Tuesday, 9 September 2008

And the next one

Back at work later today and I'll be working solo on the response car, similar to the one pictured (nearest). The idea of the response car (RRV) is to get to patients quicker than a conventional ambulance. It doesn't always happen. If a Paramedic is crewing it they can be dispatched to 'back up' a double EMT crew if they need extra skills depending on the type of call and condition of the patient. Such as a heart attack where the patient may need thrombolysing (clot busting drugs), pain relief, seizures or any other seriously ill patient. There may be times where the Paramedic will have to travel in the back with the patient and either leave the car locked up or an EMT will drive it to the hospital. EMTs can also work on these in my service. Both Paramedics & EMT's have extra training to be able to solo respond. Some times the shifts can be really busy, I've done 14 jobs in a 12 hr shift before now, or they can be quite dull with just endless periods of stand by. Some people call them clock stoppers, that maybe the case but at least you can start treating some one quicker. The equipment carried is similar to front line ambulance for example; apart from my own airway and other Paramedic kit the same response bags are carried, Entonox pain relief, full drugs bag, burns kit, materinty kit and suction etc. If the patient doesn't require an ambulance then we can transport in the car. It's also good that you can sometimes keep ambulances free for those that really need them. One of my favourite types of call is the unconscious diabetic that is hypoglycaemic because more often than not we can treat them at home and prevent admission to hospital. We'll treat them with either IV glucose or a glucagen injection or both and as long as they fully recover i.e with no other signs of illness like a stroke etc we'll leave them at home and refer them to their diabetic nurse or contact their DR's surgery. Another common job for a Paramedic on the car round here is to be called to re cannulate a patient at home. It's usually for the intensive care at home nurses who administer drugs like IV antibiotics or furosemide and need a new cannula resited, the old one may be blocked or it may have been in for a couple of days therefore a new cannula will reduce the risk of infection.
Just like working on an ambulance, you never now what you are going to be sent to. One of the most important things is to know where your back up is coming from and if there is anyone backing you up at all!
Oh well I'll just have to wait and see what I get thrown at me. Wouldn't mind working on a newer car, these are old and getting a bit tired now, it'll have to do.

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