somewhere tropical. Any suggestions????

Flying again next Friday. May pick up an ED shift in the meantime.

Thursday, January 03, 2008

Orange Bowl

I don't fly again until Saturday... so have to make the most of my time this week. Had a LOOONNNGG base meeting to hash out some of the details of the new base. Nothing exciting there. The one thing that I learned that is (kinda) pissing me off is that out of the 5 new staff, I am the only one who has even started clinicals. Not only that... my three whole flights are more than all but one of the other new peeps. Instead of sleeping late tomorrow, I am going on marketing meetings with the base manager. I'm not trying to be a brown noser, but this is my dream job and I want to give above and beyond.

I haven't said much about the flights I have done, but there isn't too much to say. They were all accidents, flown just because of the mechanism. All were nice, sober people. How in the hell does the queen of the drunk-ass trauma room get such vanilla patients??!?! How the fuck do I know. Yes, it is getting a bit frustrating. One of the new guys did a cric New Year's Eve. I do not wish bad things on anyone, but I hope that I have a trauma room Saturday night.

So the Mad-Dog and Wrigs are watching the Orange Bowl with me while the cop is busting drug dealers. I should say that the puppies and listening to me curse Tyrod Taylor. I may have to change the channel. I can handle trauma out the ass, but a bowl game may be a bit too intense for me.

Its the beginning of the second quarter... GO HOKIES!!!

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

Its a Girl!

The cop and I have been talking about getting Maddux a friend for a long time. It just so happened that this little girl needed a home and (randomly) found her way to us. Her name is Wrigley Havana (we just call her Wrigley.....) although she may think her name is "DON'T EAT THAT!" Maddux is doing very well with her, probably because we are making a point of spoiling him rotten in the process.
I am on my break from flying and get to do clinicals instead. We all have to spend time in various hospital units in order to be more familiar with the patients we will fly. Its a lot like being back in school again. I spent yesterday delivering New Year's Eve babies in labor and delivery. We did absolutely nothing last night. We made jambalaya, drank champagne, watched a movie and then sat and watched fireworks (and listened to the gunfire) from the front porch.